I think I’m totally converted into an Apple guy. My wonderful Macbook Air has been around the world with me this past year (though I didn’t bring it on my trip to Asia). However, after a summer in Greece, a month in scorching hot Spain, and through the dust of Kenya and Ghana, my Macbook Air has been “sputtering” for a couple weeks now with a bad fan. I took it into the Mac store while in Washington DC a week ago — the Apple rep said it would cost $39 to open the computer and look at the fan and see if it needs a new fan or if it simply needed to be cleaned. Alternatively, they could keep the computer for 3-5 days and replace the fan for $99 for labor + $67 for the cost of the fan. Since I rely on my computer to work everyday & there was no backup computer to use at my friend’s house in Adams Morgan, that wouldn’t work for me. So I took my computer back and “hacked it” by using a desk fan to keep my computer cool for my final 3 days in DC.

This week, I took the computer to the Apple store in Bellevue. The apple rep there took the computer in the back for a minute to get away from the noise, listened to the fan, and immediately came back and told me it needed a new fan unit. While my 1-year warranty was expired (a couple weeks ago) & I didn’t have Apple Care, he said they would do the work at no charge since the warranty had just expired. I picked it up today without paying a penny, and found my Air as good as new. Plus, they cleaned my unbelievably dirty screen!

THAT is how you win brand loyalty (the Bellevue rep, not the DC one); by going above and beyond what’s expected.