AppleCare is a Beautiful Thing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dirtyharry50, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Dirtyharry50, Mar 11, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014

    Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    I know some people hate walls of text so I will give you the short version up front:

    I had a great experience with AppleCare on-site service in my home fixing an iMac which needed a new LCD panel, glass panel, SuperDrive and 6970m GPU replaced. Everything was done within a week with zero hassle and zero expense to me right in my home. That was a lot to have go wrong but Apple took good care of me and I will always buy AppleCare after this experience.

    If you are wondering what my experience with this was like, here's the long version with the details:

    I own a mid-2011 27" iMac with the 3.1 i5, 12 Gigs RAM and 6970m GPU. When I first bought this computer which was my first Mac since a Performa 600 (which I love by the way) and knowing it is not really user serviceable I decided it was probably wise to invest in AppleCare given the expense of this machine. Boy am I glad I did that too. I'll explain why now with a nice story of excellent customer service and support.

    I ordered my iMac from where i saved a hundred bucks off the Apple online store price. There is no Apple retail store near me out in the sticks here. As I mentioned, I also bought AppleCare, an Apple router, Apple TV and some other toys at that time. When the computer arrived and I first fired it up, I noticed what looked like fingerprints inside the screen to the left hand side. I also noticed some light discoloration around the borders of the display. I dreaded the idea of being without my toy already and so I put off doing anything about this where it was not very noticeable when any sort of dark or colored display was showing which is most of the time.

    I probably should have read my AppleCare warranty that I paid for at that time. If I had been paying attention I would have realized that it includes on-site service. For what AppleCare costs it never dawned on me that you'd get that in residential homes.

    So, I continued to procrastinate for a long time as in nearly two years knowing I had better get this taken care of soon. I admit that was crazy given that I paid good money for a perfect display and I did not have one. Over time the display got considerably worse to the point it was bothering me it looked so bad. All around the edges was discolored now and noticeable and the glass panel had become discolored too as if affected by heat perhaps. It looked like hell basically and thus I became motivated to do something about this.

    Meantime, the Superdrive failed about a month ago and would not mount any discs and I still have some use for it for legacy DVDs and CDs for the time being. So now that needed fixing too.

    It gets better. What pushed me over the edge completely was the GPU started overheating and shutting itself off while I played games (something I love to do) and so it was time to call Apple.

    I have to give credit to the good folks around here although I forget who specifically pointed this out to me not long ago, for informing me that I was entitled to on-site service but you need to be proactive and ask for it. They are more than happy to steer you towards bringing a computer in for repairs for obvious reasons.

    Now for the good part. Last Monday I call AppleCare's number and describe my problems to the first line support person. He takes all this information down and asks me what testing I did to verify these problems and as appropriate I review that with him. I tell him I want on-site repairs right up front and he gives me no argument about that which was nice. He then escalates my call to an Apple Support Advisor who is very nice, reviews the issues again and sets up a service call for me. He tells me they will FedEx the GPU and Drive out and the tech will call to set a time when he has them. A tentative day of Friday is set. I get confirming emails with contact info for my Advisor as well as the tech within a day. It was either the next day or the day after the tech called to set a time for Friday. As for the display, the deal was Apple wanted the tech to see it and then call them to decide what to do about it. I was fine with that although worried they might want me to bring in the machine for the display repair eventually.

    So Friday rolls around and Mr. Apple shows up with his suction cups and other tools in hand. He was a very nice guy and a real pro who did a good job for me. The new Superdrive works just fine and I stress tested the new GPU with six hours of gaming and no problems, running games that made it overheat within 15 minutes previously. He concluded both the LCD and glass panel covering it were toast and should be replaced. He called Apple and explained why to them in a brief conversation and right then they committed to sending both parts out to him via FedEx that day. Later that night the tech calls me and lets me know the parts did ship and he expects them Monday morning so we should be good for Monday afternoon. Monday morning we talk on the phone and confirm a time in the early afternoon and he comes and does a great job again replacing my screen for me. It looks just beautiful now. I was foolish not to attend to this a long time ago.

    On a bright note, hopefully that's all the issues my iMac will have all taken care of at once.

    While the screen was covered under warranty and I could have got it fixed right away if I hadn't bought AppleCare and known I could procrastinate, the other problems did not occur until this computer was in service for almost two years. That said, in my opinion AppleCare is well worth it. A new 6970m GPU and SuperDrive installed in my home would have cost me a lot more than AppleCare did.
  2. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    Yay! Well if you would of played your cards correctly after the 3rd failure they will replace with a brand new latest model iMac. I went from a 2011 27-inch iMac with 1tb hdd, 3.4 i7, 1gb video card and 4gb ram. After it failed 3 times they replaced and even let me pay for upgrades. Got a 2013 27-inch iMac with 1tb fusion hdd, 4gb video card, 16gb ram, and a 3.5 i7. Cost me $350 for fusion and video card. They also reimbursed me my remaining AppleCare $68 and I can put it towards new iMac. So @$50 for another 3 years of AppleCare.

    So yes read your warrenty and know what it states they will attempt to lead you in other directions if you let them.
  3. Dirtyharry50 thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    Well, the game ain't over yet. ;)

    I still have over a year of AppleCare on this bad boy and I intend to give it a good work out with frequent gaming at high settings. If it is going to fail again, I want to make it happen now. I've got quite a list of titles lined up to play in bootcamp that should give the GPU a good test.

    Up until recently, I hadn't played anything demanding really. I was playing a lot of very old classic games that wouldn't ever tax the GPU.

    So we'll see. If it holds up that's fine too.

    By the way, what component or components failed three times on your iMac?
  4. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    Glad to hear about your good experience.

    I've purchased AppleCare for every Mac I've ever owned, save the very first. That was a 2006 iMac whose logic board failed some 6 weeks out of the 1 year warranty and set me back about $550 to repair it out of pocket. [​IMG] I then turned around and sold that machine, bought a new Mac and the first thing I did was to get AppleCare.

    I've had LCD panels replaced multiple times for various reasons. I've had HDDs replaced twice. Even if you never actually need to use it it's more than worth the $5 a month or so it works out to for the extra 2 years of coverage in peace of mind alone. Also, should you decide to sell a Mac during the coverage, it tends to increase the resale value.

    It's interesting to see that they do on-site repairs in the states. Here in Japan if you're not near an Apple Store (nearest one to me is 2 hours away in Osaka), they send a courier to pick it up, do the repairs the next day and overnight it back, all free of charge.
  5. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2012
    The 3 things were logic board, ram, hdd then final straw was wifi card. Not including the iMac stand they replaced after scratching more like gouging it all over during one of the repair visits. Our apple store in Alaska doesn't exactly hire the sharpest tools.

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