A new report recently emerged that, in fully 13 separate cases, MacBook Pro third-party replacement batteries recently caught fire. One of these cases resulted in serious injury, and to that end, Best Buy (News - Alert) has launched a recall effort targeting 5,100 of these batteries in a bid to get dangerous batteries off the streets...and hopefully, off people's laps.
The batteries in question can be easily identified via model numbers, and have been sold in both black and white versions. Faulty black batteries can be identified by the model number “MC-MBOOK13B,” while faulty white batteries will bear the model number “MC-MBOOK13W.” The batteries in question were sold in a shockingly wide time frame, as anyone from September 2008 until June 2012 is potentially at risk.
Best Buy, meanwhile, issued a statement not long after discovering the reports from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, asserting that “the right thing to do is to contact our customers and ask them to return the product for replacement or for a Best Buy gift card. While we are only one of many companies that may have sold these batteries, we feel they are a potential fire and burn hazard and want to keep our customers safe.”
Basically, this is a fairly good deal for most of the parties involved. Customers get to have a potential fire hazard removed from home and office alike without loss. Best Buy is offering up a valuable service here and making good on third-party battery issues, plus getting a healthy dollop of customer satisfaction. Customers can sit down, laps unscalded, and remember that it was Best Buy who helped keep that lap burn-free. That's the kind of thing that may, down the line, result in a customer thinking about that unburnt lap and remembering that Best Buy also has a certain desired item and go there instead of a competing store to purchase it.
About the only loser in the case are third-party battery makers, who will likely find sales efforts tainted with the broader brush of remembering the time third-party MacBook Pro batteries caught on fire. That's likely to taint efforts for some time, unless some outreach is done on the part of the third-party makers who can show a top-notch value all around, offering not only good prices but also safety.
Still, it's good news on several fronts here, and some clear opportunity for Best Buy to get back some lost market share in the process. The rise of online retailers has left brick-and-mortar operations—Best Buy included—struggling on some fronts, and measures like this should provide a bit of a boost to sales operations. That's the kind of thing Best Buy could use in no uncertain terms.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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