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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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applecare_box.jpg


Thomas Brand was a Genius at an Apple Retail Store. Now he does other things, including writing Egg Freckles, a collection of opinions and analysis about technology.

Today, Thomas has some advice and secrets for customers considering purchasing AppleCare for their Apple devices:
Portable computers can still be sent out for flat rate mail-in repair. The cost of a flat rate repair outside of the standard warranty it almost equal to the cost of AppleCare. If you own a portable computer that is outside of its original one year warranty you only need to have it repaired once before the cost of AppleCare pays for itself.

Desktop Macs are never eligible for flat rate repairs. Each part must be purchased individually, and the cost of a single Xeon Mac Pro processor or 27 inch iMac display is several times the cost of AppleCare.

I always buy AppleCare for desktop Macs. iMac AppleCare is cheap considering it covers a difficult repair and cost of the integrated display. Mac Pro AppleCare is an investment on an expensive machine that will last at least three years.

I would never buy AppleCare on a iPod, iPhone, iPad, or AppleTV. These devices are more likely to be dropped or stolen than require repair for a manufacturing defect.

AppleCare covers a AirPort Express Base Station, AirPort Extreme Base Station, or Time Capsule purchased no more than two years before your Mac purchase or during the term of your AppleCare Protection Plan coverage.
Here are some additional tricks to know about AppleCare:

AppleCare (and the standard 1-year warranty) is good worldwide. You can go to any Apple Authorized Service Provider worldwide and get service -- or ship it, if you aren't near an AASP. Apple will cover the cost of parts and labor, but you are liable for any duties, VAT or other taxes.

It is fully transferable. If you sell your machine, AppleCare follows it to the new owner. It's a great selling point for a used device.

You can return AppleCare at any time for a pro-rated refund, just call the 800-number.

I once had my entire MacBook Pro replaced with a brand new model, two and a half years into my AppleCare warranty, because my machine was such a problem child.

AppleCare may not be right for everyone, but for the less tech-savvy, having 800-APL-CARE to call can be a relief and if something does go wrong, the cost of parts can easily be much higher than the cost of AppleCare.

Article Link: Advice From A Genius: Should You Buy AppleCare?
 

rootyb

macrumors member
Feb 6, 2009
51
3
I'd disagree with the iPhone comment, actually. I've owned an iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, and have replaced each of them at least twice due to various issues (buttons sticking/breaking, a vibrator motor dying, battery life issues, camera issues, etc).

Because of this, when my and my wife's iPhone 4's were about to hit the 1-year mark, I decided to add a year of AppleCare.
 
Comment

sjinsjca

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2008
2,224
545
There's good advice in this article.

AppleCare is a must for porta-Macs.
 
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sclawis300

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2010
1,384
166
So basically buy it I guess.

One other item to note. I never purchased warranties on other computers because the people were such a pain to deal with. "Is it plugged in? Lets try to restart? You have already done all that, well we need to do it again." Much better with Apple, at least it used to be, I have not called in for 3.5 years because nothing has gone wrong (knock on wood) for that long.
 
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cms2

macrumors 6502
Aug 4, 2007
460
1
Texas
Good to know. I purchased AppleCare for my MBP and it has paid for itself, according to this article, probably three times.
 
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ModestForumName

macrumors regular
Apr 11, 2010
167
2
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A5274d Safari/7534.48.3)

Same. In the course of 3 days I had to replace my iPhone 4 3 times!! One with a faulty camera, one's sleep button didn't work etc. so I figured I've already paid for AppleCare with 3 brand new iPhones so I got AppleCare and I decided to wait until the warranty runs out and replace it next year with iPhone 6.
 
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roznstyle

macrumors newbie
Feb 23, 2011
13
0
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Warranties are pure profit for companies. I completely agree with the comment around NOT buying AppleCare for iPhones and iPods. Think about it for the iPhone. You get subsidized upgrade pricing every 18 months. The initial warranty lasts for the first 12. Therefore you're adding 90 dollars of cost by purchasing AppleCare to cover 6 Extra months? Not to smart.
 
