AppleCare...is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by stevietheb, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. stevietheb macrumors 6502a

    stevietheb

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Location:
    Houston
    #1
    I purchased my iBook almost a year ago (I believe Jan. 19 was the day I placed my order). Therefore, my opportunity for purchasing AppleCare for it is quickly running out.

    My main question is: is it worth me spending nearly $200 for an extended warranty on a $1000 computer? I am not the type to call and ask for assistance for Apple technicians, mainly because tech support people (no offense to any of you out there) typically get on my nerves. If I have a problem 99.9% of the time I can find solutions on fora such as this.

    So, how many out there think AppleCare is a great investment, and how many (if any) think it's a waste of time?

    [Incidentally, I do have AppleCare for the iMac, but with the edu discount it was only $99...so that was an easier decision...]

    Thanks!
     
  2. corywoolf macrumors 65816

    corywoolf

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    #2

    applecare suckss balls.... i have purchased it on about 5 comp's so far. the one time i have a problem they don't cover it. DONT get it, seriously. if anything goes terribly wrong like in my case. my bro got a brand new 12" pb a year ago. he has a party, some idiot spills MOUNTAIN DEW;) on the keyboard! bamo, $1000 repair fee, applecare used just to ship it to cali. and back. no repairs at all, all they did was stare at it, and say "water damge, not covered, check" if all else fails, claim it on your home insurance. i did it with my ipod when it got stolen at my school, it was covered, luckily i found out who stole it, they got suspended.... and i was tempted to keep the $500 check for myself, but no.... i tore it up, there goes my mini mac ;)
     
  3. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #3
    This kid I work with peed on his dell laptop when he was drunk and had to spend his whoel tax rebate on fixing it, which was liek $500, still half of $1000 but my point is that its tough to find a company that covers accidental damage to laptops. This being said I own a a powerbook with applecare and I"m sending it in today for repairs because I think soemthing must be wrong with the motherboard.
     
  4. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #4
    It's an extended warranty not an accidental damage warranty.

    This is one of the perenial macrumors questions that comes up around once a month. Use the search function to find out what everyone thinks.
     
  5. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #5
    Why the hell should anyone else pay if someone's stupid enough to piss on their computer? It's hardly normal wear and tear...nor is it accidental.
     
  6. Sir_Giggles macrumors 6502a

    Sir_Giggles

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #6
    I don't think AppleCare is really worth it. Apple makes solid products and seriously, AppleCare is like those extended warranties that shady electronics company push on you to buy.
     
  7. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #7
    It's a gamble like most forms of insurance. If you don't buy it, then halfway through year 2, the DVD drive may stop working and Apple will charge you an extortionate figure to fix it. Then again, if you do, nothing will go wrong and you may feel the cash would have been better spent elsewhere.

    I don't have AppleCare since I bought my PB from John Lewis in the UK. They give a 2 year warranty so the extra cost just to cover a third year seemed pointless.
     
  8. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #8
    my point was designed at the above poster who's brother spilled moutain dew on his keyboard and wanted apple to fix it for free.
     
  9. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #9
    It's really up to you. Some people will swear by it cause it saved them in many instances while others will not have used it. It is a good investment I think to prepare for the future. Just keep in mind anything accidental will not be covered, simple as that.

    jon
     
  10. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #10
    dell used to have two kinds of coverage...one like applecare for normal coverage, and a more expensive one for accidental coverage like damage from beverages

    they used to have this ad that said something like, umm, coffee in the morning is good, so get our extra warranty ;)

    i wish apple could have tiers of coverage, like some pc companies...2 year, 3 year, 4 year, and accidental...but when circuit city carried macs, they had the 2, 3, and 4 year option outside of applecare...at office depot where i worked, they had that also, but last time i checked i only think those two joints carry ipods and the way ipods sell worldwide, apple inc could do very well on just those little units

    gamers and music and video people i know buy a computer every year, or even more often (i say they are addicted if you ask me) so applecare is not worth it for them

