I'm miserable: Applecare covered my daughter's MacBook's $1150 repair

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PaulinMaryland, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. PaulinMaryland macrumors regular


    May 17, 2006
    Maryland, USA
    In 2006, when we bought our first daughter her white MacBook, I urged my wife to let me forgo AppleCare. "She's more likely to drop it or lose it than have it break on its own," I argued. My my wife insisted; this woman has never met an extended warranty she didn't like.

    Now, for the second or third time, Apple has repaired the MacBook under warranty. This time, they replaced the main circuit board and keyboard, with 4 months remaining on her AppleCare. The bill would have come to $1,150. "Show THIS to your husband," the Mac Genius smiled as he handed the receipt to my wife.

    In the next year and a half, I'll be buying two more MacBooks: My first daughter's second when she enters grad school, and my younger daughter's first, when she enters college. The local Craigslist offers insanely discounted MacBook Pros. But if I can't get it with 2 or 3 years of AppleCare, there's no way my wife will allow me to buy one.

    Thanks a lot, Apple. :p
  2. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    I'm not a fan of extended warranties for the most part, but laptops are a different breed. When we bought a MacBook for our daughter to take to college, we got her Applecare, and it has paid for itself several times over.
    You could always buy the laptops new without Applecare, then purchase it off eBay later - you just have to purchase and activate it within a year of the date the warranty coverage started on the Mac.
  3. Psychmike macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2008
    I'm happy that things worked out well for you but I wonder if Apple Care says something negative about the reliability of Apple products.

    I have used Thinkpads for most of my adult life (i-series, X20, R52). All of these have lasted well over 3 years with absolutely no problems. It isn't possible to derive externally valid statistic information based on forum posts but it seems like a LOT of people use their Apple Care within 3 years of purchase for some problem that has developed.

    I recently bought a Macbook aluminum 2.4 and expect the same level of reliability that I've seen from IBM (pre-Lenovo). If my Macbook requires a keyboard or motherboard replacement within the next 3 years, I seriously doubt if I'd buy another Apple laptop. These things are marketed as high-quality, thoughtfully-designed products. Shouldn't we expect them to last more than 3 years without need of serious repair?

    Paranthetically, my credit card doubles the warranty period to 2 years so paying for an extra year of coverage wasn't worth it for me.

  4. waiwai macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2009
    $1150 for repairs on a Macbook??? The thing retails for that much! Yikes...

    I dunno, it really depends on whether you are one of the few that get a product that breaks down so frequently... But then again, it also depends on how your daughter treats it... She must've put it through a lot of hurt to need to have the keyboard replaced...
  5. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    1) Craigslist are usually scams if the laptop looks too cheap to be true

    2) You have until a year after you first purchase your Macbook to buy Applecare, and you dont have to buy it from Apple, you can buy it from any third party seller, a popular place is Ebay, where you can pick it up in a years time just before the Macbooks warranty runs out for around 70% less than Apple sell it. Everyone would recommend you to do this on this forum.
    Anyone who buys Applecare directly from Apple has a lot of money to waste:

  6. victry1 macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2008
    I don't normally buy extended warranties either. But I do for Apple products. Not because they break down necessarily, but because of the support you get with it and the fact, that if I do need to make a repair it is probably going to be expensive.

    With Applecare if your computer is running slow or you want to do an erase and install, just call them up and they'll help you out. Trouble with iLife? Give them a call - I don't mean the program's not working - just if you get hung up on how to use it. Two - two and a half years in, my iBook needed a fan, no problem. Another time it had a kernel panic - no problem.

    M iMac which is now about 2 is running a little slow - I'll call up and Applecare will help me out.

    One time I spent 2 days on the phone with Applecare for something that was my mistake!! :eek:

    All in all, it could be a little cheaper, but it is worth it.
  7. mags631 Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    There's nothing negative with a company covering its defective products. The reality is that no manufacturing or quality process is 100%. So using specific examples of defects (or non-defects) is probably meaningless as an indicator of larger problems.

    Look at the overall customer satisfaction and return rates. I believe Apple has some of the best scores in the industry right now. Can anyone confirm or correct that?
  8. bailorg macrumors member


    Dec 16, 2008
    From PC Magazine's 2008 Service and Reliability survey, in the notebook category:


    "Apple's streak continues. Its scores improved or equaled last year's numbers across the board. Readers rated repairs to their Apple laptops at 8.8 this year, up from 8.1—they obviously appreciated Apple's fixes.

    Lenovo (also encompassing older IBM laptops), the Readers' Choice for Windows PC notebook vendor this year and last, slipped just a smidgen in just about every category, for both all notebooks and those less than a year old. We'd call it insignificant, but for it to happen across the board including Reliability, Tech Support, and Repairs means it is something to keep an eye on. For newer Windows notebooks, Lenovo led last year, but this year Sony was well ahead with an 8.2, followed by Dell with 8.1—both scores unchanged from last year. Lenovo dropped to 8.0 this year. "

    Graph summary of all notebook brands: http://www.pcmag.com/image_popup/0,1871,iid=212926,00.asp
  9. liquidtrend macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2008
    dont you hate it when your significant other is significantly more correct than you are!

    glad applecare has helped you out so much!
  10. Psychmike macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2008
    You must have gotten an A+ in Sophestry 101 (just kidding). No one said that there's anything wrong with a company covering defective products or that a manufacturer should have 100% manufacturing quality. Arguing against these straw man positions is rather pointless, don't you think?

