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Old Feb 5, 2013, 03:00 PM   #1
firedept
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Why Applecare pays. When to demand new?

So here goes.

New iMac 27" i7 3.4GHz 12GB Ram in May 2011. Purchased Applecare.

3 months old and line of pixels in screen dies. Take it in and have screen replaced. Would have cost just over $800 if not for warranty. One week.

Upgrade to Lion 10.7.3 and it is corrupt. Back to store, and 2 weeks later finally they solve the problem. Told me it took them wiping the HDD several times before they could get the OS to install properly. Told me it was a software incompatibility issue. Not running any illegal software. Run exactly the same software's on my other iMac and have never to this date had any issues. So it cost me $150 out of my pocket and 2 weeks.

6 months ago iMac develops buzzing noise in back. Need to take it in anyways for the HDD recall. Tell them about buzzing and told they would check it out. 1 week later I get iMac back, plug it in and low and behold still have buzzing noise. So issue not solved. I am tolerant so can deal with noise but sure somewhere down the road something is going to go bad. Cost would have been $300.

Well last week screen goes black. Do a hard shut down and try to restart. No luck. Get apple and spinning wheel, then black or white screen. Take it to store again. This time they determine it is the power supply causing buzzing noise and screen issues. One week later get it back. Buzzing finally gone. Would have cost me $150 if not for Applecare. Seems okay when I leave the store but now I am leery. Well not more than 2 hours after turning it on, screen starts to flicker and goes black. Try hard reset to no avail. Call Apple directly and talk to senior tech for almost 2 hours. We try several things. Get screen back momentarily but never long enough to get anything done. PRAM, clearing cache, but no luck. Create new partition and try installing OS from disk, but black screen appears. Now the screen is doing all kinds of neat things. Flickering from black to white. Black and white lines. But neat light show non the less.

So tech tells me to take it back to store and she will follow up with me later this week. Well back to store it goes just now and genius tells me it is either the logic board or video card. Another expensive fix if not for Applecare.

Anyways, this goes to show why Applecare pays off. But since having this iMac, it has been back for repairs for over 5 weeks in total time. So when do I have a right to ask for a new iMac? I own many Apple products (2 iPad's, 3 iPhone's, G4 iBook, 3 iPod's and iMac 21") and have never had an issue with any of them. Now I understand that not all computers are perfect but WTF.

UPDATE: Received new iMac yesterday. Gave me several upgrades I did not expect. Now I did have top of line Mid 2011 27" they replaced. Below are the specs I received. Very pleased with results. Nice to see big corp backing their products.
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Last edited by firedept; Feb 9, 2013 at 04:33 AM. Reason: Update
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 03:19 PM   #2
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Terrible string of bad luck, but you've convinced me to spend $169 on my incoming iMac.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 03:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by firedept View Post
So here goes.

New iMac 27" i7 3.4GHz 12GB Ram in May 2011. Purchased Applecare.

3 months old and line of pixels in screen dies. Take it in and have screen replaced. Would have cost just over $800 if not for warranty. One week.

Upgrade to Lion 10.7.3 and it is corrupt. Back to store, and 2 weeks later finally they solve the problem. Told me it took them wiping the HDD several times before they could get the OS to install properly. Told me it was a software incompatibility issue. Not running any illegal software. Run exactly the same software's on my other iMac and have never to this date had any issues. So it cost me $150 out of my pocket and 2 weeks.

6 months ago iMac develops buzzing noise in back. Need to take it in anyways for the HDD recall. Tell them about buzzing and told they would check it out. 1 week later I get iMac back, plug it in and low and behold still have buzzing noise. So issue not solved. I am tolerant so can deal with noise but sure somewhere down the road something is going to go bad. Cost would have been $300.

Well last week screen goes black. Do a hard shut down and try to restart. No luck. Get apple and spinning wheel, then black or white screen. Take it to store again. This time they determine it is the power supply causing buzzing noise and screen issues. One week later get it back. Buzzing finally gone. Would have cost me $150 if not for Applecare. Seems okay when I leave the store but now I am leery. Well not more than 2 hours after turning it on, screen starts to flicker and goes black. Try hard reset to no avail. Call Apple directly and talk to senior tech for almost 2 hours. We try several things. Get screen back momentarily but never long enough to get anything done. PRAM, clearing cache, but no luck. Create new partition and try installing OS from disk, but black screen appears. Now the screen is doing all kinds of neat things. Flickering from black to white. Black and white lines. But neat light show non the less.

So tech tells me to take it back to store and she will follow up with me later this week. Well back to store it goes just now and genius tells me it is either the logic board or video card. Another expensive fix if not for Applecare.

