Should I buy Apple Care only after a year?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macbook123, May 23, 2006.

  1. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    #1
    I had my MBP for nearly 90 days and am wondering whether I should invest in the Apple Care. My understanding is that even without it Apple will fix my computer within the first year if something malfunctions, and that the only thing I'd be missing during that year (if I don't purchase Apple Care now) is the complimentary telephone support. But what is the telephone support good for? Is this only a hotline for answering questions related to the product (mostly questions that can be answered by posting to this forum)? Or will I even have to pay some fee if the computer malfunctions and I call them to schedule a repair?

    One might argue that if I knew for sure that I'm going to have this computer for three years, I might as well invest into Apple Care right now. But what if I drop the laptop in a week and will have to pay for a new one with my own money? Will I then have wasted the $350 for Apple Care (as I might as well have waited 9 more months before purchasing it)?

    A reason why I'm a bit sceptical is that every time I call Apple they spend a minute trying to sell me Apple Care. Is this just because the people at Apple are good?

    Sorry if these questions can somehow be answered by browsing the legal part of the Apple site. I partly was lazy and partly thought the answers might be worth having on the Macrumors forum.
     
  2. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    St. Louis, MO
    #2
    Its definitely worth it because laptop repairs are expensive, and it doesnt matter if you buy now or wait, so do whatever makes you feel better. You can always take your computer to an Apple Store if something goes wrong and don't have phone support, it's free there.
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #3
    I'd wait until shortly before the year is out simply because otherwise you're giving Apple the money to use for a year for free. If you really need phone support, then consider buying it earlier.
     
  4. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #5
    One of my questions was about the relevance of the phone support. If the laptop malfunctions, will they run through any checks with me on the phone, or will I have to pay a fee before they deal with the problem.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #6
    After 90 and before 365 days they will charge you a fee.
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #7
    I believe - and I freely admit I might very well be wrong here - that, if the problem turns out to be due to a hardware issue, you will not be charged, AppleCare or not.
     
  7. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #8
    This is what confuses me: they say I have one year warranty, but how can I schedule a repair if I have to pay as soon as I speak to them? What if going to an Apple store is not an option for a customer?
     
  8. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #9
    So they will basically refuse doing any checks to arrive at a diagnosis unless I agree that I might eventually get charged? This would be ridiculous. Come on, if I have one year of warranty, they might as well trouble-shoot the issue on the phone before scheduling shipping and repair.

    Does anybody have actual experience with this?
     
  9. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #10
    O.k., after speaking to an Apple sales representative it seems to me there's no reason to buy Apple Care earlier than 1 day before the 1 year deadline. If you really have to speak to an Apple technician before that, you can buy it right then and avoid having to pay an extra $45 to speak to him.

    It seem to not make sense to invest the $350 (in case of the MBP) earlier, because if you accidentally destroy the thing or it gets stolen, you will have lost the additional investment into Apple care.

    It seems to me paying before the 1 year deadline is basically giving the money to Apple for nothing.

    One thing I noticed repeatedly when speaking to Apple support: they not only try to sell you Apple Care every time they get a hold of you, they also try to make it sound as if coverage for accidental damage to the machine is included in Apple Care. They say things like: "if you don't buy Apple Care, and after the first year your machine's hardware fails or there's accidental damage, you will have to pay yourself", which by itself is not a lie. However if you press them on whether accidental damage is covered by Apple Care, they say no, it is not covered either. This kind of dialogue happened to me every single time I called Apple since I got my machine (at least 5 times). I think it is an extremely dishonest strategy.

    So don't be fooled: there's no reason to buy Apple Care 3 months after you bought your product AND Apple Care does NOT cover accidental damage to the machine.
     
  10. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #11
    Er, I'd give it at least a week before the one year deadline. ;) I know that I and a few others have had trouble registering AppleCare via their site, plus, it takes a few days for them to mail you a hardcopy letter stating that you are covered.
     
  11. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #12
    Sure, I was exaggerating a bit. Sorry.
     
  12. iGary Guest

    iGary

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  13. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    May 1, 2005
    #14
    Haha, no need to apologize. :eek: Just wanted to throw out a cautionary bit seeing as how that would suck if Apple played hard ball and didn't acknowledge the AppleCare because of the registration being fouled up.
     
  14. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #15
    What is not an option?
     
  15. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #16
    Not getting AppleCare.
     
  16. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #17
    I think he means AppleCare. iGary's opinion is that AppleCare is a must for laptops.

    I bought AppleCare for my iMac since it already needed a new SuperDrive after owning it for two days and since it's an all-in-one machine and not really easily serviced, I figured it wouldn't hurt.
     