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bankshot

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2003
1,290
107
Southern California
I always buy AppleCare for desktop Macs.

My policy has always been basically the opposite. I've bought AppleCare for notebooks but never for desktops. My reasoning is that laptops get much more wear and tear through the course of normal use, so hardware is more likely to fail over the course of 3 years. For a desktop, if hardware hasn't failed early on, it's not terribly likely to fail between years 1 and 3. If a desktop ever needed major repairs in year 1, I'd consider adding AppleCare before the standard warranty ran out.

So far that policy has paid off in every case, with 5 different Macs. The two notebooks (iBook G3 and CoreDuo MacBook) had numerous problems requiring repair throughout the 3 years. Both died completely around year 4.5, so a 5-year warranty would have been even better. Of the desktops, I have a 1996 Power Mac 7600 that still gets booted into OS 8.6 once or twice a year, a 2002 QuickSilver Power Mac G4 that runs Leopard just fine, and a 2007/08 era Mac mini (refurb in 08) that's going strong with Lion now. In the last case, it's kind of annoying because I'd really kind of like a better machine to run Lion, but can't really justify it! :rolleyes:
 
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JuanGuapo

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2009
720
517
Los Angeles, CA
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8L1)

I, too, was a Mac Genius for a time (many years ago). He is factually correct on all items. I still buy AppleCare for all Macs and iPhones (not always for iPods or AppleTV).

Apple is pretty liberal about AppleCare coverage and refunds. Some PC companies will sell them to you but you are 100% not allowed a refund (HP, notably). While Apple doesn't cover accidental damage, I think they are still the best at handling repairs in days rather than weeks. As for the genius bar, that's totally dependent on the store.
 
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fo0bar

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2009
59
0
I bought a G4 Mini from CompUSA back in the day. It was a 1.25GHz original model, but it was quite a while after Apple released the updated models. So it was probably in some back shelf somewhere, CompUSA found it, dusted it off, and put it on clearance (IIRC it was about $300). I bought it, and saved the receipt.

About 11.5 months later, it stopped booting. I took it in to the Apple store, with receipt to get it repaired. But the tech said Apple showed it was out of warranty, despite me showing the receipt. I learned that there are 3 ways warranty eligibility is calculated:

* If sold by Apple directly, the exact date of purchase is recorded. If Applecare is added, it's entered as well.
* If sold by a third party reseller (authorized or not), and Applecare is bought and the customer registers it, Apple trusts what the user enters for the purchase date as valid. This will only work for current generation models.
* If sold by a third party and the user does not buy/register Applecare, they assume the machine will be sold within 3 months of manufacture, and uses that date as the "purchase" date.

I got bit by the last one, as apparently I bought it about 5 months after it was manufactured. And the tech couldn't update the purchase date in-store, again, despite me having the receipt with me. It took a week of frantic calling, emailing and faxing (yes, fax) before I could get Apple to update it. Hopefully the procedure has changed since then.

I did get it fixed under warranty, and despite being raw about the situation, I felt it was best to buy Applecare to extend it for another year. I never needed to use it though, and the little G4 is still running 5 years later.

Anyway, that was my little semi-related story. I don't have Applecare for anything now, but if I had a Macbook, I'd probably get it. I have Squaretrade for my iPhone/iPad (as well as my Xbox 360 and ThinkPad), since they offer accidental for roughly the same price as Applecare, and Apple, Lenovo and Xbox products are three of what they're known for being good at servicing. Otherwise I probably wouldn't pick a third-party warranty.
 
