|Free replacement cords from the Apple Store.|
The downside is that the MacBook power cord is delicate. It has a mini-circuit board and LED that are susceptible to damage from constant stuffing into computer bags.
In our household we have three MacBooks and four power cords, two of them broken. I didn't want to spend $80 buying another one, and a fix would require tools and knowledge beyond the capabilities of your humble servant
But the Internet is a wonderful disseminator of knowledge. In a settlement of a class action lawsuit late last year Apple agreed to replace non-working power cords. I promptly made an appointment at the local Apple store.
The service rep asked for the serial number of my MacBook (just showing him the laptop was good enough) in order--I'm guessing--to make sure I wasn't a junk dealer trying to get free replacements for damaged parts. The process took about ten minutes, and I left with two new power cords.
This is the only material benefit I've ever received from a class action lawsuit, so, if only for a little while, I was grateful to the plaintiffs' bar. I was also, of course, happy with how the problem was resolved.
I promised to return when the next new, amazing, exciting shiny object is announced. One thing is certain: it'll cost more than $80.