Is Apple Care a scam in the UK ??

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by ChinkyBob, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. ChinkyBob macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    Hi All.
    I have just been made aware of the 5 year consumer protection in the UK, which is very extensive and offers (apparently) full consumer protection for 5 years from time of purchase. It is much more than the one year warranty provided by apple.
    When buying Applecare in the past, I was not made aware of how much protection I already had, and feel conned into buying applecare for no reason and the cost of hundreds.

    Q. Is Applecare a Scam?? Is it like PPI ??

    Applecare is definitely missold - I was never informed of 5 yrs protection I had already.

    I will only be relieved when I know what advantages there are over the 5 year consumer protection already offered by law already with the Applecare program.

    --- Post Merged, Apr 1, 2016 ---
    Refer to below for enlightenment.
  2. the_art macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2016
    United Kingdom
    No, Apple sells AppleCare as an insurance in addition to the consumer rights, which when purchasing online, Apple is obligated by the EU to disclose.

    With AppleCare, you get:
    Accidental damage cover
    2 years of telephone support
    An extra years warranty (which is different to consumer rights because the customer doesn't have to prove the fault existed at the time of purchase after the first six months)

    All of which you aren't covered for under the Sales of Goods Act.
  3. AlecEdworthy macrumors 6502


    May 1, 2007
    Leicestershire, UK
    SOGA and co provide for 5 or 6 years of cover, however (IIRC) beyond the first 6 months it is down to the consumer to prove the fault existed at the time of sale or that the fault is unexpected. The basic rule is that goods sold should be fit for purpose. The issue is what is the definition of "fit for purpose"? A pair of shoes which you buy and wear on classy nights out might last you five years whereas the same pair of shoes which I wear seven days a week might last me 18 months. Am I wrong to say the shoes should not have worn out after 18 months - no, in my opinion no, I've had good wear from them over that time. Have you had good wear from your :apple: device?

    Coming back to Apple Care, I don't use the telephone support and I think two years guarantee (plus the more shaky coverage beyond that) is a fair length of time (although admittedly I buy laptops through the education store so get a three year hardware parts and labour warranty on them) so I'd never purchase Apple Care. I considered it for my iPhone SE because of the accidental damage cover, but then again I've never damaged an iPhone screen and the excess you have to pay when you do is quite high so I decided self-insuring (if I'm stupid enough to break it then I'll have to pay for it) was good enough for me.

    TLDR; Is Apple Care a scam? In my opinion no, no more than extended warranties are. They're often unnecessary but a legally provided insurance policy as far as I can see (but IANAL).

  4. ChinkyBob thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    --- Post Merged, Apr 1, 2016 ---
    A clear and concise answer.
    1. Accidental damage cover. This seems like a genuine advantage. Is there any excess to be paid in the event of a 'i dropped my MacBook pro and now it's very dead' replacement claim?
    2. Telephone support. Very little value ( to me) as I never use this anyway. Better info on forums like this, and anyway if laptop is covered by 5yr warranty I will just go into the Apple store or pc shop and deal in person.
    3. An extra years warranty. This is very dubious to me. A laptop should be "Fit for Purpose " for 5 yrs according to sale of goods act. If a laptop after 3 yrs suddenly is bricked due to faulty motherboard, whether problem existed in first 6 months is irrelevant, as it is obviously "Not Fit for Purpose" as required by law and should be repaired FOC.
    Actually asuming no signs of obvious damage, the problem must have existed from day 1due to poor design or workmanship, only to manifest after 3 yrs.
  5. ChinkyBob thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    Wrt your shoes analogy (interesting choice) if the shoes are covered up to 5 yrs then yes they should be.covered after 18m. However, use them every day? Then maybe not. It is not reasonable to expect the same shoes are worn each and every day for 5 yrs.
    However. A MacBook pro. This is a professional machine where it is Not unreasonable to expect the machine to be used on an almost daily basis for 5 yrs, 8 hours a day. Should one day a motherboard or chip burn out unexpectedly through no fault of your own other than normal use, even after 4 yrs, then it's not 'fit for purpose' then yes repairs should be covered, that's the law.

