Please Copy 415 Serial Numbers To Complete Your Apple Battery Recall

Paul is the tech guy at an all-Mac private school and he’s more steaming than a self-immolating battery.

415 of the computers under his domain] need battery replacements. Apple said that to process his request he needs to “supply them with the serial number from each and every battery and iBook in spreadsheet form to make the swap.”

This bothers him. He says, “I’ll get right on that Apple, in the copious amounts of spare time that I have! I’m supposed to drop everything I’m doing and spend hours rectifying a screwup that I am the victim of. Bastards!”

While the magnitude be staggering, we’re not sure what else Apple is supposed to do. Maybe Paul can get the school to offer students extra credit for helping you transcribe? We’re surprised there isn’t some nice, curvy Mac app that can “sense” which machines are affected and iNtuit the serial numbers into a multimedia mashup.


Edit Your Comment

  1. That sucks but my work has all that stuff in a database. It’s hard to
    feel very sorry for a guy working with that number of computers who has
    failed to document his own herd.

  2. ok, seriously, what the f*ck are they paying him for? i already have all the serial numbers, IP addresses, and other pertinent information for all the machines I am responsible for in a spreadsheet. thats half the battle right there, the computer serial numbers.

    I call shenanigans, or at least a lazy sysadmin.

  3. The_Truth says:

    Hi, Apple?

    Yeah I have a bunch of notebooks that I need the battery replaced on. Im sure you wont mind replacing them all for me, especially as they are all several years old now and seem to be loosing their capacity.

    Are they the ones that might catch fire?

    Oh, suuure they are. You dont need to worry about serial codes, just truuust me.


  4. Pelagius says:

    PSP and Ars_W.: You track the serial numbers for the batteries?

  5. Orthodork says:

    “You track the serial numbers for the batteries?”

    You sure do, at $150 a pop. Not all employees are virtuous; it’s part of logging in machines.

  6. Elsewhere says:

    No, I wouldn’t have that info on the batteries just offhand, but wouldn’t it be great if there were some sort of hand held scanner device that could read the bar code on the battery and store the information for downloading into a spread sheet? Of course you’d need some sort of a tech person to help you with that….

  7. The Bans says:

    So Apple is the bad guy why? Part of being a system admin is to have these responsiblities. This is why I dislike those “ITT Tech” schools that offer you the skills to be a system admin but sadly none of the work ethic.

  8. homerjay says:

    What a whiny bastard. Do your job and quit bitching. If he were a PC user he’s be doing shit like this monthly. (Oh man am I gonna get flamed for that)

  9. gwai lo says:

    Well, the serial number for the computer is easily found with only a few mouse clicks. The battery though…thats gonna be some work

  10. pudge44 says:

    Apple’s initial efforts are not encouraging. My iBook battery is part of the recall. For some reason, the recall web site won’t accept the battery serial number. It responds with an 800 number to call. The first 15 or so times I called, the option for “battery recall” in the voice mail menu went straight to a busy signal. Just tried again, and I’m now on hold. Argh.

  11. mschlock says:

    Jebus, at least they’re letting him send them in on a spreadsheet. I think as punishment he should have to type them all in one at a time on a single-line web form. No, a form with separate blocks for each 4 digits of the serial numbers. Of both the laptop and the battery.

  12. pudge44 says:

    Update: AFter 20 minutes on hold, I was told by a friendly Apple CSR that the rejected serial number “is a known issue with the Web site” … He took my info and now I’m on the 4-6 week wait for a new battery.

    If you have a battery in the recall and the site rejects the serial number, call 800-275-2273 between 6-6 PT and press option 5. Good luck!

  13. gte910h says:

    > I call shenanigans, or at least a lazy sysadmin.

    This is for the *BATTERIES*. Not the serial number of the system.

    I personally would say “Here are my system serial numbers. Figure it
    out from that” Apple has that on file doesn’t it? That’s what *they*
    are being paid for, delivering components to its customers who aren’t
    going to have to fidget with all the time.

    That’s a very large cost of many days worth of labor. He should not
    have to do work because they’re too lazy to look up their production


  14. DeeJayQueue says:

    the batteries in notebook computers are very easily switched out/replaced, at the very least we’ll call them “Modular” Apple has no way of knowing reliably which machine serial corresponds with which battery. I bet they don’t even correlate that at the factory when they assemble the machine.

    Orthodork is right. If your company/school/organization is big enough that they have 413 iBooks (which doesn’t account for however many other systems may be there) proper asset tracking would mean having the serial numbers for the batteries, machines, peripherals, etc whenever applicable. This should have been catalogged upon installation of the machines. It sucks that it wasn’t done, and may not be this admin’s fault per se, but them’s the brakes.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Allow me to retort. Being a lazy sys admin that just graduated from ITT Tech, I can’t be bothered with trivial details such as asset tracking and inventory. Seriously, it’s pretty rude to make character judgements about someone you’ve never met.

    That said, I do have all of that great information, such as serial numbers, IP addresses, software licences, etc. However, battery serial numbers are not something I had anticipated needing. I don’t work at a state prison, so I’m not really concerned with someone stealing one to make a shiv. My bad. I do have a bar code scanner and will be using it to take my battery inventory, but it is still a lengthy process at best. Time that I don’t have at the beginning of a school year. But, somehow my lazy, whiny butt will get it done.

