Installing Your Own RAM Does Not Void Your Mac mini Warranty

F-Train

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I think that it is useful to have a separate thread making this clear, because this information is currently buried in posts in several threads, and the opinions in those threads are all over the place.

When I purchased my Mac mini at the New York Queens Center Apple Store on November 9, I was told expressly by the employee who sold me the mini that installing my own RAM would not void the warranty. He also said that this was based on a discussion at a staff meeting. I hadn't even asked about it. In the course of our discussion, the employee asked me whether I intended to install my own RAM, and when I said yes, he volunteered that doing so would not void my warranty.

It would be great if others who have discussed this issue with Apple employees would post what they have been told.

The idea is to have a thread on this issue, with a clear answer, that would come to the fore on a search.

I'd like to think that it goes without saying that if you install your own RAM and damage your mini in the process, expecting Apple to repair the damage under warranty is more than a little unrealistic.

Cheers
 
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marc_b

macrumors member
Nov 6, 2018
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Cologne, Germany
That's the same reply I got today when picking up my Mini (in Cologne, Germany). The store manager confirmed that installing your own RAM does not void warranty.

Very pleasant purchasing experience btw, can definitely recommend (wasn't the store in the city centre but the one in the Rhein-Center mall).
 

pl1984

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Store employees do not set company policy. While I have no reason to doubt what this employee said is the company policy just be aware the information comes from an Apple genius.
 

marc_b

macrumors member
Nov 6, 2018
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Cologne, Germany
Store employees do not set company policy. While I have no reason to doubt what this employee said is the company policy just be aware the information comes from an Apple genius.
That's why the genius I talked to specifically went to ask his store manager who told him it's official policy and Apple told all employees to confirm this.
 

sharpimage

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2018
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I was told the exact opposite by staff in Southampton UK Apple store yesterday who said changing the Memory will invalidate the warranty. They further said that the reason for having upgradable memory was to 'future proof' but for the short term you should buy the amount of memory you need as pre installed.
 

D.T.

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FWIW (I'll speak for the US), you can't "void" a warranty, however, the OEM can refuse warranty repair on "related components or systems" in context of the update/change.

Now that being said, void vs. specific components when talking about a Mac Mini, may not effectively be any different. In car, where you have more isolated component groups, it can be easier to separate, i.e., I change the spring/shocks/struts/wheels/tires and my totally stock engine grenades, it will very likely be covered. With the Mini, there's a case and a logic board, the latter being "most" of the computer, and all those integrated solid state components _could_ be damaged by any "user interaction" with the main board.

Too bad there's not something like a "register new config" mechanism, where it's clear that at least shortly after the user upgrade, the machine is still functional (I'd imagine the extremely few - if any - user RAM upgrades that go pear shaped, would result in immediate damage).
 

F-Train

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If its not written, its not said. A verbal comment by a sales rep, has no bearing, or weight. While I believe the ram, is user replaceable, I would not base that on what a sales rep said.
First, how about we use this thread to record what people are told by Apple personnel at whatever level.

Secondly, your belief that oral representations at point of sale are meaningless is wrong as a matter of law, and yes, I have a law degree and the experience necessary to make that judgement.

I think that what is important is what Apple employees are telling Apple customers. If we see stores across the board saying the same thing over the next short while, the state of affairs will be pretty clear.

If Apple employees are sending mixed messages, there will be a need for clarification.
 
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pl1984

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That's why the genius I talked to specifically went to ask his store manager who told him it's official policy and Apple told all employees to confirm this.
That's not much better. While the store employees, including the manager, may be conveying corporate policy I would not rely on them. I have no reason to believe the information they're communicating is incorrect. I just want to remind everyone that this information doesn't, IMO, come from a very reliable source.
 
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pl1984

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Secondly, your belief that oral representations at point of sale are meaningless is wrong as a matter of law, and yes, I have a law degree and the experience necessary to make that judgement.
It is only if you're willing to pay someone with your qualifications many times the price of the Mini to enforce it ;)
[doublepost=1541944622][/doublepost]
That's incorrect, as people found out the hardway at times, where a sales person said X but the policy said Y and those people lose out.


Actually, it is meaningless. Lookup puffery, what is written trumps anything oral.
A store employee can be considered an agent of the company and therefore can, intentionally or not, commit a company to something for which they do not have the authority to do so. Though you're likely going to need to pay an attorney many times the cost of a top of the line Mini to try to enforce it.
 

F-Train

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I’m interested in recording what Apple employees say on this issue, not in amateur legal analysis, which is where this thread is rapidly headed.

Have fun, I’m out of this discussion.
 

maflynn

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A store employee can be considered an agent of the company and therefore can, intentionally or not, commit a company to something for which they do not have the authority to do so. Though you're likely going to need to pay an attorney many times the cost of a top of the line Mini to try to enforce it.
Perhaps, but if contradicts company policy then the written policy takes precedence. I'm not saying that the ram is NOT user replaceable, all I'm saying is its better to rely on what's written by apple on the topic then trusting a sales employee looking to make a sale.
 

D.T.

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Sep 15, 2011
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Oh yeah, so there's the warranty info from Apple.com (re: Mac Mini):

WHAT IS NOT COVERED BY THIS WARRANTY?

This Warranty does not apply to any non-Apple branded hardware products or any software, even if packaged or sold with Apple hardware. Manufacturers, suppliers, or publishers, other than Apple, may provide their own warranties to you – please contact them for further information. Software distributed by Apple with or without the Apple brand (including, but not limited to system software) is not covered by this Warranty. Please refer to the licensing agreement accompanying the software for details of your rights with respect to its use. Apple does not warrant that the operation of the Apple Product will be uninterrupted or error-free. Apple is not responsible for damage arising from failure to follow instructions relating to the Apple Product’s use.

