AppleCare worth it for Mac Mini (2014)? Have you ever used it?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by myrtlebee, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. myrtlebee macrumors 68020

    myrtlebee

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
    #1
    So I have two days left to purchase Apple Care for my almost year-old base model 2014 Mac Mini.

    When I first got the machine, the hard drive would occasionally make a loud clunk sound, but I have not heard that since updating to Sierra last year. I did have a couple incidents of kernel panics around Jan/ Feb, but nothing else since. It seems to be doing well now (actually seems faster than when I got it). I may eventually try upgrading the HDD to an SSD by opening it myself, which would void the warranty anyway, no?

    If you've purchased AppleCare for your mini, have you ever actually had to use it? If so, how did it go - did Apple put any scratches or anything on your machine during the repair process? I had that happen when using AppleCare repairs in the past.

    Any feedback before the 29th would be helpful :) Thanks
     
  2. bopajuice macrumors 65816

    bopajuice

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    #2
    Never used Apple care. Ever. My opinion is Apple will make sure your software and hardware are out of date and no longer supported, before the actual computer, iPad, or device has an issue.
     
  3. treekram macrumors 65816

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    #3
    The Mini's have been pretty reliable so the odds are that you won't need Apple Care. I have not purchased it for my 3 Mini's (2009, 2012, 2014). You do not void the entire warranty if you change the HDD. However, whatever you break (or what Apple determines you have broken) in the course of doing the HDD replacement will not be covered by the warranty. There was a poster a while back whose WiFi broke and it was fixed by Apple even though the HDD was replaced by a SSD. If I recall correctly, that's the only time (or perhaps there was one more instance) where a poster here has mentioned that they had the Mini in for a warranty repair.

    The big issue with the 2014 Mini, of course, is the soldered RAM. I don't recall seeing anybody here on this forum who has memory fail. But you may want to do a wider web search just to make sure that isn't an issue.

    If you bought the Mini new from Apple or an authorized reseller, check whatever credit card agreements you have - they may cover another year of repairs (provided you go through their claim process). (I know at least one of my credit card companies won't cover refurbished, etc. products.)
     
  4. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #4
    I've purchased AC for all of my Macs - personally and for my business, used it many times. I bought my AC for my Minis from a reseller - B&H - at $49, a discount from Apple's price. I bought AC for my rMBP from B&H at a discount too, which covered a $900 repair - a memory module failed, and the motherboard/display/battery were replaced under AC.

    My main reason for buying AC with Macs is the RAM and SSDs that aren't user-replaceable. The cost of AC for Minis is cheap, cheap when compared to buying a new motherboard and its soldered components. My 2012 Minis - all 8 of them - have been bulletproof, but schtuff happens and they're all covered by AC.
     
  5. treekram macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #5
    Right now, AppleCare is available from both Apple and B&H for $99 for 2 additional years. Apple recently introduced AppleCare+ but that's only available for those who have purchased a Mac in the last 60 days. Otherwise, one gets the regular AppleCare for the $99. I don't know if the price has gone up because of the +, but for the MBP, I know the cost has gone up because of the +.
     
  6. Miat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #6
    Had AC for all my Macs going back to the early 2000s. Never used it, but never regretted getting it. Buys a lot of peace of mind, and relatively cheaply.

    I am not in a position to afford large unexpected repair costs. My income is stable but very modest. Other people may be in a different position for risk management.
     
  7. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

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    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #7
    Cannot buy it here, so don't have any opinion.
     
  8. SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    #8
    I always bought AC for my Macs but fortunately I never had to use it for a hardware related warranty problem. If you want phone support even for non-hardware related issues I think it's still a good idea. I did call telephone support for an iTunes related problem on my iPad which was past it's warranty support. The service representative could see I had AC on all my Macs and covered support for my iPad since it also was an issue on my Macs. I also got a replacement for my Beats Pill bluetooth speaker even though it was a few weeks out of warranty. I believe having Apple Care always gives you peace of mind. If you are new to Macs it's a good plan to have for the first three years of ownership... you get extended phone support and hardware coverage... and I would say yes to AC. If you are already really familiar with Macs then it's a 50/50 call.
     
  9. goodcow macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    #9
    Had to bring my 2012 mini server into Apple for a hard drive replacement a few weeks ago. Was covered by AppleCare, because I snagged a refurb model in 2015.
     
  10. batlogic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #10
    I have used AC on a laptop. The logic board overheated due to the video card. They replaced almost everything but the screen (and gave me a loaner). On an iPad, it stopped working and the Apple store took one off the shelf and gave me a newer model with more storage. Another time on a iPod mini, it was broken by someone who attacked my daughter. Apple replaced the iPod mini. Finally on a 2007 Mac mini, it's dvd drive died. While there, the techs found other issues that I didn't know about. They thought the machine may fail in a year or so. They offered to give me a new mini and transfer the data or get back my mini. So in my case, I have had great experience with AC. Items always looked brand new when returned.
     
  11. Partron22 macrumors 68020

    Partron22

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    #11
    Been buying Macs every few years since 1984.
    Never got AppleCare.
    Never regretted it.
     
