Is no AppleCare a bad idea?

Steve.P.JobsFan

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 27, 2010
985
531
Columbus
Hey all,

I'm wanting to buy a 15" rMBP I found on eBay. However, it's the Mid-2012 model and is out of warranty and they never bought AppleCare for it.

Is using a portable machine without AppleCare a bad idea? I thought AppleCare was never going to be used on my iMac until the hard drive needed replacing three times and I've called them dozens of times for phone support. But does the rMBP even have that high of a rate of "failure?"
 

GSPice

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2008
1,623
76
In some ways, Applecare, like any extended warranty for an appliance, car, or other product, is always a bet against yourself (or your product). I've never purchased Applecare, and never really needed it. There are plenty of folks who have purchased and needed Applecare, so statistically my experience shouldn't tell you anything. A good rule of thumb though, is that if an electronic device is going to fail, it will fail well within the first year - more likely in the first few days/weeks of operation. If the eBay rMBP has survived a 18 months of trouble-free operation, it's doubtful any components are on the verge of failure.

In your situation though, where it's 2nd-hand and you've experienced device failure in the past, it can be worth the peace of mind alone.

What I like about the retina mbps (or any device with non-moving parts) is that there's less mechanics to break down. In my old PCs the hard drives were almost always the first to go. Nothing else "failed." My brother's optical drive failed in his iMac.

I'm assuming you're getting a good price on the rMBP on eBay (vs. purchasing refurbished from authorized reseller) - if you trust that it's in "mint" operational condition, Applecare might be worth it for you, to give you "new-device" protection. Another thought is to find out the cost of an average out-of-warranty repair for a rmbp (I don't know what that is, but it's probably more than Applecare). If you're willing to eat that over the cost of Applecare, save your money.

In any other case when buying new or certified refurbished, my opinion and experience is that not getting Applecare is *not* a bad idea. Plus, American Express has built in extended warranty. :D

Sorry if I haven't given you a black and white answer, I just wanted to give you something more than "of course get it" or "it's a waste of money."

Either way, just enjoy your new notebook.
 

jayroc2k

macrumors newbie
Jul 1, 2009
24
0
depends how much you are spending.

for a new mac i will take a risk, for a use one there are so many with apple care bolted on and no much more price wise.

spending $1,000 is painful if it goes wrong as you never really know what issues the owner had.

in the UK, those with 1-2 years of apple care left seem to bb about £50 to £150 more.

however, if the used machine is less than 12 months, you can at least rest in the know ledge that if its a trouble machine, you have have it fixed and flog it
 

mpantone

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2009
450
0
Just buy with an American Express (or a few other similar cards). They tack on one year to the manufacturer's warranty.

Plus they offer 90-day buyer's purchase protection, so if you drop your MacBook Pro early on and shatter the screen, they'll cover the repair (which Apple won't do anyhow since it's not a manufacturing defect).

For this reason I buy all of my consumer electronics and big ticket items (like appliances) on my Amex.

Also, all major travel expenses (air, hotel, rental car) go on the same card.

I'd never pay for extended warranty coverage since Amex offers it as one of their standard cardmember benefits.
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2013
1,516
369
Oregon, USA
But does the rMBP even have that high of a rate of "failure?"
I find it to be less about the machine than the person. AC is perfect for people who aren't comfortable taking machines apart and/or don't have time to futz with a problem computer. If this describes you, go for it on a new machine. Folks who can do fixes short of soldering tend to replace components, which are the most likely to fail, like HDD.

The point of having it on a used purchase is certainty. You know if something went wrong, it was likely fixed and not by someone without training. Without it, something may have stopped working and still be so or have a dodgy fix.
 

poose22

macrumors member
Jan 25, 2010
82
2
if you can afford it, I think it's a safer bet to get the warranty with the rMBP's since they're such a tough computer to repair compared to the MBP's. If something does goes wrong with it, you're looking at a pricey repair job. A battery replacement could cost around $500!

iFixit declared Apple’s rMBP''s “the least repairable laptop” it has ever taken apart

Also, I'm not sure how the newer models are, but when the rMBP's first came out they had big issues with image retention. Based on my research, it was only an issue with the LG displays, not the Samsung ones. It started happening to my 2012 model 11 months after I bought my computer, but was obviously covered under the 1-year warranty. I had applecare anyways, but the repair would've been around $650 had it been after the 1-year mark.