    Wrt accidental damage. In the case of a phone, there is very much the element of scam here.
    If I drop my iPhone and crack the screen, they will repair, with applecare the Excess paid is the same it costs to get repaired at any fix-it shop in the first place! Value - zero.
    How is this not an Insurance scam?
    Maybe laptops are different, but for me phones on dodgy legal ground.
  6. the_art macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2016
    United Kingdom
    Regardless of the other benefits of AppleCare, the excess for an accidental damage repair is cheaper than an out of warranty repair with Apple (and most home contents insurance excesses)

    Using the iPhone 6S as an example

    AppleCare excess fee: £79
    Screen replacement fee: £106.44
    Other out of warranty replacement fee: £236.44

    So even if you don't find value to telephone support (which some people may) then you get accidental damage cover.
  7. ChinkyBob thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    Maybe I'm reading your example wrong. Please clarify.
    Apple iPhone6s, Costs 500 uk pounds. Applecare cost 109 uk pounds.
    So if I break my screen, in addition to the 109 it costs for applecare, how much do I pay for a repair??
    Is it...1.) 79, or 2.) 79+106 ?

    If its 1.), the total cost of 79+109(Applecare) of 188 UK pounds means you still pay 80% of the repair cost!
    If its 2.), the total cost of 79+106+109(Applecare) of 294 then thats more than out of warranty repair with apple itself.

    I would guess that Apple vastly overcharge for repairs anyway. Im sure a replacement iPhone 6s screen can be replaced by a 'fixit shop' for less than the cost of applecare, let alone the excess fee.
    (I had a replacement screen installed for 40$ in the US on my iPod touch a year ago, although 6s screen is more advanced).

    Can you please clarify? Maybe I misunderstood. Cheers. :)
  8. the_art macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2016
    United Kingdom
    AppleCare for an iPhone 6S costs £109, regardless of whether you make any claims or not.
    If you make any accidental damage, you then pay £79 (in addition to the AppleCare initial cost)
    Without AppleCare:
    If you crack the screen you pay £106.44 for a repair
    If anything else happens that isn't covered under the warranty it's £236.44

    So to answer your question, the first time you accidentally damage your iPhone with AppleCare you pay £109 + £79. But, for any future repairs it's only £79.
    Therefore, even if you only accidentally damage your iPhone once, AppleCare is still better value.
  9. nicho macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008
    In comparison to cover under home contents insurance... Apple won't charge you more for AppleCare when it's time to renew it for your next device. A home insurer may well do that, in addition to the excess paid.
  10. ChinkyBob thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    It's not better value. Breaking screen is quite rare and uncommon.
    99% of broken phones are fixed by a new screen as it usually the result of someone dropping it cracking the glass. But seriously how often does that happen? I know of 2 people who needed new screens, one who took his brand new 6 out of the box and dropped it (doh) and the other threw his iPhone 5s against a brick wall full force (baseball pitcher style) in drunken rage while arguing with wife. Both phones working perfectly btw including the 5s (testament to its build quality) which was fixed with a new screen for approx 40 pounds.
    There are they only cases of damaged phones that i know of, in both my job, and my circle of friends over the last 5 yrs.
    Other than dropping the phone in water, the phone is basically bullet proof and 110 will fix it. Are you seriously telling me with applecare you pay 80 odd quid on top of that??? That's mental.
    Even if you somehow damage it beyond repair (that's got to be mathematically rare at least, you save 40quid on the total repair cost (unless u drop it in the toilet every couple of months).

