AppleCare - needed or not?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CyberBob859, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. CyberBob859 macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2007
    I recently bought from Apple a refurbished 17" iMac (white model) 2 Ghz Core 2 Duo processor, 1 GB of RAM (which I upgraded to 3 GB) and a 160 GB hard drive. It came with Tiger installed, but Apple included a Leopard upgrade disk. It installed without a hitch.

    I recently got an email from Apple trying to sell me on AppleCare to extend the 90 day warranty to three years.

    Is this something I need? They want $169 for it, but I can buy the same thing from Amazon for $149.

    What are your thoughts? Save my money, or get Applecare for my iMac?
  2. madfresh macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    I would consider buying it just to be safe in the future.
  3. Reflow macrumors 68000


    Mar 30, 2005
    Buy it from Amazon for $149. or eBay. It really comes in handy. Also you do know you have a year to buy the extended care.
  4. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I would definitely buy it. I had a PowerBook G4 and I had to get the whole screen replaced because the bottom half was flickering all the time. That would have cost me a lot of money, but it was completely free with AppleCare... I didn't even have to pay for shipping. AppleCare paid for itself plus a couple hundred dollars.
  5. SubaruNation555 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2007
    Arlington, VA USA
    It will more then likely pay for itself after one use so I say go for it if you can afford it.
  6. Aniej macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2006
    Apple makes a great product, but even great products have problems over time. I have owned Apple computers for the last 18 years and absolutely love these computers; I also know them inside and out pretty darn well. The point is, it is alway nice to have apple support there to help on an obscure issue or if there is in fact something wrong. The risk return is far too high to not get the 3 years of support.
  7. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    I'll be the resident nay-sayer. Apple, and every other company that sells extended warranties, makes a profit (often a LARGE profit) off these sales. They don't do it to lose money. Therefore, the consumer, in the long run, is losing money.

    It may benefit you once, but over the course of 2-3 or more computers, you're paying more (possibly way more) than you would have otherwise, taking into account not just dollar-for-dollar expenses, but also the time-value of money, etc.
  8. Reflow macrumors 68000


    Mar 30, 2005
    I kinda disagree with you on this. As I had two machines that were almost out of the three year warranties. Yes they went into repair 3 times but after they still didn't fix it right they upgraded me to the newest model. So if i didn't have it I would have be out of luck and stuck with a broken machine.
  9. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    actually, you got a one year warranty with your refurb, not a 90 day telephone support is only 90 days but the hardware warranty is a year

    you can buy applecare any time during your first year (just don't forget and wait past the deadline!) so you might want to hold off buying it for now
  10. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    *Sigh* Yes, there will be customers who come out ahead on one computer. And, there will also be customers who come out ahead over their entire lifetime. BUT, you are the exception, not the rule. Otherwise, Applecare wouldn't be offered.

    It would be just as prudent, if not more prudent, money-wise, to suggest the OP take his money to the casino and put it in a slot machine, or pick some random numbers on the roulette table.

    The house ends up winning in the long run in both scenarios.
  11. Mydel macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2006
    Sometimes here mostly there
    I second that. If your computer is running fine for a year there is not really a lot of think that can happen that will be cover by Applecare. Its just another way to make money out of consumers
  12. Rychy macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    I say definitely get it.

    I bought my first iMac about 2.5 years ago... figured since it was a desktop I wouldn't need AppleCare. Well I was wrong, I had to replace my power supply after about two years, and it just died again two weeks ago, so I'm guessing the problem is bigger than the power supply. Anyways I now think the price of AppleCare is well worth the peace of mind knowing you'll have a working computer for three years. Now I have to buy a new computer a little sooner than I was expecting, not that that's a horrible thing, I just wanted to wait until the next iMac update before taking the plunge.
  13. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    First of all. If you bought this mac with a credit card check with your company and see what they offer. My citicard that I bought my macbook pro with automatically doubles the warranty that came with my computer (so the 1 year service included turns into 2 years) and covers accidently damage (good for a laptop lol)

    Other than that, if that doesnt' apply to you, then get applecare.

    3 years of telephone support and fixing/replacing anything that goes wrong is worth 150 bucks. Sure, maybe you'll never need it, but honestly, 150 is a good piece of mind.

    And, when the 3 years is almost up, do a thorough run through of your computer and if there is anything even SLIGHTLY wrong, call apple and you can get it fixed.

    My dad's Tibook was almost up on his applecare when he gave it to me... and about 2 months before it ended i got the hinges replaced (well the whole screen actually cause that's how they do it) because they were getting really tight and I thought they may snap at some point... and I got a new battery. as well as the case replaced! (Tibooks had a bad paint flaking problem that supposedly wasn't covered, but I put alittle note in the box when i shipped it off and they replaced the whole casing for me!)

    That just made it that much more valuble for resale value when i upgraded!

    Little things like that make applecare worth it for me and for a desktop it's so cheap, why not.
  14. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Applecare, like all extended warranty programs is basically insurance. You are spreading the risk. Apple makes money on Applecare, so that means that the likelihood is you will lose money buying it.

    However, if you need a lot of tech support, or if you cannot financially handle a hardware failure out of warranty (i.e. you NEED this computer and if it failed you couldn't afford to replace it out of your savings or emergency funds) then Applecare might make sense for you.

    If you have a large cash savings and could replace the machine yourself (grudgingly, of course) then you are better off to keep your money and take the full burden of risk upon yourself.

    It is just like getting Comprehensive insurance on your car. You aren't likely to need it, but if you can't afford to replace the car if a tree falls on it, you better have it. If you can afford to self insure, and are willing to risk the principal if something does go wrong, then you might not need it.
  15. CyberBob859 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2007
    Thanks for the advice

    Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Since I have up to one year to get AppleCare, I think I'm going to hold off for a couple of months, pay off some Christmas gifts on the credit card, and then buy it later.

