Best place to buy 1st Mac for older technophobes?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mad Mac Maniac, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Mad Mac Maniac, Aug 10, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019

    Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    I live in the US, and I’m looking to help my 70’s parents buy their first Mac. They definitely aren’t good with technology and have Windows PCs now (mainly use web browser, iTunes, and Word), but also have iPads and iPhones. Are there any differences with regard to where we buy their Mac with regard to support, warranty, etc? Is it true that Apple will provide the same level of support/warranty for any Mac sold from a certified retailer? If bought from Best Buy would they also be able to reach out to the “Geek Squad” if need be? Any particular benefits of any other (US based) retailer?

    I live halfway across the country from them, but will actually be in the Middle East for about 6 months after the purchase so I won’t be able to provide very much tech support for the foreseeable future.

    Edit: Another consideration is data transfer from their other desktop PC. If bought from Apple I assume I can bring their desktop in for data transfer? Anyone else do this?
  2. Erehy Dobon macrumors regular

    Erehy Dobon

    Feb 16, 2018
    The best retailer for them might be an actual bricks-and-mortar Apple Store. The Genius there will transfer their user data from another PC.

    New Macs have some hands-on technical support for a limited time and being able to get to an Apple Store can be very helpful.

    Best of luck.
  3. Efrem macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2009
    Second the recommendation of an Apple store - if they live near one; you didn't say where they are. If they don't, most local Apple retailers are very good in terms of what they need.
  4. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68040

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Yes, Apple provides the same support/warranty for any Mac sold by a certified retailer.

    All Geek Squads in the US are now Apple Authorized Service Providers - not only are they obligated to service in-warranty Apple products sold by Best Buy, but also Apple products sold by Apple and other authorized dealers. The same is true of the rest of Apple's network of authorized service providers. Apple pays its authorized service providers for performing in-warranty service, regardless of where the item was purchased (well, there are limitations on servicing products purchased overseas, but that shouldn't be an issue for you).

    Things change after the Apple warranty/AppleCare protection plans expire. At that point, the authorized service providers become independent businesses that can charge whatever they wish for repairs and other services.

    It's worth distinguishing between troubleshooting/repair service and how-to assistance. Independent dealers will give a certain amount of how-to help, but there's no real obligation on their part to do it. They'll help their own customers, of course, because they don't want to lose the customer. On the other hand, Apple Stores will provide that kind of help regardless of where the product was purchased. Genius Bar sessions aren't really meant to be educational sessions, but plenty of people do go there for how-to help anyway. Meanwhile, Apple Stores have stepped up their offerings of free classes - regardless of where you buy that Mac, your parents can sign up for sessions at the Apple Store.

    Overall, is there a "better" place? You'll find discounts at the independent retailers that will not be offered at Apple Stores (or the Apple web site). The quality of customer experience (both during and after sale) will of course vary from location to location. Some dealers offer a very small selection of products/models and nearly no advice. Others may offer a wider range of models and are deeply knowledgable. Some independents sell computers and electronics from many makers, others are Mac-only stores.

    Since Apple Stores are (essentially) Apple-only, they have a vested interest in making sure you're happy buying an Apple product, and have multiple units of every model available for hands-on try-outs - there's probably not a better place for your parents to "test drive."

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3 August 10, 2019