Anyways, this goes to show why Applecare pays off. But since having this iMac, it has been back for repairs for over 5 weeks in total time. So when do I have a right to ask for a new iMac? I own many Apple products (2 iPad's, 3 iPhone's, G4 Macbook and iMac 21") and have never had an issue with any of them. Now I understand that not all computers are perfect but WTF.
I'd be asking for a new one. Do t know about demanding but a polite carefully worded email detailing problems and your concerns is would what I would do

And AppleCare is worth every penny. It's the only extended warranty I have ever bought. I got it free this time (HE) but have previously paid. It's a no brainer. Every part is so expensive. It's going to pay for itself the very first fault it has.

I also subscribe to the sods law that states if I buy insurance ill not need it. - I'd rather 'waste' 165 than have a broken iMac that I can't afford to fix
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 03:46 PM   #4
Mike in Kansas
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I would definitely be asking for a new one. You've been more than patient enough. I don't know if "lemon laws" apply to consumer electronics, but this fits the definition. Unfortunately, AppleCare probably says "repair or replace at Apple's discretion". However, they are usually VERY good when it comes to customer satisfaction.

I'd gather up all of my receipts/service records, ask to speak to a manager, and calmly explain why even though you have done EVERYthing they have asked of you, and have brought this machine back numerous times, you are not happy with the resolution. I'd then ask for a replacement machine.

If you get no luck at the store, email Customer Service (with pdfs of all your service receipts) and follow up with a call, again asking the same thing. If no resolution then, email Tim Cook. Seriously. I've seen it done numerous times on this forum, and sometimes that's what it takes. I do not think that you are being unreasonable. Even if Apple has been paying for all the labor and materials, you have still spent LOTS of your time trying to get this resolved.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 03:54 PM   #5
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Would the costs you mentioned not be covered under the one-year warranty without AppleCare?
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 03:54 PM   #6
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Dont products come with an automatic warranty/guarantee in Canada as they do here in the UK?
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 03:57 PM   #7
Mike in Kansas
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Originally Posted by AppleInMyBlood View Post
Would the costs you mentioned not be covered under the one-year warranty without AppleCare?
Except that his machine in now 1 year 9 months old. He's had at least 3 trips back after his 1 year included warranty expired.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 04:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by oililymad View Post
I'd be asking for a new one. Do t know about demanding but a polite carefully worded email detailing problems and your concerns is would what I would do

And AppleCare is worth every penny. It's the only extended warranty I have ever bought. I got it free this time (HE) but have previously paid. It's a no brainer. Every part is so expensive. It's going to pay for itself the very first fault it has.

I also subscribe to the sods law that states if I buy insurance ill not need it. - I'd rather 'waste' 165 than have a broken iMac that I can't afford to fix
Demand was just a figure of speech. I am not the demanding type. A lot of people would have probably lost their cool by now. But being older, I have learned patience. Thanks for response.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInMyBlood View Post
Would the costs you mentioned not be covered under the one-year warranty without AppleCare?
First issue was covered. But many since the 1 year.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tombs View Post
Dont products come with an automatic warranty/guarantee in Canada as they do here in the UK?
They come with 1 year. Applecare extends it to 3 years. Thank goodness for that. If it is the logic board this time, that would be costly.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 04:10 PM   #9
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Interesting and informative thread. There have been quite a number of threads over the past few years which have asked for advice as to whether or not the OP should purchase Applecare.

Personally, I'm a big believer in Applecare, and would recommend it without hesitation for anyone who wishes to buy a computer. I have had it on both of my Apple computers, a MBP (bought in 2008) and a MBA which I bought in 2010. Both had Applecare, and, as events transpired, I needed it on both of them.

The MBP had a HDD failure a little over two years after I bought it, which was replaced without a problem by Applecare. More recently, the MBA experienced a Magsafe adaptor break down, and also required a keyboard replacement. Again, Applecare meant that the problems were dealt with by Apple without costing me anything except time.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 04:12 PM   #10
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If I ever have that number of problems and bad repairs, I'll never buy another mac. It's just not acceptable.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 04:18 PM   #11
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OP, when to demand expect a new machine? It's anecdotal, but I've always heard/read they'll replace after the third instance of the same problem. Hasn't happened to me (yet) <knocks on wood>.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 05:41 PM   #12
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OP, when to demand expect a new machine? It's anecdotal, but I've always heard/read they'll replace after the third instance of the same problem. Hasn't happened to me (yet) <knocks on wood>.
Not the same issue but constant issues. If it is the logic board, well then, I have had all the expensive parts replaced. That scares me down the road. What will this cost me after AppleCare expires? Not sure why Apple would not have replaced it with all the cost they are putting into it. Have just email Tim Cook as someone suggested. Lets see if I get a response back. Was very polite in email, so fingers crossed. I realize it is a long shot.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 05:41 PM   #13
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For me, Applecare has been worth every penny.
I bought a base model late 2009 27" imac with Applecare. It worked perfect for about 2 1/2 years. Then, one day it died peacefully in it's sleep. It wouldn't wake up, wouldn't make any startup sound, wouldn't do anything. It was dead.

