Applecare: Why bother?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by deryk, May 25, 2005.

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  1. deryk macrumors regular

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    Denver
    #1
    I will be purchasing the 15" 1.67 Ghz powerbook, as well as the 20 flat panel display for home. I am waiting for June 6th for the off chance that their may be a change in the line-up, but I cannot wait longer than that.

    I have never purchased apple care before, but I have not placed this much money into a computer or monitor before either. I also have never experienced a single problem with any Mac that I have owned for the past 20 years.

    I'd really enjoy to see a listing of pros and cons to purchasing apple care from the people on this sight. I can afford to purchase apple care, but I am not certain if I actually need it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #2
    Since it's possible to get a (hopefully) false impression about the quality of Apple's products from reading posts in a forum, I would like to see a poll of this form (the difficulty is with those who own or have owned more than one Mac - what if you've had five Macs and only one gave you any trouble? Can anyone formulate the questions better?):

    If you have or have had AppleCare, how often have you had to use it for repairs:
    a never
    b once
    c more than once

    If you don't have AppleCare, what's the average you've spent on repairs:
    a nothing
    b less than $200 (or equivalent currency)
    c $200-$500
    d $500-$1000
    e more than $1000

    This would give a better impression of whether Applecare is worth it.

    Perhaps it should be limited to PowerBooks though ...
     
  3. deryk thread starter macrumors regular

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    Denver
    #3

    This is my delimna--I've owned eight macs in my life and never had to do a repair on any of them and one of them was the wallstreet powerbook. I bought it refurbished from apple. I can see the value in buying apple care, if I've had problems.

    Has anyone here had to use your applecare and if so, why?
     
  4. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #4
    I got AppleCare with my first Mac, a rev. A iMac G4. Like I said, it was the first Mac that I would have to take care of and update and fix if anything went wrong with it. I'm now on my second Mac (Power Mac), and I didn't get AppleCare with this one. I think it's a great idea for beginners, to be able to call up and ask about pretty much anything and learn how to really take care of and use their computer. But as someone who's been using them for a few years now, I can pretty much take care of the computer now without any assistance.

    Regarding the poll, I haven't spent any money on repairs on my new Mac, and haven't had any problems with the iMac after AppleCare expired. I used to call Apple on a regular basis when I first got the iMac though, but I never had any problems that required fixing. It was always just general maintenance (learning how to repair permissions, delete preference files, etc.).

    AppleCare is akin to buying the Performance Plan from Best Buy or wherever. They make a ton of profits off of the sale of these.
     
  5. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    Oxford/London
    #5
    How much is it? Like $350
    Think of it as $120 a year for 3 years free repair and return policy That's $10 a month!. Sound like it's worth it to me. Wish I had got it to all my Macs. Having it gives you loads of piece of mind. If your Mac lasts 3 years, you're doing well, and with this It will last AT LEAST 3 years.
    Of course it is! You try to get insurance for a laptop for free repair and replacement (no minimum contribution) for less than $10 a month!
     
  6. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #6
    I purchased a Mac about 10 years ago that need more than one repair at a reseller. Was glad that I had AppleCare. On my current Power Mac G4 purchased in September 2000 which had AppleCare, no hardware problems. Still happy with AppleCare because of software problems, it allowed me a free call for technical support for the full three years.

    My wife purchased a PowerBook in October 2003 with AppleCare. She has had repair three times for hardware problems. Also several more because of problems with the power cord.
     
  7. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #7
    In 2 years time when your HD fails you'll be eating those words. The cost of that repair alone will be more than the applecare.
    I've been using Macs for 5 years now and would recommend it fully. I think you'll find most people who have been using Macs for a long time have not got applecare once and regretted it. Worth it by a long way.

    I'm sorry, but I had to add this, your advice is probably the worst I've read. Applecare is not for phoning people and asking questions about how to do things - you can get a book for that. It is there for when your hardware fails. Apple send you a box, you send it back with your Mac in, and a few days later they send you it back repaired fully (well legally fully) with an additional 30 days guarantee. All completely free of charge. You try replacing the screen or logic board in a PB 2 years after the purchase without applecare - It will cost you well over the applecare price!

    After the period of applecare is over, it's been 3 whole years, and you feel you have got a good life from the Mac (though many will go a lot further). By that tame you may be looking into upgrading anyway. Applecare acts as definite peace of mind between computer purchases.
     
  8. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #8
    I'll find you and let you know that you were right when that happens.
     
  9. Bozola macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    So close to Redmond, I can smell it!
    #9
    I have had 4 Imacs for 5 years. Not a single h/w problem.

    I am about to buy a new iMac and currently do not think I will purchase applecare. (Even though I was offered 50 $ off if I bought it).


    Seems to me if something goes wrong, it would be within the first month or so..at least that is what my experience is with work PC's

    YMMV!
     
  10. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    #10
    your buying piece of mind. I bought it and if I never use it I still can sleep well at night for the next 2.5 yrs knowing I am covered. If my screen goes on my iMac I wouldnt have the $800 to fix it right away, but with Applecare I dont need to worry about it.


    Spend the $$ if you have it and sleep well grasshopper......
     
  11. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #11
    Listen, I'm really glad that you feel so strongly about AppleCare. And, since both of my computers are desktops, I've never had to consider AppleCare for a portable, which I do believe would be a better investment. I'm sorry you feel my advice is "the worst [you've] read." That's what the forums are for, though, to share our experiences and agree or disagree. Truly, though, Apple, Best Buy, and everyone else who sells these plans make a ton of profit off of each one they sell. The reason for that is not just because it's cheaper for them to fix it than it would be for me to fix it, but that the computer should (and I would venture to say most often does) run the length of the contract.

