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The AirPods Pro has been an essential tool for me at work. As someone with a senior position at work, I need a way to seamlessly “switch” from music to meetings. The AirPods Pro has been an indispensable tool for that. That’s why, when I first experienced the infamous static sound issue, I was kind of heartbroken.
Well, according to this Apple Support Document, I’m eligible for a replacement. However, I was kind of skeptical since there’s no Apple Store here in Indonesia, only authorized resellers and service providers. But hey, I think it’s worth a shot, at least it’s cheaper than buying a new pair. So yeah, in this article, I’m going to share my experience of exchanging my pair of defective AirPods Pro. Hopefully, if you’re experiencing the same issue, you can use this article as a reference.
Identifying The Issue
I first heard the crackling noise a few months back. Initially, it was negligible, only heard when doing intense workout (like when running on a treadmill, or walking quickly). Unfortunately, over time, it became more and more disturbing. Even a slight move on your head would trigger the noise. Interestingly, it only happened when Noise Cancelling / Transparency mode is active. When it’s off, everything went back to normal.
As the noise got more and more disturbing, I was urged to research deeper into the replacement program I’ve been hearing since two years ago. As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, I was skeptical, not only because Apple doesn’t have retail presence in Indonesia, but also the negative stories circulating around Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASP) here. Additionally, I also had a bad experience with them in the past. But, that was just with one name (perhaps the most popular one in Indonesia). I decided to take a chance with another, called Mitracare.
I contacted Mitracare. They told me that they indeed accepted Apple’s replacement program. It’s just that I had to visit them, and they had to make sure that my unit is eligible for the exchange. Upon hearing such an uplifting news, I immediately scheduled a visit with them.
There, their representative told me the same thing. Their initial check concluded that my units were eligible (probably from their serial numbers), but they would need to check the units deeper for around 2-3 days. Replacement would take an additional 3-4 days, depending on the parts’ availability. So yeah, I would have to live without my AirPods for the next week. But hey, at least they promised that if any of my units were indeed affected, they would replace the affected one(s) for free.
Fast forward a week, I received a call from Mitracare that my units were done. I was very overjoyed when they told me that they decided to replace BOTH my AirPods for free. Yes, for free. After the call, I immediately paid Mitracare a visit to welcome back my (new) AirPods Pro.
At the service center, they stayed true to their words. The AirPods look new (a bit whiter than the case, since the program applies only for the AirPods, not the case), and sounded better, with no static noise whatsoever. I then asked whether I had to pay anything (they usually charged service fee, for checking, etc.), then they replied “No.”. I just had to sign a receipt then I could go home. While it wasn’t much of a surprise, it was still very pleasant.
The exchange experience made me trust Apple more. Sure, they had their shortcomings (selling seemingly overpriced products, making questionable decisions in software hardware updates), but at least they’re “courageous” enough to admit that they’re wrong and they took responsibility for it. That’s very rare for companies these days, and I haven’t heard similar actions from other companies, except when the issue was very controversial or life-threatening (remember Samsung’s exploding Note 7 batteries?). Some of you might say “Oh, that’s to be expected. We paid so much for their devices”, and I agree. However, may I remind you there are still so many expensive products out there with poor customer support?
Well, I guess that’s all for now, Folks. I hope this little sharing is useful for you, in case you experience the same issue as me. As usual, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to sound them off in the comments section below. Finally, thanks for reading, and see you in the next article! 😀