    I am happy to see that Apple ranks highly. Like I said, I recently purchased my first Apple computer and I sure hope it stands up well.

    There are limitations to all forms of empirical knowledge and my own specific experiences are valuable, albeit limited, sources of information to me. You can bet that when I have a couple of bad experiences with products, I will shy away from buying them again regardless of statistic survey data. Like wise, when I have good experiences, I am more likely to buy from the same manufacturer.

    Survey data also has its own limitations not least of which is response bias. Random sampling, not mail in survey, remains the gold standard for collecting survey data.

    I did see the PC Magazine survey data. What is unclear and a potential confounding variable is the proportion of Apple customers who purchase Apple Care. One possible explanation for Apple's high ratings is that a higher proportion of Apple customers believe it is acceptable and actually purchase extended warranties so when they encounter problems, repairs are covered while customers of other products are less likely to purchase extended warranties and are therefore less satisfied when they pay for required repairs within 3 years of purchase. Apple's high satisfaction ratings may therefore reflect their success in marketing extended warranties rather than product failure rates. This is, nevertheless, quite an accomplishment and reflects well on Apple's image.
  11. Psychmike macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2008
    Likely another reason that Apple does so well is that many customers confuse Windows problems with hardware problems covered by the laptop manufacturer.

    It's been a couple of weeks and I'm still getting used to the MacOS but it is definitely more enjoyable to use than Windows! Now if only I could get that green 'mximize' button to fill the screen with my chosen application....

  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    It would probably be fair to ask why a computer is requiring this extent of major repair in such a short period of time... but anyways, for what it's worth, this is also a bit of marketing mumbo-jumbo. An $1150 bill on a computer that is worth... what, $600-700 in 2009? That is ridiculous.
  13. brop52 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    Applecare can be bought very cheaply on ebay. It is a mistake not to buy it for a notebook.
  14. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    I don't get it. You're complaining because you saved hundreds of dollars on repairs by having Applecare? Or is it because you're cheap and your wife (wisely) makes you invest in something worthwhile? If you weren't so stubborn, maybe no one would have anything to rub in your face.

    FWIW, you can buy Applecare for less on Ebay. It should work on any computer that is still under Apple standard warranty if you can prove it.
  15. PaulinMaryland thread starter macrumors regular


    May 17, 2006
    Maryland, USA
    I'm sorry that my facetiousness was lost on you; perhaps I should have ended with a smiley emoticon instead of the frown. This form of humor is self-deprecating; if you punish the offerer for being so honest, you can expect less of it in the future.

    When we bought the Mac, I fully expected the need for repairs. Where you and I differ is that you believe that these problems would likely to be determined to be Apple's fault, and hence covered by AppleCare.

    Consumer Reports has concluded that most extended warranties are not worth the money; that on average, you're better off "going naked." It would appear that MacBooks should be a clear exception. What's unclear is the extent to which that's because 1) they fail often, 2) they're costly to fix, or 3) Apple store make employees tend to lie about the cause on the repair form when they wish to score points with female customers.

  16. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    Ha yes most people assume that when windows has issues its the computer manufacturers fault. But Apple does so well because of Applecare. Why, all they have to do is get people to buy into how great the are. You here all the amazing success stories about applecare but there are lots of people who spend years never using it, but one thing is for sure, when apple sells a laptop, they sell their extended warranty. Its almost automatic cash in their pocket and it really says nothing about their quality, its just a great business strategy.

    IBMs are built with higher quality than apple products. But I know plenty of people who have issues with there thinkpads or what not and have to deal with sending their computer back to lenovo or never getting their product fixed and it leaves that bad impression on them. So people don't rebuy their products. But Apple gets people to buy their notebooks continuously even after they break because they have the amazing customer service, thats why they make their money. Their OS is great, but the build quality is debatable for sure and some with the overall form/function of their computers. They look good, but the minimalist design is messing with the overall quality.

    But I love the company for the great service they give back, thanks for my 5 free ipods apple.:D
  17. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    Well it seems AppleCare was very useful for you :p just the last repair alone is more than triple the price of Apple care (not sure of the price right now).
    But next time no matter where you get a MacBook (Pro/Air), get the AppleCare from eBay. The MacBook one comes in at 130$ at average and the MacBook Pro is usually 180$. Now thats like half the price compared to Apple! And I also would never advise to get Apple laptop from Cragislist. I have read many horrible stories about it here :eek:
  18. JG271 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 17, 2007
    Thanks for the story OP. I might consider getting some kind of extended warranty when I take my macbook to Uni... its my only computer, desktop and laptop all in one :p

    Although, I might get a warranty that covers accidental damage.

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