  12. ProTruckDriver macrumors newbie

    ProTruckDriver

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    Jul 28, 2016
    Location:
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    #12
    I bought my first Mac a little over a year ago. Black smudges are appearing on my 27 inch screen. Sure glad I have Applecare. :)
     
  13. myrtlebee thread starter macrumors 68020

    myrtlebee

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    Jul 9, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
    #13
    Interesting - thanks for the replies so far. It seems those who used AppleCare are mostly those who used it for other products besides Minis, but a few. Also, interesting that apparently opening the machine and upgrading the drive to an SSD doesn't void the warranty. I wonder if that's their official policy or what.
     
  14. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #14
    These extended warranties are very profitable for companies, they would not offer them otherwise (unless you think Apple is a charity). ;)

    I have only bought AppleCare a few times. Got it for my iPhone 6s Plus two years ago, haven't needed it yet. Used it for two motherboard swaps (wouldn't recognize all my RAM) on a PowerBook G4 about 10 years ago. Still did not fix the problem, I believe there was ultimately a class action suit about this.

    Have bought 6 Macs in the past 6 years without AppleCare, even at $99 that saved me enough to buy another mini.
     
  15. saulinpa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    #15
    AC is an insurance policy/gambling that you will have a problem after 1 year but before 3 years. That really is the period when you are least likely to have a hardware issue.

    Other use for it is some want ongoing telephone support.

    I've only used it once on a MacBook to replace a noisy fan.
     
  16. dogslobber macrumors 68030

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #16
    I never buy it as I usually have my Macs ripped open within the first few weeks of ownership.
     
  17. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #17
    I bought Apple Care(AC) for my Refurbished MM(Late 2012) and Refurbished MM(Late 2014; Two(2) Apple TV's,Ipad2 and iPad Mini2.

    Last year my Apple Superdrive burned-out in which my AC on my MM(Late 2014) covered a new replacement Superdrive.

    In a couple of months I plan on purchasing an iPad(2017) which will be covered by AC.
     
  18. Denmac1 macrumors 6502a

    Denmac1

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Location:
    Lost in Space
    #18
    The last time I bought AppleCare was when I bought my :apple:Watch, as it was a new item to the Apple line up.
    IMHO, if it is a current and established product, I would believe the failure rate would be very low and would show itself within the first 90 days.
     
  19. myrtlebee thread starter macrumors 68020

    myrtlebee

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    Jul 9, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
    #19
    I decided not to purchase it and, I kid you not, last night shortly after midnight (a few minutes into the very day the warranty expired!), my Mini's fan suddenly kicked on full blast like it was about to take off from my desk. It was insane. All I had open was a few articles in Safari and Mail. At the same time everything became so laggy I could barely operate the computer. I have no idea what happened since it definitely did not overheat. I managed to turn it off, unplug the power supply for a while, plug it back in and it has been okay since.

    I am guessing it is related to the kernel panics I experienced previously. So now it has been the fan episode yesterday, kernel panics a few months ago, clicks and clunks from the hard drive about a year ago, and one day about a month ago it emitted a loud continuous beep from the speakers after unplugging headphones that went away after a restart.

    Now kind of wishing I would have went for the AppleCare, but all of the issues I've had have went away with time, so hopefully nothing major is on the horizon. I would just buy a new mini and sell this one, but we all know the story with that...
     
  20. SoCalReviews, Jul 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    #20
    If you are serious about wanting AC what I would do is call Apple service. They will ask for your account information to verify how long you have owned and when you registered your Mini. Explain to the rep that you really were considering AC but time ran out before you could get it. It's only been a few days so they might be able to do something for you if you want to purchase and register AC. There are definitely no guarantees. They could say no but if you are sincere and let them know your situation it's worth a try. Just make sure you really do want AC if you decide to call them. Apple is usually amazingly helpful when it comes to customer service. It's the best in the computer industry for general users and it's one of the best perks to owning their products. But if you decide to not get AC and you aren't having any issues with your Mini right now you'll probably be ok anyway. IMO the build quality for their computers is generally pretty good.
     
  21. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #21
    We have seen big retailers blowing out the base Mini for $400, even as low as $350. At that price, it's kind of a "throw-away" item. ;)
     
  22. myrtlebee thread starter macrumors 68020

    myrtlebee

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    Jul 9, 2011
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    #22
    Maybe for you, but I don't just have an extra $300-$400 laying around to replace it on a whim.
     
  23. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #23
    I just wouldn't buy a $100 insurance policy for a product like that. In fact, I did not buy AppleCare for my own base 2014 Mini. The issues you mention don't really sound like hardware problems but who knows? Feeling as you do however, you probably should have bought AppleCare.
     
  24. myrtlebee thread starter macrumors 68020

    myrtlebee

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    Jul 9, 2011
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    Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
    #24
    Probably, but I simply went with the consensus here since I was torn about it. It would be nice if Apple released a new mini and I would just sell this one and get that...
     
  25. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    #25
    I once bought a used Mac Mini off eBay with AppleCare, fully working. When I received it in the mail, it would not power on/boot up. Instead of returning it to seller/etc (who was very nice and seemed trustworthy), I took it to apple and they replaced the logic board for free! Got a basically brand new Mini out of it. Things happen - it's insurance. If you need it and you have it, you're happy. If you have it and you don't use it, then it was for peace of mind. I'm at the point in my life where $100 or so is far more convenient and if anything were to happy I don't have to tinker or mess with anything. I just don't have time to waste troubleshooting, taking things apart, etc.
     

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