  17. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #18
    iGary: sorry for disagreeing, but I laid out an argument above for why there's no reason to buy Apple Care before the one year. If you think my argument is based on some wrong understanding, could you argue against it? Thanks.

    If you mean that there's literally no option, I can show you my invoice which clearly states that I bought the MBP without Applecare.
     
  18. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    Randy's House
    #19
    There is no reason to get it before on year - except for the fact that you lose phone support after 90 days, which is no biggy.

    I'm just making a statement that anyone who gets a laptop - from anyone - without an extended warranty deserves no sympathy when it craps out.
     
  19. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
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    with Hamburglar.
    #20
    The standard warranty is:

    365 days of repairs on manufacturers defects
    90 for ONE phone call -- after 90 days, or after the 1st call in 90 days, it's like $50/call.

    AppleCare sends you a box to ship the laptop if you aren't near an Apple Store. Remember that Apple authorized repair centers are sprouting up everywhere (AppleCare pays their bill.)

    The ONLY reasons that you would be AppleCare before day 364 are:

    1. If you need phone support after 90 days, or 2 calls within that timeframe.
    2. If you often forget to do things like...get AppleCare before 1 year.

    If you can remember to get it on or before day 364, there are benefits:

    1. Marginally lower cost in a year b/c of inflation
    2. You may have the money then (Macs are expensive!)
    3. Your computer may be stolen 6 months in -- AppleCare doesn't transfer
    4. It might be sold before a year to finance the "next big thing" from Apple.
     
  20. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #21
    Thanks for clarifying, iGary.

    Great sum up, carletonmusic!
     
  21. DSL Steve macrumors member

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    Nov 12, 2005
    #22
    Quote from http://www.apple.com/support/products/proplan.html

    "Every Mac comes with 90 days of telephone support and one year of service coverage at an Apple-authorized repair center. By purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan with your Mac, you can extend your coverage to three years from the computer’s purchase date."

    It doesn't matter when you buy it. Now, or after 364 days of ownership.
     
  22. divadmojo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    #23
    Extended Warranties are a Scam

    Most extended warranties are a scam and a sales ploy to tap into your wallet as much as possible at the time of purchase. Car warranties for example, usally only cover transmission and drivetrain, and require the owner to get all "required" check-ups (very expensive oil changes) and by the time you have paid for all the check-ups you could have bought 3 transmissions. Likewise, paying for Apple care for the first few years after purchase is probably a waste of money. I know having gotten my hands on Apple repair info from Apple for certified Apple Techs, that for most all hardware problems, the solution is "replace motherboard." Software problems are easy to fix on the MAC, and since X there are really very few. Before X, Conflict Catcher was a much cheaper alternative. I will say that you should exercise some caution when poking around in firewire or USB ports because there is 5v electricity and you can short out and fry a port. I have owned MACs since 1989 and I have only had one that ever died and it was my iMac Special DV ed, that ran continually for about 5 years in a room where the temperature in the summer time reached over 100 degrees regularly (it got hard sunlight all day, had only a small window for ventilation, plus I smoke like a fiend which leaves a nice tar insulation on the parts to make them even hotter.) The iMac got a small short somwhere along the board, which caused the iMac to have trouble starting up if the computer ever got cold, IE: shut down from power outage. When the iMac (specifically the short) reached a high enough temperature, it caused the metal to expand enough to make a connection and allow for the energy to circulate through the computer. If it couldn't start on its own I used a hair dryer to warm it up enough to make the connection and it would start. Eventually the short got greater and more heat was needed. By the time I wrapped a down comforter around the iMac to keep it so hot it burned to touch it, I had already off-loaded all my data, and knew it would soon die. The original iMacs were made to run hot, and I don't think any other computer could have lasted as long in those conditions. All my other Macs, including a Classic, a Color Classic, LC, Mac II, MacIIci, MacFx, (2), Performa 600, Quadras (660AV) (880AV), Powerbooks 100, 500 and 5300c with Duo-dock, PPC 900, iMacs G3 G4 G5 have never required any service.

    Quick tip to save a keyboard when you spill Coke or koolaid all over it. Unplug imediately to prevent a short. If the liquid has permeated the keyboard remember the old phrase, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. (Obviously while unplugged from your MAC) Dunk the keyboard under water, soak the hell out of it, until it is free of the spilled matter. Then let the keyboard thorougly dry out. It may take a day or a bit longer. Rubbing alcohol can be used too for stickier spills. The materials that make up your keyboard are not going to be hurt by water or alcohol. Of course a still wet keyboard can short out and fry as mentioned before.... so have the patience to let it dry before plugging it back in. A small spill can be cleaned by popping out keys and using q-tips (always unplug from MAC first.):)
     
  23. jaydub macrumors 6502a

    jaydub

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #24
    This answers my own question about applecare, thanks. :)
     

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