Here's the thing, though. First I called the guy I know at my local Apple service centre, Maple Technologies. When he was done laughing at the button story, he said they could easily get it out, but I would have to pay, for "removal of buttons" is not a phrase that occurs in my warranty. Of course, I said, that's what I expect.
Still, I then called the 800 number for Apple's warranty service, because I wanted to be sure that getting this done would not violate any terms in my warranty. Woman who answered listened to me, tapped a few keys, went away for half a minute, returned and said: "Take it to Maple, and you won't have to pay anything because this will be covered under your warranty."
And so it was. Last night I got the laptop back, the button placed carefully inside a little ziplock bag and taped to the front. No charge.
A small thing, I know, and this is not to say I have not had other problems with Apple: but it is these small things that keeps me an Apple customer.
In something of a contrast: two weeks ago, I used a travel agent called ExtendedStay, who seem to specialize in Madhya Pradesh travel, to make a reservation for three nights at the Madhai Wildlife Resort on the edge of the Satpura Tiger Reserve.
ExtendedStay charged me Rs 10470. It was a nearly last minute thing, it was Diwali season, we were in a rush, so I trusted them and paid. Naive I know, but I've used plenty of other online agents (cleartrip, for one) without any problems, so I didn't think much about it.
It was a fine stay in a gorgeous spot. (More about that soon).
Then we spoke to the owner of the Resort, who told us that ExtendedStay had paid him his charge for those three nights, Rs 5100. i.e. had I approached the Resort directly, this is what I would have paid. (I have this in writing from him, as part of my final bill). I didn't approach the Resort directly because it was ExtendedStay who first suggested the Resort to me, and I thought it only fair then to go through them.
But this meant that ExtendedStay had charged me a commission of Rs 5370, i.e. over 100 percent. No travel agent I know of, no online site, would do this.
On raising this with Vishwas Tiwari, the person I dealt with at ExtendedStay, he replied, and I quote: "What you are trying to do is whining over pizza price after consuming it, haggling to return the ticket after completing the journey and trying to buy insurance after hitting a pedestrian."
So here's my advice, if you plan to travel in MP: visit Madhai and the Madhai Wildlife Resort for sure. But stay far away from ExtendedStay.
(And if you have any buttons, please don't send them to me.)
Postscript: I have just received a message from the above-mentioned Vishwas Tiwari of ExtendedStay. Here it is, verbatim:
I have better things in my life that fits in my daily routine than reading any tom dick and herry's blog. There are several million blogs in the world where out-of-work people discuss:
- How they self treated there old hemmorid
- How they mastered in blowing saliva bubbles
- What new paper they read to ease constipation
- and every other non sense topics in between
Mr Dilip, to me, you seems to be no exception.
In this democratic world I can not stop anyone's opinion and expression.
Your belligerent, coercion, threatening and blackmailing will be responded at appropriate time and forum.
Thanks and happy blogging
Postscript Nov 10: Much the same material is now a review of ExtendedStay on Mouthshut.com, here.