So i ordered a refurbished 27" late 2012 iMac just before Christmas (the one listed in my signature) and decided that I would definitely purchase AppleCare, but would wait a bit longer before doing so, since it was already a $2,000 purchase. Initially, I planned to wait a few months before paying the additional $170 for AppleCare, and figured that there was really no additional use for it in the meantime, since the overly simplistic chart on Apple's site basically says your first year of warranty service is covered, even without AppleCare. Upon receiving the iMac, I noticed right away that it had some pretty noticeable issues with image retention. I was pretty disappointed with this, and online documentation from Apple would have you believe that image retention is a common problem with LCDs and that for the most part, it is out of the scope of responsibility for Apple to fix it. So, even though I highly disagree with this statement (none of the other 9 LCDs I've used in the last 7 years has shown image retention to the extent that I am seeing with this iMac) I decided to give it some time, to see if it was an issue I could live with, given the fact that the giant 27" iMac is not exactly return friendly. In any case, after a few weeks of use, I decided that the fact that I spent $2,000 on this computer was enough to deem some sort of action to correct my screen issues worthwhile. I read a few posts from others, saying how easy it was for them to either simply exchange their computers (for the same issue) or have it serviced, so today, I contacted customer service. I first began an online chat. This was not too much a big deal, and although they asked a few questions that were clearly geared towards the typical no-nothing customer, I was able to describe my issue with them well enough for the rep to suggest I either bring it in to an Apple store for service, or if i wanted, he would have a service rep contact me by phone to possibly set up an in-home repair. This was the option I was interested in, since again, a 27" iMac is not the sort of thing you want to be lugging around town. So part 2 is where I spoke with someone on the phone regarding the issues. A little annoying at first was the 5 minutes or so they needed to go over my previous interaction with the online rep, while I was on the line. Could this not have been done before calling me? But fine, no big deal, so after that is done, I go on to give him a little more detail about my image retention. He asks "how long does the image remain visible" and I tell him that I have witnessed image retention lasting around 30 minutes, from the time I closed whatever window caused it, till the light blue silhouette that can be seen on a grey background completely dissolves. He is initially surpassed at this, saying that the "normal" image retention Apple is speaking of, should last no longer than a second or two. (I believe what he is describing would more accurately be referred to as ghosting) Next he wants me to quickly grant him access to a screen share, so he can rule out whatever he needs to. I agree, and though we were both aware that image retention wouldn't display itself on another computer anyway, I believe this was a step that needed to be done more for beurocratic reasons than actual helpfulness. After this is done, he asks if I have taken any pictures of the screen with a camera, and whether I can upload them for him to see. So I upload a photo I took with my iPhone to their special link he sent me in an email. The only other diagnostic he asked me about was whether I had the same issue with any other monitors connected externally to my iMac, which I told him I have not. I have a 24" Dell Ultrasharp sitting right next to the iMac which exhibits no such behavior. With all of this, he says, the issue is definitely a hardware issue that is covered under warranty. Unfortunately he tells me that only in-store repair is covered by the built-in warranty that I have without AppleCare. So that sucked. The whole point of any of this was to get them to initiate some sort of in-home action. Otherwise, I could have easily just scheduled an appointment and taken it in on my own, without first having to spend an hour with customer service. So my immediate reaction is to unfortunately pay for AppleCare over the phone with him so that I can be granted access to in-home repair service. I would typically expect not to have to pay for such an exception when the item that needs service is so large, but seeing as I had planned to eventually get AppleCare anyway, I reluctantly did so. After paying, he informs me that he will need to get approval by his manager (or whatever) to have a service tech dispatched. Since we are already 20-30 minutes into a phone call, he suggests he call me back in 5-10 minute rather than putting me on hold, to which I agree. After about 15 minutes, I get a call, this time not from the 800 number that I was connected to previously, but from a number registered somewhere in Austin, TX. For some reason, the person calling me is not the man I was already speaking to, but the more highly ranked person the previous agent was needing approval from. So a lady begins by giving me the typical "we're very sorry for all of your inconvenience thus far" and "thanks for hanging in there with us". You know, the usual things we hear from every CSR we have the misfortune of working with. She then informs me that my particular case was not something they were able to diagnose and confirm over the phone or online, and that I would need to bring it into a store to have it confirmed before service. Now up until this point, I found nothing objectionable about the process. But immediately I asked her what exactly the purpose of the networked screen share and uploaded photo was. If these were not things capable of returning proper confirmation of my issues, then what purpose did they serve, other than to waste my time? For this she offers another half sincere apology. I also tell her that the 2 people I had already spoken to made no mention of the need to "confirm" my issues before qualifying me for service, in fact, the impression I got from the last guy was that it was something "definitely" covered by my warranty, and something that I could get fixed via the in-home service. Again, an unoriginal "sorry" from the CSR manager. So the final "solution" that she offered me (and something she touted as being outside of their normal scope of offerings) was to call the local service agents in my area to see if any of them would work with them on a free in-home confirmation of my issues. I told her, whatever needs to get done, fine, but I absolutely would not be paying for any additional consultation on account of them not being able to confirm my hardware defect over the phone or online. She says she will call me back in 30 min to an hour with the results of her "findings". After only 20 minutes or so, she calls back to "regrettably" inform me that none of the technicians in my area would be able to do an on-site service confirmation for no charge. She lists pricing anywhere from $150 at one place to $300 minimum rate from another. And unfortunately, this was not a cost they were willing to incur in order for me to confirm that in fact my brand new $2,000 computer had an issue that was worthy of repair. I told her again, there is absolutely no way I am paying for this, and asked whether there was a chance I could simply return or exchange the iMac without having to put up another $2,000 charge on my credit card for the time it takes for them to get my return. Unfortunately, no was the answer I got, which didn't surprise me. So in the end, her ABSOLUTE BEST solution for me was that she would be more than willing to find my nearest Apple store and schedule an in-store service appointment for me. I told her no thanks, I am quite capable of doing so on my own. In all of this, I just cannot help but wonder, if sharing my screen with a CSR and sending them a picture of my issue is not enough to confirm that my computer has a defect, then what issue could ANYONE possibly have that they could in fact confirm over the phone or internet? I suppose the only issues they could possibly get 100% confirmation would be those that were logged through system errors, but if that were the only sort that they could justify scheduling in-home service for, why couldn't they have told me this at the very beginning, before wasting an hour of my time and giving me false hope for an easy outcome? Honestly, is the picture I've attached not enough confirmation of a bad monitor?