This Warranty does not apply: (a) to protective coatings that are designed to diminish over time or batteries, unless failure has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship; (b) to cosmetic damage, including but not limited to scratches, dents and broken plastic on ports unless failure has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship; (c) to damage caused by use with a third party component or product that does not meet the Apple Product’s specifications (Apple Product specifications are available at www.apple.com under the technical specifications for each product and also available in stores); (d) to damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, fire, liquid contact, earthquake or other external cause; (e) to damage caused by operating the Apple Product outside Apple’s published guidelines; (f) to damage caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (“AASP”); (g) to an Apple Product that has been modified to alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple; (h) to defects caused by normal wear and tear or otherwise due to the normal aging of the Apple Product; (i) if any serial number has been removed or defaced from the Apple Product; or (j) if Apple receives information from relevant public authorities that the product has been stolen or if you are unable to deactivate passcode-enabled or other security measures designed to prevent unauthorized access to the Apple Product, and you cannot prove in any way that you are the authorized user of the product (eg. by presenting proof of purchase).

https://www.apple.com/legal/warranty/products/embedded-mac-warranty-us.html

These two I'd say are applicable to the RAM, though C not as much as F:

(c) to damage caused by use with a third party component or product that does not meet the Apple Product’s specifications (Apple Product specifications are available at www.apple.com under the technical specifications for each product and also available in stores)

(f) to damage caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (“AASP”);


Right, so obviously, you open the machine, jam a torx driver into the main board damaging it, it's not covered. But they _do_not_ indicate that the process of the upgrade itself "voids" anything, they could've been very clear that any ingress on the machine internals, removing the backplate or fasteners, etc., would result in no further warranty coverage. Do they have a lot of leeway? Sure. Is it an automatic trigger? Not from how I'm reading it (or from the perspective of the FTC, Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act).
 

pl1984

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Perhaps, but if contradicts company policy then the written policy takes precedence. I'm not saying that the ram is NOT user replaceable, all I'm saying is its better to rely on what's written by apple on the topic then trusting a sales employee looking to make a sale.
Apple can use their written policy as a defense however that does not automatically protect them. The customer could argue they relied on the employee, who can be considered an agent for Apple, statement regarding the warranty not being void. However for the customer to win they'd have to hire an attorney to fight the denial. Doing so would be expensive and still risks the denial being upheld.

You and I are in agreement that it is unwise to rely on a store employee for company policy. But one could, if they were willing to commit the time and money, fight the denial and possibly be successful at doing so.
 

Cashmonee

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Legal jargon aside, I think the way this plays out is simple. It will depend on the Genius you get when you take your mini in whether the upgrade is a non-issue or a PITA. There are going to be some that will simply look the other way and facilitate your repair, and there will be others that are going to try to deny the claim because of tampering. In the first case, it's roses and rainbows. In the second, you will have to advocate to get your repair, which you almost assuredly will, but it may be time-consuming and require significant effort that ultimately does not result in a repair. Anyone installing RAM themselves should consider this when making the cost-savings vs convenience calculations. Also, never trust what a retail store employee says. Odds are they won't even be there in 11 months when you need a repair.

I think it is irresponsible to tell people their warranty cannot be voided and that everything will be fine, when in reality that may not be things play out. While legally accurate, no individual is going to court over a warranty repair for a computer. I also think it is inaccurate to say that you will not get your computer fixed under warranty, because you likely will, there just may be some hurdles along the way, and it may not be a simple Genius Bar appointment.

TL;DR My thought is if you upgrade RAM yourself be prepared to have to fight for warranty repairs.
 

Acronyc

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2011
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My mini is on the way and I’m planning on eventually upgrading the RAM. If I do it myself (I’ve done lots of work on 2012 and 2014 minis before), should my mini ever need service I’ll just put back the original RAM before I take it in. I’m not sure how Apple would know third party RAM was ever installed, and as long as I don’t damage anything in the process - which seems easy enough - I think Apple wouldn’t have any basis to refuse service.
 

whitedragon101

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Sep 11, 2008
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Apple have updated their official support document for Mac mini RAM.

The RAM in the 2018 Mac Mini is not classed as user replaceable. It is required that Apple or an authorised dealer do it :
https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT205041

Add to this I and various others have been told point blank by Apple support staff that opening your Mac Mini 2018 yourself voids the warranty.
 
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MacGuyMI

macrumors newbie
Aug 15, 2017
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If you install RAM in a 2018 Mac Mini, you WILL NOT void your warranty.

If you accidentally damage your 2018 Mac Mini while installing RAM, it SHOULD NOT be covered by your warranty.

If you purposely damage your 2018 Mac Mini while installing RAM, it WILL NOT be covered by your warranty.

I am not a lawyer... just an Apple Certified Technician since 2006. If you are worried about voiding a warranty over installing RAM, then order it upfront for the long term. If you don't like being given an option for upgrading your device by yourself, then buy something else.
 

AppleHaterLover

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Jun 15, 2018
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Why won’t iJustine or Everythingapple Pro do this test instead of throwing them off various aircraft, shooting at them with AK47s or drooling over them in the most cringeworthy way possible?
 

TazExprez

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2010
116
6
New York
If I get a Mac mini and plan on upgrading the RAM myself, I should probably not order it with AppleCare+, in case the warranty gets voided?