So be careful with the model you're getting if the warranty is expired. Overall, you may never run into an issue, but like the previous person said, if you're going to be spending a pretty good amount on it, I would get one with a warranty for sure.
 

KevinC867

macrumors 6502a
Jun 8, 2007
620
1
Saratoga, CA
A battery replacement could cost around $500
With the amount of stuff they need to include with a battery replacement (entire top case, etc.) it seems like it should cost $500. However, Apple's stated price to replace the battery on a rMBP is $199. I would imagine they are losing money at that price.
 

GP20

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2012
69
0
With the amount of stuff they need to include with a battery replacement (entire top case, etc.) it seems like it should cost $500. However, Apple's stated price to replace the battery on a rMBP is $199. I would imagine they are losing money at that price.
Does that mean a new keyboard as well?
 

eneisch

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2008
649
112
Just buy with an American Express (or a few other similar cards). They tack on one year to the manufacturer's warranty.

Plus they offer 90-day buyer's purchase protection, so if you drop your MacBook Pro early on and shatter the screen, they'll cover the repair (which Apple won't do anyhow since it's not a manufacturing defect).

For this reason I buy all of my consumer electronics and big ticket items (like appliances) on my Amex.

Also, all major travel expenses (air, hotel, rental car) go on the same card.

I'd never pay for extended warranty coverage since Amex offers it as one of their standard cardmember benefits.
I not sure the AMEX warranty will apply to an eBay purchase, especially if it a used item. Better check with AMEX before making that assumption.
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,088
4
Sol III - Terra
I not sure the AMEX warranty will apply to an eBay purchase, especially if it a used item. Better check with AMEX before making that assumption.
Id does not apply to used items. Also, how does one even use a credit card to pay for something bought on ebay? I thought you had to use paypal. This one step removed for payment may affect credit card warranties when you're buying new from an authorized dealer through ebay.
 

SomeMacGuy

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2007
61
43
Nova Scotia
if an electronic device is going to fail, it will fail well within the first year - more likely in the first few days/weeks of operation. If the eBay rMBP has survived a 18 months of trouble-free operation, it's doubtful any components are on the verge of failure.
Agreed! I'll buy a new machine with no AppleCare roughly every 2 years. In my area that's the optimal time to sell depreciation-wise. I use my machine as a desktop 95% of the time so even two years old they look brand new which makes them easy to sell for a good price.

Right out of the box you're covered for one year, the second year I live dangerously and hope for the best.

I'm on my 5th MBP and I've never had any trouble other than the notorious 8600M GPU failure. When that machine died went I went out, bought a new machine that day and when the computer came back repaired from Apple I sold it. Keeping your credit card paid off is the best way to deal with needing to drop that kind of money on zero notice.

Overall no AppleCare has been worth it.
 

Hookemfins

macrumors 6502
Jan 13, 2013
324
21
Florida
Id does not apply to used items. Also, how does one even use a credit card to pay for something bought on ebay? I thought you had to use paypal. This one step removed for payment may affect credit card warranties when you're buying new from an authorized dealer through ebay.
Very easily. That's all I used on ebay was a CC. Link the card to your account. When you pay through PP, choose pay by another method (or something like that) pick your CC. On my PP account I have 2 AMEX cards plus my bank account.
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,088
4
Sol III - Terra
Very easily. That's all I used on ebay was a CC. Link the card to your account. When you pay through PP, choose pay by another method (or something like that) pick your CC. On my PP account I have 2 AMEX cards plus my bank account.
I kinda meant you're not paying for the item directly with your credit card.. it may break the credit card extended warranty link.
 
Last edited:

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,488
119
Kansas, USA
If you plan on hanging onto the machine for a while, it's worth getting. My old mid-2009 MBP was perfect for the first year and didn't start having issues until almost three years. And because the issues started before AC expired but keep coming back I've continued to get free repairs. The only thing I've paid for was a battery.

I got AC for my new rMBP because it's so challenging to repair. I can do simple repairs on my old MBP, but the new one is much harder to replace broken parts on. I plan on keeping it for 4-5 years or longer, so AC should help keep it running if something goes wrong before 3 years.
 