    I hate extended warranties because I always think that I'm getting ripped off or buying a lousy product in the first place, but I try to weigh the cost of replacement versus the cost of the warranty itself. And for computers, the cost of replacement is high - very high - when you consider the data that's stuffed in it over time.

    So, since I don't have to rush out and buy AppleCare now, I think I'll just get it in a couple of months from Amazon and know I'm covered for the expected time I'll keep this machine.
  16. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    I absolutely 100% advise the purchase of AppleCare. I bought a 24" aluminum iMac in August which I intend to use for about 3 years (at least) before "upgrading" or moving on to something else. I bought AppleCare from L.A. Computer for $119.00 and it was well worth the purchase for the security it gives me. That's about $40 a year or if you prefer about $3.30 a month.

    Something might go wrong and something might not. That's the name of the game in insurance. But you sure are glad you bought it when something DOES go wrong.

    The machine I had prior to this one was a 20" Core Duo iMac. Thinking like the naysayers in this thread I decided that I would roll the dice and not shell out for the coverage. 6 weeks out of warranty the machine started getting major graphics artifacting and then stopped working altogether. I sent it back to Apple and it ended up needing a logic board replacement which I pretty much HAD to pay for so I could turn around and at least sell the repaired machine to recoup some of my loss. It was $450 plus shipping.

    If I had purchased the AppleCare on it I would have paid exactly $0 nor shipping. I will not make that mistake again.

    Do you feel lucky? I guess that's what it comes down to. For me, the peace of mind is worth the price of admission. Is Apple making a profit off the service? Absolutely. They run a business. They make profits off of every product they sell. That's sort of the idea. :p
  17. GoKyu macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    CyberBob: Something you may want to think about, if you have a CompUSA in your area - since the stores are going out of business, at the moment they're discounting all Applecare products by 20%, which you're unlikely to beat in most cases. Also, as the final days get closer (probably mid-Feb is when the stores will close), the discounts may get even better.

    I'm about to get a Mac Pro, and if anything happens to a chip or the motherboard...that's a lot of money to put out. It's worth it to me to protect a large investment like that.

  18. brop52 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    Remember to buy it just prior to 1 year going past and you have 4 years of a guaranteed working computer. If you are a student and buy it on an iMac for $119 it is a very good investment for 4 years of knowing the thing will be working. $30/year warranty? Not bad.
  19. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    This is not the case. It doesn't matter when you buy the AppleCare but it does not add 3 years. It extends the total warranty including the limited warranty to 3 years and extends the 90 days of complimentary telephone tech support to 3 years.

    No matter whether you buy it together with your Mac or the day before the limited warranty runs out it will still expire on the same day: 3 years from the date of initial purchase.

    Like I said before I agree with your advice on buying it 100%. If you consider that it only adds 2 years it is still only $60 a year ($5 per month). Not bad at all.

    I should clarify that I am only talking about the price of AppleCare for the iMac from L.A. Computer:

    It's more expensive for the notebooks (they have a much higher rate of service requests due to the nature of their portability) as well as for the Mac Pro. Still, the only place I've found that is as cheap as L.A. Computer for AppleCare is eBay and for my money I prefer to buy it retail.
  20. treehorn macrumors 6502


    Aug 21, 2007
    I must be the exception that tobefirst refers to big time as I have it on two computers and I've used it big time on both (I also had it on earlier computers and used it quite a bit for support calls, and even more importantly, when I sold the computer, the fact that it still had Applecare made it much more sellable...and at a higher price that basically 'refunded' my Applecare purchase).

    On my Powerbook (which has reached the end of Applecare) I had to replace a keyboard that partially died two years into the computer's life and Apple even replaced the power adapter after I...I mean my cats...tripped on it and warped it. On my G5 Imac, I've had the DVD drive replaced 3 times, the logic board and just last week the hard drive (I fully realize I got a Lemon instead of an Apple on this one...and the only way I'll be able to sell it in any conscience when the PowerMacs come out is that it still has Applecare on it.

    I say get it for A) peace of mind, B) enhanced phone support and C) potential increase in resale value should you choose to upgrade your computer within three years.

    (and I don't do extended warranties on any other product...or rather I have found that when/if I do, I never use them)
  21. zjmac macrumors newbie


    Jan 2, 2008
    I just bought my macbook pro in October and dropped my computer bag. The computer sustained a dent right above the drive. The drive still works, but the aluminum is bent and I need the whole bottom case replaced. Would AppleCare cover this?
  22. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    If you take it to an Apple Retail store they will not cover it, its considered customer abuse.

    If you take it to an Apple Authorized Repair Center they may fix it under the warranty since they handle things differently, your milage may vary.
  23. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Instead of buying a warranty get an insurance policy taken out. Usually can be put on renters or home owners insurance.
  24. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Unfortunately insurance companies are crooks. They like to receive your money, and hate to give it out even with cause. (Katrina victims anyone?)

    Typically if you claim against those insurance, your insurance rate will GO UP.
    In addition, people do LOSE their insurance by making repeat small claims.

    So AppleCare - get it for laptops, if you are going to use it for more than 1 year.
    Does not cover customer damage though.
  25. Radio Monk33 macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2007

    As someone who has worked in an electronics retailer, let me be the first to say there's a reason why they push the extended warranties...they're laughing hard behind the scenes.

    Myself, I think after 3 years+ I'd probably have run the computer into the ground and its value would be very low. I'd rather just get something new rather than patching. But more importantly, you have to realize that these warranties only cover manufacturer's defects (which should be their responsibility anyways). So really, what's the chance of some manufacturing defect coming up for no reason after 1 year of use? I'm thinking if there's something wrong, you'll find out fast..

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