    What I am saying is that I believe Applecare (at least in the case of the iPhone) to be mis-sold at the very least. Never, when I bought items in the Apple store was any mention of the sale of goods act mentioned, with a 5 yr fit for purpose statement. When I bought my MacBook Air the main sale point was the extra warranty above the 12m, which as I turns out it has anyway.
    I believe if people had the full facts presented they would never buy the applecare as the numbers don't add up.
    Maybe not a scam. But PPI wasn't a scam, it was just mis-sold.
    Just my opinion.
  11. nicho macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008
    Not quite true. That's AppleCare+, for i Devices. Macs AppleCare does not include accidental damage cover.
  12. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2015
    Just curiosity -- I've read about this UK 'Act' at MR in the past but I don't quite get it (not the politics of it, the 'Act' itself).

    1) It seems rather ambiguous - "Not fit for purpose" - after N years of use. Is there some type of arbitration procedure? If so, who chooses the arbiters or other type of dispute judges?

    2) If so, has Apple streamlined their criteria for what is considered worthy of arbitration? Do they consider some things not worth the bother and/or expense so just settle matters quickly?

    3) Does Apple account for this cost of doing business in the UK by raising the product prices?

    4) Has Apple ever threatened to stop selling products in the UK because of this 'Act'?
  13. ChinkyBob thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    1. Fit for purpose. I presume is the 'spirit of the law' rather than the letter of the law. But I guess can be summed up thus; if it develops a fault thru no fault of your own then it repaired, as its law it should last 5 yrs with reasonable use. However it's unreasonable to expect them to repair a Laptop if there are clear signs mis-use or accidental damage.

    2. Most companies are usually fair and replace or fix items, sometimes even just out of warranty, if they feel the case is genuine as a good will gesture. But if they think you are being unreasonable or being an ass hole they may dig their heals in.
    To answer your question I'm sure it's a judgement call from a manager based firstly on the merits of the case, with costs a secondary though important second place consideration.
    If you feel u have been hard done by, always ask the top manager to tell you honestly what he would do if he was in your situation. If you are doing the right thing, they will usually reluctantly mutter under their breath 'they same as you'. At least in my experience.

    3. I do not believe prices are increased accordingly in the UK. The Laptops will last many years if looked after (unless u get very unlucky). They just won't advertise the 5 yr protection as it reduces the need for applecare, which is why I think UK consumers are not being given the full facts when offered applecare and hence why I think it's mis sold.

    4. No chance. Its an even playing field, and the same rules apply to other manufacturers of pcs and laptops.

  14. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2015
  15. youngmru macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2015
    The law allows you the theoretical right to seek redress for a period of six years, but the provisions are limited depending on what the item is and what would reasonably constitute as "fit for purpose".

    It does depend on the fault, what the item is, how long you have had it for and how long it could reasonably be expected to last.

    It doesn't mean that if something breaks in the 5th year you can walk up to Apple and ask for a free replacement. It means that if you've got a fault that wouldn't be have been considered fit for purpose at the time of purchase (So if you had a faulty chipset and it took 2 months to stop working, or your screen died after 1 year with no physical damage0 you've got 6 years to get your problem solved. Most places will want you to prove via a professional opinion the cause of fault is due to manufacturing fault after the first two years have occurred.

    Also regarding your example of the MacBook being used for 5 years, 8 hours a day, that's around 14,600 hours. I would consider any electrical part burning out after that much usage, fair wear and tear.

    My information comes from a lawyer friend of mine so take from it what you will
  16. ChinkyBob thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    You are correct and I have said as much that common sense and what is reasonable are factors., and interpretation may be different.

    However, a professional pc is one that has to earn it's keep and is design to withstand the rigours of daily professional use 40hrs a week over a significant period of time. According to UK sale of goods act, that appears to be 5 yrs, or 6 if in Scotland (the only advantage to being Scottish I can think of ).
    While 5 yrs seems generous to me, it is what it is. A tv will easily last 5 yrs of daily use, as Will a refrigerator, I don't see why a pc is any different, if treated kindly, and was designed as such.
    I myself have 2 laptops, a core duo from 2006 that had 5 years of daily use in Australia, UK, Singapore and USA, that is now used as tv file server for watching movies, YouTube, and reading excel sheets on my 55 inch. Other than battery lasting 30secs tops it is like brand new, and still quite nippy under win 8 despite being left on virtually permanent 24hours a day for 5 yrs now, and used extensively for 10yrs.
    My other is a 2012 MacBook air, whose battery life is now 2 hours light use, and 2 days standby time (not 30 days anymore). The shortened battery life, and fan turning on during idle is not great. But after 4 yrs I consider this reasonable, I've used it a more than most would in this time for professional applications on the road, which is not what this recreational laptop was designed.

