Applecare is the worst deal ever.

obelix

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 20, 2004
99
0
Alright so let me get this straight. I spend $3500 CAD on a new PowerBook... and it comes with a flattering 90 days of phone support and a year of hardware support. It's just pathetic. 90 days? You don't even get to know your Mac in that time frame, let alone find any problems with it ;)

So say I have a problem and the problem has to do with Software Update not detecting updates... do they seriously expect me to pay $300 just so they can tell me that there's not a thing they can do and I should re-install Panther? What kind of company only provides 90 days of telephone support on their professional line of products. It's just pathetic.... simply pathetic.

I'm a pretty techy guy and I've been thinking honestly about whether or not I'd use Applecare in 3 years... I don't really need the telephone support (outside of bug issues) but what about hardware support. Has anyone had a PowerBook fail on them? The fact that they only support their products for a year has be wondering about the supposed quality of the Mac. My sister has a lovely 4 year old PowerBook and it's been a great workhorse for her.. and I must say I love my PowerBook... but this Applecare issue just keeps popping into my head. I read the other day that someone had the logic board on their iBook fail on them and they were out of Applecare... ouch.

What are your recommendations?
 

stoid

macrumors 601
Being a college student and taking my PowerBook to and from campus regularly on bike, I've got AppleCare. Naturally if I drop it, they won't cover that, but the streets in the small town aren't the best, and the 'Book is getting shaken pretty bad sometimes, and if that would cause internal damage, it would be covered.

And I will be getting my money's worth from it. They've already given me a new battery. And recently I've noticed the AirPort being a little flaky and noticed that where the antennae wire connects to the card it's loose in that L-shaped piece. I'll be sending it in this summer, because even a PowerBook with flaky wireless is better than no PowerBook at all and I need it for school. BTW, it's a 1.25 Ghz 15 inch. I've had it for just over 18 months.
 

rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
5,438
2
iowa
If you buy Applecare, you probably won't get your money's worth, but if you don't, the thing will probably die because of a logic board failure or something... that's what I've noticed anyways. Let's just say, after working with Macs for 10 years, and being extremely proficient and handy at repairing my own problems, I still bought Applecare for my new iMac. Some things you just can't fix, and that's what insurance is for.
 

tangerineyum

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2005
423
0
Ontario, CA
Apple Care is a must. My ibook has seen some troubled times, logic board failed (before the recall) a year later the HD failed, luckily i back up to my ipod once a month. Some tech over at apple used the wrong size screw to secure my HD so I had a crack in the case growing over the HD. And now my combo drive is failing, refuses to play the 2nd half of DVD movies. All in all i figure the cost to fix all of these separately on my own is much more than my pitiful paycheck could handle. Hooray for applecare.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
I've never called Apple for support. Everytime I hear about an incident, it ends uselessly.

However, buy AppleCare for hardware problems. For someone with a laptop computer or an LCD display, it's worth it right there. Those with a PowerMac can probably eschew coverage because they're always pretty reliable.
 

Logik

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2004
616
0
I agree. Their warranty blows big time. It's really pathetic. I called to get help with the Awake From Sleep bug where it wouldn't ask for your password and just stay black, but the refused to even talk to me unless i paid for it. If it was a software issue they would charge me, if it was hardware they'd pay for it. I had a way of making it happen EVERY TIME i returned from sleep but yet they wouldn't even talk to me. You can thank apple for not getting it fixed faster due to their crappy warranty. This was around the 10.3.4-10.3.5 time frame.. last summer.

I'll say it again, I love my powerbook, i love my ipods, but i absolutely hate the warranty. It's virtually useless unless you pay for the extended applecare coverage. As a student i could barely afford the powerbook, let alone $200-300 for applecare THAT SHOULD BE FREE. especially for $1800. Tells me they don't stand by their products very well.

Either way, apple called and asked if i wanted to get applecare (i bought my machine a year ago tomorrow), it was delievered on May 1st, i told them to go screw off, i'll fix it myself rather than waste my time talking to them.
 

vsp

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2004
127
2
Chico, Ca
tangerineyum said:
Apple Care is a must. My ibook has seen some troubled times, logic board failed (before the recall) a year later the HD failed, luckily i back up to my ipod once a month. Some tech over at apple used the wrong size screw to secure my HD so I had a crack in the case growing over the HD. And now my combo drive is failing, refuses to play the 2nd half of DVD movies. All in all i figure the cost to fix all of these separately on my own is much more than my pitiful paycheck could handle. Hooray for applecare.
And this actually illustrates an important part of the first post. Because there are questions about Apple's hardware quality (deserved or not) it's a situation where people feel forced to buy the extended coverage because they can't trust the hardware and the basic coverage isn't good enough. Sort of like Apple's inability, until recently, to ever supply enough RAM in the basic configuration.