    Nor did I "advise" the original poster on what to do in his situation. I merely relayed my experiences, and what I believe to be true. I don't know how that could be "bad advice."

    No hard feelings on my end, and I hope that we can just agree to disagree.
     
  12. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #12
    I had AppleCare for my first iMac. I was very disappointed with the customer support when it came to solving technical problems over the phone.

    The CD/RW drive went out about three years into having the machine. Probably not that expensive to have replaced if I wanted to do it myself. What irked me was that at the Apple Store they wanted to charge $50 for backing up the HD in case something happened while they were fixing the CD/RW drive.

    I told them no and cancelled Applecare when it was next up for renewal.

    For my new iMac I went to Fry's. I have a 5 year warranty that covers everything now. No questions asked, complete replacement if they can't fix it. With whatever the top of the line model at the time is.

    Just back things up regularly.
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
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    Chicago, Illinois
    #13
    I've had 3 Macs- not one problem I couldn't solve myself. I do consider myself somewhat tech-savvy though. Maybe that's why I've never worried about AppleCare.
     
  14. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

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    Gah! Plymouth
    #14
    i have applecare and it was well worth it. 2 logic boards failures on iBook and allowed to trade it in on the second time for my powerbook
     
  15. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #15
    it is insurance. the price calculated by statistics. they know how to charge you for applecare to still make money after everything is fixed. you choice is weather or not to risk it. for me at least, any problem with the computer i can fix. however, lcd and crts generally can't be service unless you send in it in.
     
  16. Bibulous macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2005
    #16
    I bought my first and only mac, a Ti powerbook, in early 2002 for $3600 plus applecare for $350 :eek:

    It worked perfectly until 1 month before the the apple care was to expire. The display started to shake and jump, turns out the logic board was bad.

    Took it to the apple store, was fixed and returned within 3 days, at no cost to me for about a $750-$1000 repair. Overall very happy with the service.

    I plan to keep using this powerbook for another year, hopefully it will last longer then that!
     
  17. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #17
    Textbook.
    To tobefirst No offense meant.
     
  18. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

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    May 20, 2004
    #18
    Many people are quoting $350 or so for Applecare. Is that what Applecare normally costs? When I bought my G5/ACD system, MacZone threw in AppleCare for $180.
     
  19. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #19
    It varies between models. Obviously it's a lot more for portables rather than desktop. You still got a pretty good deal though.
     
  20. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #20
    James, I'm glad to know we are cool. I read a lot of your posts and respect your opinion, even if it differs from mine. (;
     
  21. panda macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    #21
    to buy or not to buy

    i never considered applecare until i ran into the problems with my ibooks (the ones we all know of). since then, i consider applecare very carefully.

    no doubt it is a lot of money. in denmark, one of the retailers has a policy where for 10% of the purchase price, you can add a full coverage. no online support, but if anything goes wrong, or if YOU break the machine yourself accidentally, or if it gets stolen, it is covered. that is sweet (sweeter than applecare i feel).


    +++++however, your particular situation has one interesting twist which has not been identified in this thread yet. and this could be the big justification to go for it:+++++

    you are buying the powerbook PLUS the cinema display. this is crucial, as my understanding is that when you buy the 2 items together as one purchase, you need only to buy 1 applecare. this 1 apple care covers both the powerbook and the cinema display. or so i believe. (please check this with apple)

    if indeed this is correct, then i would say that the ca $300 is worth it, as it will cover both units and you are after all, making an expensive purchase. peace of mind should anything go wrong with either of them. yum.

    i also think that if ever you were to resell the unit, it would be a BIG plus to sell it with applecare. this is a platinum guarantee for the potential buyer, one that you could never offer any other way.

    this does not address the 2 other issues: what happens if you accidently cause damage, or if it is stolen... home owners insurance perhaps?

    hope this helps and good luck with your new wonder-machines. sounds super.

    :)
     
  22. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alabama
    #22
    As a homeowner and considered somewhat wise, I would never buy an extended warranty on, say, a washer or dryer.
    As the tech director of a school district who in the last 12 months bought almost 1 million bucks worth of Macs including 400 laptops, I wouldn't consider for a second NOT buying Applecare. I did a little number crunching and found that the cost without warranty INCLUDING the time needed to fix it (laptops are beyond hard to work on) compared to having an extended warranty was a wash. I'd rather keep the time on my side. BUT, as an individual, it's a tougher question. So think of what could happen. LCD fails after 1.00001 years, that's about 500 on a 12 PB, 800 on the 15". Logic board? 400.00. What's the warranty cost? $183.00 for me for two extra years of coverage?

    Do it.
     
  23. asqy macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2005
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    Australia
    #23
    This thread is scaring me out of buying a mac?

    ...are failures really that common?

    I PC box has lasted 4 years and never missed a beat...a noisy GPU fan was replaced by me and so was a noisy heatsink fan.

    I could not afford apple care when it almost costs more than the ibook or powerbook
     
  24. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    Jan 11, 2005
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    Little grey, chilly island.
    #24
    No, failures aren't common at all.

    However, Apple Care in my opinion, while it gives you a great sense of piece of mind is a waste of money.

    If the Hard Drive goes, you replace it. Ive done it in my powerbook and it cost me like £50. How can you justify the Apple Care price?

    Secondly, if anything truly serious happenes, you can have contents insurance to cover it. If Apple Care was about fixing hundreds of errors that people have daily, Apple wouldn't be selling it. They don't sell anything they don't make a profit from.
     
  25. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #25
    And the logic board, screen, GPU, CPU or perhaps any other component? Sure the HD is easy to replace, but all the other bits aren't. Replacement of repair of any of those things would run over the Applecare price.
    There are so many things that can go wrong, and the odd bump on your PB could ruin any of these, that IMO makes Applecare worth it.
     
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