I'll also mention there were no power surges or outages that might have caused this. There were other sensitive equipment on the same circuits that had no problems.

After Applecare had me run through the usually reset this and that, they had me deliver it to the Genius bar at the Apple Store. The Genius suspected the power supply and said it would be covered. After about a week, they called and said that the imac was ready to pick up.

They said they replaced the power supply and that had no effect so they replaced the logic board. But, when they were putting the imac back together they broke the screen, so they had to replace the screen, too. Then, they said when they replaced the screen, they broke something on the aluminum casing, so the entire outside aluminum casing had to also be replaced.

The total on the Genius Bar Work Order: $1459. Applecare covered it. Though, that's almost what I paid for the imac new. Anyway, after that I figured it was really just a refurbished unit that they put my old hard drive in. It worked perfectly, was clean, so I didn't have any problem with it.

Then, I was notified that my hard drive was being recalled and I could get a new hard drive if I brought it in to Apple. So I did, one month before expiration of Applecare. Well, the next day, The Apple store called, and said there was a problem. The imac had been improperly wired and would require rewiring before they could replace the hard drive.

Then, they said that since it would take weeks to order the proper wiring, would I accept a brand new 2011 27" imac. Well, within one hour I had a new 27" imac, and I again purchased Applecare to go along with it.

So, as far as I'm concerned, something as difficult to work on like an imac makes the Applecare worth every penny.

Last edited by macthefork; Feb 5, 2013 at 06:48 PM.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 06:08 PM   #14
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Post As others had said.....

AppleCare is worth every penny. Repairs and parts of Apple hardware are expensive, so, in my mind, AppleCare works as insurance, if any goes badly or if I got stuck with a defective computer.....But having said the latter, 5 weeks in a laboral/productive enviroment is a big $$. And in a personal setting too....
I cant bear the feeling of things needed to be done and not having the means to do it.

Bad, bad string of incidents. And I almost saying you got a lemon.....


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Old Feb 5, 2013, 06:36 PM   #15
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Applecare is a MUST!!

I have so many success stories to tell in regards to Applecare. Truth be told, I haven't bought a new iMac since my 2007 24" and I've had the 2009 27" model and I currently have the top of the line 2011 27" model. Not to say that Apple makes bad products but I have had some hiccups along the way since 2007 that have led to Applecare replacing my iMacs with the latest model. From hard drive failures to screen replacements to Apple screwing up the repairs. Each iMac I've had has had 3-4 repairs and on the 4th or the 5th time Apple didn't even bother repairing it, customer relations just gave me a replacement brand new in the box.
I'm very happy too because my latest 2011 model 27" i7 is made in the USA.
I've had the same experience of getting a replacement when my 17" Powerbook got damaged in service at the Apple store. Applecare gave me the latest upgraded model.

Yes, each time I have actually asked for a replacement but I was very subtle about it. Buying Applecare speaks a lot louder than just the manufacturer's warranty. If spending under $200 for Applecare gets me the latest upgraded model after 2-3 years of ownership it's certainly is worth it.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 06:46 PM   #16
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The total on the Genius Bar Work Order: $1459. Applecare covered it. Though, that's almost what I paid for the imac new. Anyway, after that I figured it was really just a refurbished unit that they put my old hard drive in. It worked perfectly, was clean, so I didn't have any problem with it.
Typically those work orders can be misleading. Out of warranty they'll sometimes offer depot repair. Back around 2004 or so when my first generation powerbook G4 was messed up, they quoted $350. It was shutting down randomly. The charger had died before that. I would have also needed to replace the battery at that point anyway. I ended up retiring it instead in favor of a G5 as I needed more power. I haven't had this many headaches with the machines I've owned. If every one of them needed multiple repairs as in they failed to fix them correctly, I would not be happy with them. Some of you guys view things in the weirdest ways.

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From hard drive failures to screen replacements to Apple screwing up the repairs. Each iMac I've had has had 3-4 repairs and on the 4th or the 5th time Apple didn't even bother repairing it, customer relations just gave me a replacement brand new in the box.
With the possible exception of the hard drive failures, that just indicates a poorly engineered product. Hard drives are unreliable by their nature, but on that end Apple still could have avoided things like Seagate in a model that is inherently difficult to service.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 06:54 PM   #17
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...I'm very happy too because my latest 2011 model 27" i7 is made in the USA. ...
Where is it stated where that 2011 imac is made? On the box? on the bottom of the stand?
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 06:58 PM   #18
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With the possible exception of the hard drive failures, that just indicates a poorly engineered product. Hard drives are unreliable by their nature, but on that end Apple still could have avoided things like Seagate in a model that is inherently difficult to service.
Perhaps, but that's their problem and it worked out for me. One thing though, hard drives generally aren't repaired anyway so it doesn't matter which brand is more or less difficult to service.