    My question was basically whether applecare is a scam.

    The cost to repair broken screen of iPhone is 100 quid at Apple store.
    If you have Applecare (also 100 quid) and break your iPhone screen, you pay an additional 80 quid, almost double the cost of a direct repair -with Apple!
    If a walk in repair at Apple is 100 quid for new screen, it can be found much cheaper at any fix it shop I'm sure. I cannot explain why a insured phone costs double that of an uninsured phone to fix.
    Maybe Apple take your applecare money, and in the unlikely event you break your screen and want a new one, they charge you the cost of replacing it at the fix it shop anyway? Hence, scam. Maybe a bit harsh.
    However, Apple don't tell you that you are legally protected for 5 years in sale of goods act. The NEVER mention this. That is why I believe applecare is basically mis sold.
  17. nicho macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008
    Tell us, please, of any store where they DO mention the sale of goods act at the time of purchase? (Hint: you almost certainly won't find one).

    You're very misinformed and getting quite confused on the subject. As are some others in this thread.

    AppleCare is an extended warranty, offered for Mac devices. Under the sale of goods act, you're covered for the reasonable time period but the onus is generally on the consumer to prove the fault existed at delivery after 6 months (before that it is generally assumed to have been there with no burden of proof). One of the things AppleCare does is remove this burden of proof; you can't be denied service within the warranty period. For most things, of course, a company like Apple won't contest if you push them on the law - they'd rather give good customer service than an argument in small claims court.

    However, there are some things that can still go wrong that would not be apples fault but could be fixable for free under AppleCare - for example, if someone is messing about and accidentally wipes his SSD after 12 months Apple is under no obligation to help him install a new copy of OSX. but it's serviceable under AppleCare.

    Another reason someone might need AppleCare, is that some people really are that technically incompetent that they need reminding to push the power key to turn the computer on. Telephone support can be handy to some people.

    For desktop macs it also includes onsite repairs, which is a lot more convenient than taking it back where you bought it from for an iMac...

    Another thing to consider is that macs are available from stores outside of the Apple Store. Those stores may be less accommodating of customers claiming the SOGA applies and more willing to argue with the customer. It's not good business but it leads on to another point:

    If the original retailer goes bust in the first year of your products life, you won't have any recourse under SOGA after it goes wrong. However, Apple will let you purchase AppleCare until the included 12 months warranty expires giving you 3 years of warranty cover.

    AppleCare has its valid reasons to exist. Of course, for most use cases it's not necessary and I won't say everyone should buy it but it's more than a standard extended warranty product, so it's hard to argue its missold. If someone doesn't take advantage of the extra phone support etc it's more misbought and their own fault for buying something they don't need.

    AppleCare plus is partly extended warranty and partly an insurance product. As far as an extended warranty goes, the main benefit is express replacement where they will send you a fixed device before you send in the old one. A failed software update after 18 months bricking the device would be covered, for example, but you wouldn't have any recourse under SOGA. That said, Apple do support these things outside of warranty for major releases so it's not so big a plus. The same applies to telephone support as above however.

    With respect to the insurance, you may well be right in that it's not value for money. I've never purchased AppleCare plus myself because I don't believe the value proposition is right - like all insurance products you're essentially gambling and in this case I don't think it's worth it. But for some, they like the peace of mind fixed repair costs bring (as opposed to the worst case of Apple saying, we can't fix it buy a new one at - special price, which once happened to me, until I asked if there was another way to fix the device and they decided actually, there was) and that is why AC+ exists.

