I’ll forever love Apple Retail, and not just because I spent several years working with Apple and still have many friends there. That’s certainly part of the reason, but not the whole story. The reason is that no matter what Engadget tells you, Apple truly does love their customers. For those of you who follow my life on Twitter and chart every mood, event, and feeling, you might recall I’ve had a battle with my MacBook Pro’s graphic card causing the screen to flicker. Well, my beloved two year-old MacBook Pro was sent off to depot for its second logic board replacement in hopes of squelching this seizure-inducing irritant. And as far as I know, the replacement logic board may have actually solved the problem; but you see, I was never able to find out if that’s indeed true or not. Someone from the Apple Store called and let me know that my MacBook Pro had been dropped* upon arrival and wasn’t exactly in “working condition” anymore. Big drop. Before I tell you the solution Apple found, let me tell you about my cherished MacBook Pro. First of all, yes it was backed up—twice over. It was a 2.4GHz, 250GB @ 7200 rpm HDD with 4GB of RAM. Great machine. I probably would have used it for several more years. It suited my needs (and still would have) plenty well. The second phone call I received from Apple was to hear that they were very sorry for the damage done to my laptop, and were going to make up for it by giving me another, brand new 15” MacBook Pro i7. My guess is that if you’ve made it this far enough into the post, you know how gorgeous of a machine that is. Needless to say, I’m on cloud nine. I won’t go into how fast it is. That much can be assumed. What surprised me about it is the battery. I get about six or seven hours out of it during the day, and even if I run out for whatever reason, having it plugged in for 90 min brings the charge back up to 85%. The battery rocks. Now, it’s inevitable that some of you will say that I was given this special treatment because I’m buds with the folks at the Store. But here’s the deal: I’ve seen this happen time and time again. Here’s how the story goes: Customer comes in frustrated, Apple makes a mistake, but before customer has a chance to get even more frustrated, Apple goes above and beyond to make up for it. Their MO is, “What would I do if this customer were my family member?” Apple products are magical and revolutionary and made with unicorn tears, but they aren’t perfect. However, perfection is Apple’s standard, so when that standard isn’t achieved, they strive to make things right again. In my opinion, Apple Retail is Apple’s most brilliant invention. It’s why I’ll never go PC or Android or whatever. The fact that I can make a short drive or phone call to someone who has been empowered and equipped to make things right is a good thing. Oh, and it’s nice that I’m friends with the folks at the store because they also happen to be fun people. ————————————————————————————————- *My honest guess is that no Apple employee is responsible for what happened to my MacBook Pro. They are much too careful with customers’ computers. Also, if an Apple employee did drop it, he most likely wouldn’t have hesitated to tell his manager. I made my fair share of mistakes while working at Apple, and the management was always graceful in how they handled it. I knew they were in my corner. If I had to place a bet, I’d say that someone with the shipping company is responsible. Which, if you think about it, makes it even more remarkable that Apple would take the fall.