I'd be upset about the level of hardware failures you've had. And that would lead me to believe that the basic coverage needs to account for that. Especially since it appears to be a recurring issue with their portable line.

For the record, though, I bought the full Apple Care when I purchased my Powerbook and never thought twice about it. The Powerbook is my main computer and I wasn't going to take any risks with it. I've also been very lucky. No hardware problems to speak of and no need to ship the computer back for service. Just a few quick phone calls to tech support. Most of my problems I actually get answered here.

So while I understand and agree, in theory, with the initial post, my actual experience has been that my hardware is fine and I'm glad I have the coverage (I'll be even happier if I never have to use it). In my initial purchase I figured three years coverage is enough because I can't really expect a laptop to last longer or be powerful enough after that amount of time. Now, I'm not so sure. I haven't really seen a major reason why this machine can't keep going after that time is up. I'd even consider a second coverage agreement, if such a thing exists.
 

jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,369
15
AR
Well, yes and no.

Intially, AppleCare is expensive. However, you can always cancel AppleCare within so many days of it ending and get a large portion of your money back, unless you've had problems within that extra 2 years. If so, they will deduct the cost of labor/parts from your AppleCare balance.

That is something many people do not know.
 

zelmo

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2004
5,490
1
Mac since 7.5
I've had my PowerBook, Mac #5 for me, since June of last year. I've never purchased Applecare for my other Macs, but this is my first laptop, and that is a definite factor for consideration. Last month my combo drive suddenly decided it would no longer let iTunes import from a CD-R (it would get 3/4 through a CD-R and just grind to a halt, but other media types worked just fine), so I backed up my hdd and went to my Apple Store. Sure enough, they sent my PB out for a replacement combo drive.
This experience is making me wonder if I should purchase Applecare before my year is up. Can't quite decide. I kind of feel like if I get it I won't need it, and if I don't I'm screwed.
Of course, I could just roll the diice and set aside the Applecare money for that PB G5 that's coming in 2008.
 

aricher

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2004
2,211
0
Chi-il
I purchased AppleCare for my PB 17" 1.33 and it has paid for itself. i've never needed to call Apple for naything but I did have my SuperDrive fail twice - replaced each time within 3 days. I also had my logic board go out 3.5 weeks after the initial warranty ended - that would have cost me a small fortune. Sure 90 days is a short time but to me AC has been worth every penny.
 

xli_ne

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2005
788
0
Center of the Nation
joshuawaire said:
Well, yes and no.

Intially, AppleCare is expensive. However, you can always cancel AppleCare within so many days of it ending and get a large portion of your money back, unless you've had problems within that extra 2 years. If so, they will deduct the cost of labor/parts from your AppleCare balance.

That is something many people do not know.

Have you had any experience with doing this. :confused: I really had no idea about this and would like to know more about it :)
 

D0ct0rteeth

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2002
1,238
7
Franklin, TN
I cant imagine not getting Applecare. Yes, there should be a longer base warranty on their products.. but I definitely get my money's woth from applecare.

My latest CPU a 1GZ TiBook is now on its 2rd harddrive, 3rd Screen/Hinges, 4th powercord, and 3rd superdrive.

300 bucks was worth it all the way.
 

jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,369
15
AR
xli_ne said:
Have you had any experience with doing this. :confused: I really had no idea about this and would like to know more about it :)
Check your AppleCare agreement for the terms. I have never cancelled AppleCare personally.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Apple Care is a huge money maker for Apple and is a huge commission for employees who are able to sell it. Which means, the majority of owners who purchase Apple Care, never ever need to use it, which tells you Apple products do last longer than 1 year and most never need professional servicing.

So if you are one of the unlucky few who actually do receive a defective product, you are in the really small minority. Most products that don't fail in the first year, will never fail for the next 5 if taken care of. Computer products are extremely reliable. I have an old Pentium computer I built myself from 1997 that still chugs alone just fine. I have assurance Apple's computers can last much longer than that.
 

DaveP

macrumors 6502
Mar 18, 2005
415
228
I have always thought extended warrenties were for suckers. If the company didn't make money off of them they wouldn't offer them.