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andreiru

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2008
355
94
Kurgan, RF
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_4 like Mac OS X; ru-ru) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8K2 Safari/6533.18.5)

I hot 3 repairs and then a new Mac
Book Pro - updated version, thanks to AppleCare. You get to be treated like a VIP almost and no questions asked. I have just come back from an Apple store with a problem and although my AppleCare had expired I was graciously offered a free repair valued at £400. It was simiar with previous repairs. So in my case I would have been worse off probably several times over if I didn't have AppleCare. I am chuffed with their level of after sales support.
 
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b35773

macrumors newbie
Jul 29, 2011
4
0
I agree with the former genius' assertions on every level except for one: the overall VALUE of Applecare. While it indeed is a fantastic program that provides numerous benefits (I myself have had a 2008 white Macbook replaced with a 2010 MacBook pro due to malfunctions), the question that needs to be asked is whether there is any other warranty program that meets or even exceeds the price to coverage ration of AppleCare. To this end, the answer is simple: Squaretrade. This third-party warranty giant provides the same level of coverage that Apple provides against manufacturer's defects while also warranting against accidental damage. Apple may do a good job of protecting your MacBook, iMac, iPod touch, and iPhone against their own mistakes (which are few and far between), but they offer the consumer nothing in the way of protection against the bumps, bruises, and splashes of real life. If there is anything that could be construed as a consumer-facing mistake in Apple's business model, I believe that this indeed qualifies as one of their biggest.

For a pittance more than you would pay for AppleCare, you can get the peace of mind you want from Squaretrade. Their "online only"
interface may leave Apple owners longing for the face-to-face store interaction, but I believe that the practical will not notice the absence of blue-t-shirts and glass and maple surroundings for long. As someone who has experienced the ills and frills of both companies, I highly recommend them for the very reasons that this former genius has pointed out above.
 
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aaaaaaron

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2010
144
0
hey, who gave me -1? let's be real here, this isn't so much news as it is just asking a guy what he thinks about warranties. i can do the same thing..

get apple care if you own an apple, if you want.

see?
 
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Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
AppleCare is pointless for European customers since our consumer rights cover manufacturing flaws for reasonable amount of time (minimum of two years for computers here in Finland). Find out your rights before buying AppleCare, you might be abe to get the same coverage without it.
 
Comment

JPyre

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2005
365
12
Pistolvania
I'd disagree with the iPhone comment, actually. I've owned an iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, and have replaced each of them at least twice due to various issues (buttons sticking/breaking, a vibrator motor dying, battery life issues, camera issues, etc).

Because of this, when my and my wife's iPhone 4's were about to hit the 1-year mark, I decided to add a year of AppleCare.

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A5274d Safari/7534.48.3)

Same. In the course of 3 days I had to replace my iPhone 4 3 times!! One with a faulty camera, one's sleep button didn't work etc. so I figured I've already paid for AppleCare with 3 brand new iPhones so I got AppleCare and I decided to wait until the warranty runs out and replace it next year with iPhone 6.

All of those repairs were covered by the factory warranty, I've seen Genuises replace crack lcds, water damage, user error all the time no questions asked. So I agree with the article, I'd never get apple care on an iPhone or an iPad. That being said I've replaced cracked glass several times myself - never cost more than $50, I've also replaced the home button myself for like $1, its my friends that get lucky with genius bar.
 
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Elven

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2008
862
1
UK
Both my iMac ( i7 mid 2011 ) and MBP ( Mid 2010 ) are covered under Apple Care.
 
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boshii

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2008
3,674
726
Atlanta, GA
I'd disagree with the iPhone comment, actually. I've owned an iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, and have replaced each of them at least twice due to various issues (buttons sticking/breaking, a vibrator motor dying, battery life issues, camera issues, etc).

Because of this, when my and my wife's iPhone 4's were about to hit the 1-year mark, I decided to add a year of AppleCare.

The thing with iPhones is that a genius will swap it out for a new one out-of-warranty much faster than they would for a Mac. Also, the likelihood of something going wrong with an iPhone is much less than with a Mac, due to less parts. Plus, some upgrade their iPhone yearly so an additional warranty would be a waste.