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Where is it stated where that 2011 imac is made? On the box? on the bottom of the stand?
Both.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 07:05 PM   #19
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Perhaps, but that's their problem and it worked out for me. One thing though, hard drives generally aren't repaired anyway so it doesn't matter which brand is more or less difficult to service.
You misinterpreted me there. I meant that the machine isn't easily serviced by the user once the computer is out of warranty, so I wish they'd stay away from that brand given their problems in recent years. I didn't mean they'd repair the drive. Hard drives are problematic by their nature, but Seagate has been ridiculous since 2008 or so. OEMs use them because they're cheap.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 05:25 PM   #20
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I would like to update you on the matter. I received a call from the manager at the Apple Store where my iMac is in for repairs. Looks like after my email to Tim Cook, Apple is going to replace my iMac. I know they were at least called by head office as manager quoted some of the email I sent to Mr. Cook. I will be receiving a top of the line 27" iMac with a free external drive as that is what I had with my mid 2011. They want to make sure I have minimum what I originally paid for. They will upgrade the ram as well because I paid for that originally. I will be getting better as it will be new and I should get it Friday. I am glad that Apple is responsive in regards to their customer service. So in the end, AppleCare does pay and Tim Cook is a true CEO. Apple stands behind it's products. Thank you everyone for your response. Below is a copy of the letter I sent to Tim Cook.

Hello Tim,

I know this may be the wrong approach, but I have some concerns with an iMac that I purchased in May 2011. Three months after purchase, screen was replaced do to dead line of pixels. Next problem was upgrade of Lion 10.7.3. Corrupted and cost me $150.00 to solve the problem. iMac then started to get a buzzing noise. Had to take iMac in for HDD recall anyways. Received iMac back with buzzing noise still there. Tolerated the buzz until screen went black last week. Back to store again. Now fourth time. Genius tells me power supply needs to be replaced. Receive computer back and less than three hours later screen is black again. Now back to store fifth time. So far I have had this computer in shop for total of approximately five weeks since owning. This time they tell me logic board.

As you have read all of the problems I have had, I hope you can understand my concerns. I am very leery that I am always going to have issues with this iMac. Your people have been excellent with always trying to get things fixed. Just so you know.

I think my request at having this iMac replaced are not unreasonable considering all the issues. It is a business computer and is now costing me both money and business. I own several Apple products and have never had issues with them. I still like Apple products and will continue to use and purchase them.

I do not know if you will respond to this email, but I still had to send it. Is there a chance that I might be able to contact someone of authority at Apple who may be able to help me with this matter? I am not trying to step on toes. Just looking for a solution. My biggest concern is what this iMac will cost me after my AppleCare expires.

Thank you for your time and patience reading this.

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Old Feb 6, 2013, 05:33 PM   #21
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Nice. I never buy Applecare and I've never had a problem with any of my machines during their second year of ownership. But I too have a 2011 iMac and it is a pretty expensive machine. I'm right in the worst position of being well past my first year warranty and yet still at least a year away before an upgrade would be okay (i.e., I certainly don't want to upgrade now, but a year from now, if I had to, well I'd be getting a sweet new machine and my 2011 would be a little old, so I'd take some good with the bad and just say it was a bummer, drop the cash, and then have a great time with the new toy). Right now would be a terrible time for upgrade (especially since I still do occasionally use my optical disk drive, I used it last weekend for a workout video that came with some exercise equipment). Maybe I will look into it if my next Apple is another "all-in-one". Those, like laptops, are definitely the most expensive to fix.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 05:42 PM   #22
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My first macbook I had a variety of issues similar to you they would not give me a replacement after I asked. Any number of reasons could be giving as to why they wouldn't replace my computer.

My dad's computer had a persisting issue I believe it was some sort of software glitch. After going back to the store several times, they gave me a new computer.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 06:59 PM   #23
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I just thought it would be good to see a positive post about Apple & AppleCare for a change. I realize that people come to the boards to look for solutions to problems, but a lot of people also complain instead of looking for results. I also wanted to show with the right attitude and approach that you can get results.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 07:03 PM   #24
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If I ever have that number of problems and bad repairs, I'll never buy another mac. It's just not acceptable.
strange unless you were new to macs. Shouldn't make a generalization out of an obvious outlier.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 07:16 PM   #25
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keep in mind that many credit cards will add additional time to the warranty ... usually double it.

I think most problems that will occur will happen within the first 2 years.
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