Over a decade ago, there was a recall for the white MacBook, specifically for replacing the notebook’s bottom part. This part, made of rubber, had a tendency to peel off due to the heat generated by the computer.

In the United States, MacBook users had the option to either take their computer to an Apple Store for a replacement of the bottom part or request to have the replacement part delivered to their homes for self-installation.

Unfortunately, this was not the case in Brazil. At that time, Apple did not have physical stores in Brazil, only the online Apple Store, and technical support was exclusively available through authorized stores.

I visited a couple of authorized stores in my city, where I was informed that I would need to leave the computer with them for a month. This duration was required for them to request, receive, and replace the part.

I decided to contact the Apple Store directly, explaining that leaving the notebook at an authorized store for an entire month was not feasible. However, I was informed that this was the standard procedure for Apple’s relationship with authorized stores in Brazil—they were required to retain the device during the repair process.

The laptop wasn’t mine; it belonged to my wife, who was working on her Ph.D. thesis. Under no circumstances could we afford to leave her computer at a store for an extended period.

That’s when I sent an email to Tim Cook, explaining the situation. I mentioned that in the US, a recall was in place, and they were sending replacement parts for self-installation, whereas in Brazil, we were required to leave the essential computer my wife needed to complete her studies in an authorized store for an entire month. I signed the email with my name and phone number.

I was mentally prepared to be ignored.

A few hours later, I received a call from Apple, from a representative who worked for the Vice President of Retail for Latin America. It was a brief call; they didn’t inquire much and stated, “I’m calling to resolve your problem.” They didn’t say they would attempt to resolve it; they asserted they would indeed resolve it. I surmised that individuals at this level do not waste time; they take actions. All they asked of me was to pick the nearest authorized store to my home, where the replacement part would be delivered. They also assured me that once the part arrived, the store would call me to arrange for its replacement.

A week later, I received a call from the authorized store and proceeded to their location. The replacement part was installed right at the store’s counter. An employee at the store asked, “How did you manage to persuade Apple to send us the replacement part?” To which I replied, “I emailed Tim Cook.” They probably found it hard to believe, but it worked. Ultimately, that’s all that matters.