I've never bought AppleCare for any of my iPods, iPhones, or iPad (I did buy a SquareTrade warranty). Both of my macs do have AppleCare.
 
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Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,610
New England, USA
Not mentioned much in the article, but mentioned by some posters- for me, Applecare Phone Tech Support has paid for the contract so many times over I can't even count it.

Of course, it needs to be said that as of one year ago I had never owned a computer!:eek:

For the tech-savvy, phone tech support may not be much of a selling point. But for the technologically unsophisticated, extending free tech support from 90 days to three years is essential. If I remember correctly, after 90 days (without Applecare), each tech support call costs $50.00!! It doesn't take many calls to pay for the contract. And if you need as much help as I did (and do), the cost would be prohibitive.:eek: without Applecare.

And,of course, this does not even take repairs into account.

Given my technoboobicity (technoboobness?) -Applecare is a necessity. :p
 
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abakker

macrumors newbie
Jul 29, 2011
3
1
iPhone Apple care

remember guys, the iPhone applecare covers the earbuds. forever. and the dock cords 2. Since the original iPhone, I've replaced 2 fraying dock cords, and 19 pairs of earbuds. they cost $29 each. thats $551 total. def worth the apple care.

On my macs, I've never had it NOT pay for itself.
 
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IzzyJG99

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2007
336
6
I've always bought Applecare either with my Mac or shortly before the one year warranty is going to expire. My friends and family poo-poo the extra cost, but I don't. Every time I've ever had anything happen to any of my Macs it's always been an expensive repair.

Most recently the sound output port on my iMac Mid-2009 had gone bad. Since it was on the logic board I would have to buy a new one. Called up Apple and they gave me an estimate. Be about $800 and change plus jacked up sales tax thanks to the store being in another county. For that kind of bread I could buy a newer and better refurb model. This time around I didn't have Applecare, having never gotten around yet to buying it before the 1 year warranty was up. I freaked. Quickly looked up my iMac's serial and it was....still in warranty for 2 more days! I ran it down to the Apple Store and it was fixed under warranty and I made sure....to get Applecare.
 
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King Flamez1

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2011
117
0
Toronto, Canada
i've got 4 years of best buy's warranty on my MBP mid 2010 do you guys think i should've got Apple Care's? I only chose best buy's because they said they would replace my battery after the 1000 full charges as I would still need it for school for at least 4 years and 5 hours a day at minimum on one charge. According to them, Apple doesn't cover that and it was about 150$ more than Apple Care's which is a bit less than how much it costs to get a new battery
 
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Jerome Morrow

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2011
590
0
United Kingdom
AppleCare is pointless for European customers since our consumer rights cover manufacturing flaws for reasonable amount of time (minimum of two years for computers here in Finland). Find out your rights before buying AppleCare, you might be abe to get the same coverage without it.

That is not valid when your HDD fails two weeks after your 1 year warranty expired or when your wifi fails or any other normal hardware failure.
 
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King Flamez1

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2011
117
0
Toronto, Canada
remember guys, the iPhone applecare covers the earbuds. forever. and the dock cords 2. Since the original iPhone, I've replaced 2 fraying dock cords, and 19 pairs of earbuds. they cost $29 each. thats $551 total. def worth the apple care.

On my macs, I've never had it NOT pay for itself.

19 pairs of earbuds lol. nice.
if everyone actually used their apple care to the fullest, i'd have a difficult time figuring out how Apple makes any profit
 
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Corrode

macrumors 6502a
Dec 26, 2008
992
2,121
Calgary, AB
Not to smart.

The irony of that comment makes me laugh.

I'm down to a few weeks before my 1 year is up. Thinking about applecare but don't know if I should pay the $79 CDN to get it. Last night my phone screen wouldn't turn on and the only solution was to sync it with iTunes. Maybe the sign of something going wrong?
 
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