    but if you are a modest, regular email and internet user on a budget like me, it's a great idea to have some sort of coverage and to use a computer for up to 3 years...one of my first IT jobs was being a warranty tech for apple, compaq, and dell...but in defense of apple, i NEVER once had to fix a mac and my boss who covered the 100+ mile warranty area only had a few minor warranty calls for macs...dells, well that's another story ;)

    and the two mac repair stores?? one downsized in a major way and the other one, while retaining its employees, had to resort to fixing PC boxes due to lack of problems with macs...so if somebody buys a mac and has nothing go wrong with it for years, that is no surprise to me...the people who owned g3 icebooks that i know never had logic board issues and in six years of fixing computers, i have never personally seen a dead logic board on a mac
     
  11. aricher macrumors 68020

    aricher

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    Chi-il
    #11
    I've used my AC 3 times now in the 1.5 years I have owned my PB - twice after the warr. would have run out.

    1st time: dark splotch on top of screen - fixed and back in 3 days
    2nd time: Broken SuperDrive (ok - I had just stressed it by burning 250 CDs in a row - but still) fixed and back in 3 days
    3rd time: Logic board replacement - battery wouldn't hold charge - machine wouldn't work when plugged in. This one would have been EXPENSIVE to fix since I was past 1 yr but with AppleCare... fixed and back in 3 days.

    It's your call - if Safeware will give you the cash to fix things quickly then go with that. Personally I like being able to take it into an AppleStore - have them ship it out to get fixed and back in my hands in a few days.
     
  12. winwintoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #12
    I recently had a problem with my PB - still in 1st year of warranty - called Apple. The dude talked me into buying AppleCare over the phone. Ended up billing my CC for over $600 CAD.

    Then he told me to zap the pram of my PB and when that didn't work, told me I'd have to send it in. I asked if I could just take it to the shop around the corner and he hung up on me.

    I called back to see if I could get a box to send it in and to find out more about what I was getting for my AppleCare money. I talked to 10 different people about AppleCare and NOBODY COULD REALLY TELL ME WHAT I WAS GETTING!

    What is boiled down to was the "right" to call the 1-800 number for "free" as opposed to paying $49 per incident - let's see, I've called them now 2 times that would be $100 and one of those times was because the dude hung up on me. I ended up getting someone to admit that all they could really do for me since I live in Canada was give me the name and location of the nearest Mac authroized repair shop - they gave me two, one's been out of business for over a year, and the other one is just around the corner. And guess what, I know how to use the Yellow Pages - comes "free" from the phone company.

    So IMHO, Apple Care is not worth it. Sure I'm getting my PB fixed for free 'cuz it's under warrantee, but if it was 2 years old, I don't think I'd bother. The prices are always coming down and for $650 CAD, I could almost buy one of those new Minis that were announced yesterday.

    Just my opinion, I could be wrong.

    Margaret
     
  13. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #13
    It's one type of gamble that I don't mind taking. Gives me peace of mind. The Power Mac that I'm using right now hasn't needed any physical repairs. Currently almost 3 1/2 years old. Power of the cost is for phone support which is also important to me. Which I have used frequently over the first three years.

    My wife's PowerBook also has AppleCare. It's just a little over one years old. It has been repaired three times already.
     
  14. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #14
    My friend had Safeware on his Powerbook for 2 years. He accidentally dropped it, and Safeware sent the computer to an authorized service provider. They decided to just replace the computer, and sent him a check. However, after his policy was up they terminated him and they will not let him take out any more policies with them.

    Thats the problem with insurance companies, they want you to buy their protection... and they tell you how much you can save by using their products, however when you do use their services.. they up your premium or terminate you. I think its a bit ridiculous.
     
  15. cwedl macrumors 65816

    cwedl

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    #15
    My 12" Powerbook went wrong, The cd drive would not accept any cds or eject them, It was fixed within a 1.5 weeks. I am happy I bought Applecare.
     
  16. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #16
    When you buy insurance, you're basically betting that you'll need service. If you do, it can pay off. If you don't, you "wasted" your money on peace of mind and avoidance of risk.