M5RahuL

macrumors 68030
Aug 1, 2009
2,699
1,030
Colorado
I'm not big into extended warranties. However, with the rMBPs being such a PITA to repair, I'd recommend getting one that's either within the initial warranty period, or one that comes with AC tacked on already if the initial warranty has expired.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,772
2,052
if you can afford it, I think it's a safer bet to get the warranty with the rMBP's since they're such a tough computer to repair compared to the MBP's. If something does goes wrong with it, you're looking at a pricey repair job. A battery replacement could cost around $500!
At least try to be accurate with your ballpark figures. The price has been known for some time at $200. This is higher than some of the older ones where a battery was $130. I think it was a little higher once they switched to a non-user serviceable battery. Applecare doesn't cover battery wear and tear though, which outside of the first year is a more common reason for battery replacement depending on use. They go by the number of cycles on the battery. While others have noted the "up to 1000 cycles to 80%" the amount warrantied is much much less. I think it's a few hundred, but I don't have an exact figure for you. Assuming no user inflicted damage, they do sometimes offer depot repair on out of warranty service. Last time it was offered to me on a 15" notebook, it was $350, which would have been about the cost of Applecare on that machine.
 

Hookemfins

macrumors 6502
Jan 13, 2013
324
21
Florida
I kinda meant you're not paying for the item directly with your credit card.. it may break the credit card extended warranty link.
You are paying directly through your credit card even though PayPal. The AMEX warranty just extends an already existing warranty. So I believe that if you are under warranty with your purchase then the AMEX warranty program would still apply.

From my previous conversations with AMEX the 90 day return policy does apply to Ebay purchases but not used or products that aren't in "like new" condition. There is also a purchase limit on items so that would probably rule out computers.

Also, how does one even use a credit card to pay for something bought on ebay? I thought you had to use paypal.
My original response was to the question within your post. Sorry for not highlighting just that part.
 

bigwig

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2005
679
0
Do all Amex cards have the extended warranty benefit, or just the big-annual-fee charge cards?
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,709
267
Oregon
Looking at the big picture, AppleCare is a losing proposition because it is profitable for Apple (as are all "extended warranties"). So if you own enough computers, in the long run it will not be worth it.

AppleCare is insurance and should be evaluated like any insurance policy -- you buy it to protect against catastrophes. If you can't afford a repair or replacement then buy it. If you can afford a repair or replacement then don't.
 

crossi81

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2012
40
1
AppleCare makes little sense if you are an european customer. We have a 2 years warranty here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AppleCare#AppleCare_and_EU_legislation

If it doesn't fail in the first 2 years, it's probably not an hardware defect, but something that could happen at any time (like a drive failure).

If you are a US customer, I don't know... If you're spending something like 2k usd, I'd probably buy it to extend that 1 year warranty. I would not if I'm going to buy "cheaper" mac products. My 2 cents.
 

zipa

macrumors 65816
Feb 19, 2010
1,442
1
AppleCare makes little sense if you are an european customer. We have a 2 years warranty here

And in addition to that the manufacturer is responsible for manufacturing defects for the entire lifespan of the product. I never buy any extended warranties for anything, the regular warranty plus home insurance is enough for me.

This only applies for consumers, though. For business use I always get full support and/or warranty.
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,088
4
Sol III - Terra
Looking at the big picture, AppleCare is a losing proposition because it is profitable for Apple (as are all "extended warranties"). So if you own enough computers, in the long run it will not be worth it.

AppleCare is insurance and should be evaluated like any insurance policy -- you buy it to protect against catastrophes. If you can't afford a repair or replacement then buy it. If you can afford a repair or replacement then don't.
The way I look at it AppleCare at $150 is not worth it for a $600 Mac mini, especially if your credit card adds a year. On the other hand at $170 for a $2000+ iMac it is worth it.

Each person has to make their own call. I've spent around $1500 for AppleCare over 12 years and I've had at least $4000 worth of covered repairs. The bulk of that was for a PowerMac G5 and a 27" iMac.
 
Last edited:

mpantone

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2009
450
0
Id does not apply to used items. Also, how does one even use a credit card to pay for something bought on ebay? I thought you had to use paypal. This one step removed for payment may affect credit card warranties when you're buying new from an authorized dealer through ebay.
Yes, you're right. Amex's extended warranty is for new purchases.
 

zipa

macrumors 65816
Feb 19, 2010
1,442
1
I've spent around $1500 for AppleCare over 12 years and I've had at least $4000 worth of repairs.

Goddamn!?! Do you think that you have been extremely unlucky or is Apple's QC just one big joke?
 

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