    Neither AppleCare nor AppleCare + are for everyone but they're far from being "missold". While some of what they provide overlaps with the sale of goods act, they are complementary and AppleCare goes above the statutory entitlement. Some people think that extra service has a value. Clearly you don't, and to an extent I agree with you.

    I've only ever bought AppleCare for one device, a MacBook Air I got when I went to uni in 2009. The AppleCare was heavily discounted and paid for itself by also extending the warranty cover of my 1st gen time capsule which failed over 2 years after I bought it, and got replaced with an upgraded model. I've bought 2 MBPs since then at retail prices and don't see the value in full price AppleCare. I damaged the screen of my own new rMBP about a month after buying it by dropping an iPad on it and chipping away part of the coating. That wouldn't have been covered under AppleCare anyway, though, so I have no regrets. I just have to be less clumsy in future.
  18. ChinkyBob thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
  19. nicho macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008
    and this is why i said "You're very misinformed and getting quite confused on the subject".

    The warranty is with the manufacturer but the manufacturer has no obligations under the SOGA. If it breaks after 13 months and the original retailer doesn't exist anymore, you neither have warranty coverage nor any recourse under SOGA.

    Also, Apple has only ever offered a one year warranty with their products, not 2, so i'm pretty sure your MBA didn't come with 2 years international warranty. One year is standard. but again, if you bought it in the UK and took it to say, Germany - with applecare you can get it serviced anywhere and anytime. If it broke after 13 months without warranty cover, to rely on the retailer helping under the SOGA you'd have to bring it back to the UK. i forgot to mention this as another reason for the existence of applecare earlier.
  20. ChinkyBob thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    -I bought my macbook air in 2011 in Hong Kong. In HK it sold with a 2 yr full international warranty, excluding China. The same 2 yr warranty (excluding China) applied to my Canon camera also which I bought at the same trip but in a different shop, I remember this detail because I was actually living and working in China at the time and this was a concern for me. I didnt pay extra for this warranty (esp as it didn't suit my situation) but presumed then that this was in keeping with Hong Kong sale of electrical goods law, esp as it came with 2 products from different shops.
  21. nicho macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008
    Nope -

    I've also bought things in Hong Kong and you get a one year worldwide warranty. Including China. Though this may be more recent, since they began opening stores there.

    Did you buy it from an Apple Store? Are you confusing Apples warranty with that of the retailer?
  22. ChinkyBob thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    I didn't buy it in the Apple Store, but another large chain, electrical goods retailer called fortress.
    I didn't seek out an extended warranty, just concerned that it had an international one, which by nature of Hong kong, they all do, and in both my cases a 2 yr one at that.
    They definitely explicitly excluded China, and if i bought from the Apple store in Shanghai, their warranty was not international but only valid in China. This fact, and the fact that China didn't launch the latest laptops till 6months after the rest of the world (they got latest model of pcs and iPhones 6m later) was the reason I bought in Hong Kong as I travel a lot.
    I definitely didn't buy extended warranty.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 4, 2016 ---
    I will look for my warranty details, though I think long lost.
  23. nicho macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008
    That fortress extended warranty is a lot like, for example, the one provided by John Lewis. It's not apples. So it's hard to compare to AppleCare, with the exception that I could say if fortress had gone bankrupt in the first 12 months you could have bought AppleCare to give you warranty cover beyond that.
  24. ChinkyBob thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    Fortress is more like pc world and not a high end store, so don't think would give a better than manufactures warranty or anything for free. I will look for my warranty card.

    Fwiw I do remember that while MacBooks are, iPhones are not covered by international warranty anywhere (the reason I use android phone ) even with applecare, a USA friend of mine when he smashed his iphone had to wait till his next home leave to get it replaced, at a further additional cost than a repair in China which is v cheap ).
  25. nicho macrumors 68020

    Feb 15, 2008

    "Fortress provides 2-year warranty for general products"

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