    My reason for bringing this situation to light is that there are many educational and other institutions out there with far greater installed bases of affected computers. Being an Apple Education customer, that purchases hundreds of Macs a year, I believe that Apple should have a better mechanism for large quantity swaps. Seeing as we have a long and standing relationship with them, swapping batteries without the requisite serial numbers should not be a huge problem as they can easily pull the records needed. The serial numbers can be checked on Apple’s end and any discrepancies worked out. For that matter, I have boxes of batteries I’ve ordered from Apple Service Parts that have no corresponding iBook serial number.

    I realize that Apple’s instruction to not use the battery and run on the power adapter until you get a replacement is a CYA move, but the mobile lab carts they themselves provided won’t allow for it. Again, there are thousands of other institutions that are in the same situation as me.

    I understand that any personal view expressed on the blogosphere is enough provocation to be flamed by lazy sys admins that do nothing but read and write flaming comments on blogs all day instead of working, so I got what I deserved. Before you say takes one to know one, I remind you that it has already been determined that I am a lazy good for nothing sys admin.

    See ya in the funny papers boys!


  16. Magister says:

    Sorry Paul, but everything needs to be tracked, especially if you are dealing in such large volumes.

    We seem to be getting lots of articles here lately where someone is just bitching that they can’t get something for free or that they don’t want to make any effort.

    Apple will help you, but you gotta help them. How about asking the individuals that use each Mac? Even ITT should have let you know you gotta know about your inventory.

  17. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    I have to side with Paul on this one. I remember reading something to the effect that insitutions should contact their Apple rep for information on the recall. If an institution has an account with Apple, and they purchased N number of computers during the period affected by the recall, they should agree to ship N batteries to the institution if the institution agrees to return to Apple any unused batteries plus the used ones affected by the recall.

    This saves them the trouble of going through all of the computers once to get the battery serial number and then again to actually do the battery swap.

  18. julian says:

    Perhaps Apple should think about allowing batteries to report their serial numbers to the computers they’re connected to, then not only could ARD report all the serial numbers to administrators, but OS X could alert customers to recalls and make it easy to order a replacement.

  19. gvonk says:

    Yeah, if only the school had someone on their staff who gets paid to manage all these computers….

    I work for an organization with 100,000+ employees. Our Dell laptops were similarly affected, and you know what they did? They emailed us and had us check the serial numbers on our batteries ourselves. There are tons of tasks that are much more cost-effective to split up amongst all your employees rather than pay a single staff member to do.

    If you can’t trust your users to do something like this themselves, they shouldn’t really be trusted with laptops. So, send an email and get the numbers from them.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, unfortunately my users are Pre Kindergarten through 4th grade and the teachers are way too busy. So we’ll just set aside a day in a couple of weeks to go around and do it ourselves. In the meantime, I’ll keep pinging my Apple rep for a better solution.


  21. This guy is an idiot. You can already get all the serial numbers for the computers on the network in spreadsheet form very easily by using Apple’s Mac Manager tools.

    Apple provides the software and instructions on how to do this. He’s complaining because he’s a shitty admin?

  22. homerjay says:

    Oh good God, Cajun…. Try reading a little more before you start trying to act all smart. Its not the computer serial number he needs, its the battery serial number.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I may be an idiot, but I’m not that big of an idiot, Cajun. I use Apple Remote Desktop many times a day, and yes I’ve checked to see if can pull battery serial numbers. Alas, it does not. CoconutBattery doesn’t do it either, which leads me to believe that the only way to get it is to physically do it.


  24. Falconfire says:

    Coming as a IT Tech in charge of a very large mix of Mac AND PC (Dell of all things >_<) computers

    your a fucking idiot.

    These are things that should have been logged WHEN YOU GOT THEM. What the fucking hell are they paying you for.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Does judging others make you feel better about your own pathetic life, falconfire?

    Perhaps YOU’RE the fucking idiot, because YOUR grammar pretty much proves it. I would also venture a guess that logging of battery serial numbers is the exception, rather than the rule.

    If you would actually use that pea brain of yours to read, you might notice that the battery serial numbers are the only missing information.

  26. homerjay says:

    He feels like a big strong ma-an, Mr. Hat!

  27. Plaid Rabbit says:

    Man, give him a break. Is this a Consumerist story? No. Is it something to bitch about with your fellow IT pros? Sure is.

    Pauls only problem is that he sent in a story with mild consumer ties about how Apple could improve something already out on the shelves. I for one would give him a break, simply because while I subcontiously know there probably is a serial number on the batteries, I also assumed (which I know is bad, but a human error) that you could pull it from the System Profiler, like other serial numbers.

    Lets not bust his fucking head open just because he made a bad asumption and bitched about it. I bet there’s a lot more of him than you holier-than-thou guys.

  28. mistress smarty says:

    You go, Paul. I’m on your side. Your explanation echoed what I was thinking: you are essentialy a volume-buying Corporate Customer of Apple’s and they should treat you accordingly.

    And guys, quit already with the haterage. It ain’t professional.

  29. haha, flame war is funny

    see, Consumerist, this is what happens when you give the comment accounts to any old rabble who ask for them

    But it drives up your ad impressions, so it’s all good

  30. auntieauntiem says:

    I have a windows xp lap top. It runs so hot it shuts itself down by it self and I took the battery out and it still runs so hot it could burn your legs