    Things to ask yourself: Can you afford AppleCare? If not, it's a moot point. If you can, would you rather have its protection on a system that costs X amount of money, have an unprotected system that cost X amount more in the first place, use X to buy software, peripherals, etc. and hope you don't need service, or keep X in cash in case you need it for service later? How painful/inconvenient/costly would it be for you to have to go in for service without AppleCare? Would it worry you to use a system without coverage, e.g., would you be less willing to take it with you when you go places?

    In my own case, I never consider AppleCare on desktop systems, even though I live in earthquake territory :eek: and rely on my Macs a lot. Part of the reason is that I know how to do some maintenance (software reinstallations and part swapping) myself. Part is that I'm playing the odds - I take care of my Macs and they don't give me trouble.

    But I consider AppleCare desirable for portable systems. They take more physical abuse, even if you are careful, and they are harder to do maintenance on yourself.
     
  17. cmvsm macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    #17
    Yeah, you're crazy if you don't buy AppleCare for the peace of mind. You are also crazy if you pay $200 bucks for it. You can go onto ebay and they have a ton of AppleCare packages for sale. I bought mine for $99 bucks off ebay and it registered flawlessly.

    $99 bucks for 2 additional years of coverage on a $3500 computer? It's a no brainer.
     
  18. SpeedRacr26 macrumors newbie

    SpeedRacr26

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #18
    I highly suggest Applecare. On a 17" 1Ghz PB 6 months after the warranty expired a line of dead pixels came across the bottom of the screen and wouldnt go away. Brought the PB into an Apple Store told them the problem and i had applecare. They sent the PowerBook to be repaired and 3 days later my PB was back with a brand new screen. They even checked the graphics card and all related parts to make sure the problem didn't go beyond the screen itself. I looked at the invoice they give you and AppleCare saved me $450 in repairs. So yea go for it.
     
  19. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #19
    Does AppleCare cover you in Florida? I've read a few places that it doesn't apply in Florida.
     
  20. SpeedRacr26 macrumors newbie

    SpeedRacr26

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #20
    I moved to florida 1 1/2 yrs ago and quickly found out when buying another PB that you can't physically buy AppleCare in an Apple Store or any retailer in Florida, since in Florida you can't sell extended warranties. However, the big loophole is that you can buy it online and it will be honored in the state.
     
  21. toaster_oven macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Location:
    not sure
    #21
    I agree- i wish i had extended applecare on my ibook because at about year 2 and a half, i started having all the issues ($600 to fix a computer that is worth $500? i don't think so)... I got really good use out of my computer, but because i carted it everywhere, it got "older" much quicker than a desktop.

    -TO
     
  22. stevietheb thread starter macrumors 6502a

    stevietheb

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Location:
    Houston
    #22
    Well, if I had the bucks for a powermac, we wouldn't be having this conversation...hehe.

    In reality, I'm a student and on an very limited budget. My hope is that the iBook and iMac listed in my sig will last through my PhD. I basically use the iBook for in class and in library stuff, and then work from the iMac while at home...so the hours logged get divided up fairly evenly.

    Well, that sounds to me like a perfect excuse to go buy another computer...my wife seems to fall for such excuses!
     
  23. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #23
    If your wife is anything like mine she'll expect to have that machine for herself once you can afford a badder assed one down the line... this would mean you should either...

    a: get the AppleCare (79.00 student price BTW) or

    b:get the AppleCare Certification Training Kit for $300.00 and then pick up the factory manual from P2P.

    I"ve done the latter and have ordered the former. Reason? FIRST GENERATION PRODUCT.
     
  24. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #24
    Thanks, that's good to know.
     
  25. SDLSteve macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
    #25
    I bought it for my third Ipod in the last three years. I got the educational discount for the ipod and purchased the ac for $40. My 1st generation 5gig died after the 1st year. The 2nd generation died three months after I purchased it, sent it back and received a new one which preceded to die a month after the original warranty was over even though I only had the replacement ten months. Fortunately, I used American Express's assurance policy that doubles the manufacturer's warranty coverage and I was credited the original purchase price $394 to my card.
     

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