With that being said, the number of people who have had problems and used AppleCare does concern me......
 

tangerineyum

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2005
423
0
Ontario, CA
vsp said:
I'd be upset about the level of hardware failures you've had. And that would lead me to believe that the basic coverage needs to account for that. Especially since it appears to be a recurring issue with their portable line.
Initially, I used to get upset of such porblems, but I've learned that things like this happen. Full time student with a full time job, for the most part my ibook is my life saver. I mentioned in a post months back that My family owns a few gas stations. 8 hours a day 4-6 days a week plus 3 days a week of classes. The ibook went every where with me. At work it was a way for me to kill time, doin some photoshopping or imovie or hw. I watched movies (thanks netflix) or just chatted. Then when i was done with the graveyard shift it was off to school. Where i presented with keynote (now keynote2) and did other various tasks for school. The only time it wasnt in use was when i was asleep or when it was traveling. COnsidering the extreme amount of use it has endured. Im surprised it still turns on. Travel is hard these machines, im glad it still works. And when apple care is up next month, its either a PB or imac. If i ge tthe imac then i wont be getting apple care. PB, then its all the way applecare.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,003
101
Phoenix, AZ
CORRECTION...

Lacero said:
Apple Care is a huge money maker for Apple and is a huge commission for employees who are able to sell it. Which means, the majority of owners who purchase Apple Care, never ever need to use it, which tells you Apple products do last longer than 1 year and most never need professional servicing.
Apple Retail Employees do NOT earn commission.
 

iGary

Guest
May 26, 2004
19,583
0
Randy's House
Never ever had a problem.

Exchanged two dead iPods no problem at the store, replaced an iBook that had an HDD failure right out of stock..had a pair of ear buds go bad last week - replacements arrived next day.

Guess I'm lucky....or persistent. :)

Why don't you try backing up and reinstalling the OS?

I haven't purchased Apple Care on anything, but I will when my iBook gets near its year.
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
bousozoku said:
I've never called Apple for support. Everytime I hear about an incident, it ends uselessly.

However, buy AppleCare for hardware problems. For someone with a laptop computer or an LCD display, it's worth it right there. Those with a PowerMac can probably eschew coverage because they're always pretty reliable.
Actually, if you think about it, a 2.5 GHz PowerMac with the high end video board, a couple of minor options and a 30" screen can run over $6,500 - much more if you buy Apple memory with it.

For a high end PowerMac, the $250 AppleCare costs is rather inexpensive. For the base PowerMac with everything else (including the screen) purchased elsewhere, the AppleCare is a much larger part of the cost of the PowerMac and may not be worth it.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
skubish said:
Apple warranty is pretty bad considering Dell includes 2yr phone support and athome repairs for free on desktops that only cost $500. :(
Dell Dimension 3000 $499 less 20% off $398 plus shipping $99 =$497

"No Extended Service, Support or Ltd Warranty4"
"2Yr Ltd Warranty4, 2Yr At-Home Service5, and 2Yr Technical Support [add $49.00 ]"

You have to pay $593 with shipping or more to get a 2 year warranty and on-site repairs standard.
 

andrewfee

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2004
467
2
For me, AppleCare is a must buy. However, I don't plan on purchasing it until closer to my years hardware warranty has run out.

Software issues (which I've yet to encounter) are something I can deal with myself, but if anything goes wrong with my Powerbook, I'd say it's likely to cost more than AppleCare would. While Apple's hardware is said to be reliable, I would rather pay for the extra two years of coverage; who knows what could happen in two years time?

It's not like it's a desktop PC where you can just buy the parts cheaply from a wide variety of sources; when Apple hardware goes wrong it's costly to fix.

I can't seem to get to ebuyer right now, but Apple were £350 to replace the hard drive in my iMac G5 (they got the faulty drive back within 3 days, yet they charged me by mistake after the two weeks you get to return the defective parts) A midplane was about £650 if I remember correctly.

The hard drive in the iMac probably only costs about £150 at most to buy new, but of course Apple charge extra to fix your Mac. If I had been out of my warranty I certainly wouldn't have been able to afford a replacement midplane, and that alone would have made it worth it.
 

Lancetx

macrumors 68000
Aug 11, 2003
1,977
585
Texas
skubish said:
Apple warranty is pretty bad considering Dell includes 2yr phone support and athome repairs for free on desktops that only cost $500. :(
Dell actually has no standard warranty coverage at all. They charge $19 for a one year warranty, $49 for 2 years, $119 for 3 years and $189 for 4 years on low-end Dimension systems, so they're hardly free.