Pointless to buy Apple Care if you are a smoker??!!!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SD-B, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. SD-B macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    I have a MacBookPro and its apple care warranty is up on the 4th of this month.

    Last month my DVD drive stopped working although i have hardly ever used it so I didn't run off to get it fixed for I really don't use it, plus I knew I would be brining it in just before the Aug 4th date and would deal with it then.

    I also use Watts Battery and it told me I needed it to be fixed that something is wrong with it.

    Plus, unfortunately as a smoker, I dropped some ash on a key and before i noticed it, the key was damaged so I was prepared to pay cash for a new keyboard, or whatever it was they could do, as it was my stupidity, not Apples.

    The guy was very nice and told me that yes, the keyboard was not covered but they would work something out and alluded to the idea that they would fix it and likely do it for free or at a very good cost as I don't ever take advantage of Apple Care. In fact, I haven't ever used it once until now.

    When I first came in they checked me off and told me to go sit at the side while waiting for help (I had an appointment) As it turned out, the guy didn't actually check me in and I sat there for about 45 minutes waiting before I noticed people coming in after me were getting helped and when I asked, t hey apologized and said I hadn't actually been marked off.
    I felt that this made the guy who as helping me a bit more empathetic about fixing the keyboard for possibly free or at last a good deal if he was able to do so.

    30 minutes pass and the fellow comes out, with my MBP in a white bag, and he's wearing blue surgical gloves.
    He proceeds to tell me that no one there is willing to open up my MBP as I am a smoker and its a bio-hazard.
    I thought he was joking but soon realized he was dead serious.

    I was told that I needed to take it to a 3rd party who I would have to pay, for them to clean out my laptop before they would consider working on it, by which point of course, my apple warranty would have expired.

    Never having ever had anyone turn away a computer before of mine, let alone any device, for being a smoker, I was left speechless at what seemed terribly absurd an overreaction to me.

    I have several well known and well placed friends/reporters in the media in the city I live in and am tempted to take this story to them to see if they feel as well that this is pretty absurd and/or an over reaction by an anti-smoking zealot.

    I have one friend already that does weekly podcasts all to do with the tech industry who wants to do a piece against Apple for this, providing with research she discovers that it is Apple predominalty

    I find it hard to believe that out of millions of smokers that use Apple Computers that there hasn't been some sort of out cry about this???!!!

    Of course i do expect the typical anti smoking comments and the people behind them to speak up but I would love to hear if this is a common reaction to smokers using Apple computers, from someone familiar with Apple who wont allow their emotions and thoughts about smoking colour their thoughts.

  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    It's not just apple most computer manufacturers have this policy now and tbh I don't blame them. Opening up a smelly sticky laptop or computer is a very nasty job!!
  3. striker33 macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2010
    This isnt an anti smoker comment as such, but I would personally refuse to work on such an old computer owned by a smoker as well.

    No offense, but after 3 years of being subject to ciggies the thing must be disgusting inside.
  4. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    If you smoke, keep it far, far away from your computer. That does nasty things to the inside of a machine, clogging up stuff all over the place. I can definitely see refusing to work on a machine that had heavy smoke residue (I've worked on some before, and it does nasty things to my breathing while I'm around it too). It definitely would fall under the abuse category for a computer, too, so AppleCare should cover repairs if they're caused by the tar buildup or of course by a ash dropping like you described.

  5. beamer8912 macrumors 65816

    May 30, 2009
    TBH this doesn't surprise me. Non-smokers try very hard to prevent exposure to smokers/cigarettes/2nd hand fumes.
  6. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I could see being unwilling to work on the computer if they opened it up and it was filled with tar, but how did they know what was inside? I would imagine it varies based on how much you smoke and how close to the computer you are. I've opened up my computers before and sometimes I am amazed how much dust and lint is in them, so it is easy to imagine a computer near cigarette smoke would be pretty messy.

    Sorry about your bad luck. You could try calling customer relations. Not sure if the same number works for Toronto but in the US it's 408 996 1010.
  7. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68020


    Mar 15, 2009
    To the OP - instead of trying to do battle with Apple, why don't you take this as a sign that what you are putting into your own body is considered a bio-hazard and change your ways? Most reasonable people would see this as a reality check. Giving yourself cancer and emphysema is one thing - it's your body and you can make it sick if you choose - but expecting someone else to willingly expose themselves to the same toxins is unreasonable and unrealistic.

    Good luck trying to get the media to cover this story. I empathize with your inability to have the laptop repaired under warranty, however I'd be surprised if any component failures would be covered under the warranty anyway if they were coated in cigarette smoke residue. With all due respect, you are only sharing one side of this story. For all we know Apple opened up your laptop in the back and god knows what they saw that would make them wear blue gloves and declare your laptop a bio-hazard. How do we know that you haven't been chain smoking in close proximity of your laptop for the last three years, slowly coating the inside of your machine this whole time?

    I don't know you and I'm not trying to pick on you because you're a smoker, but please look at things from the other perspective. It's not healthy and I would have done the exact same thing if I were in that employee's position. My health is far too important.
  8. Silmarien macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2011
    I cant believe how ignorant and stupid the other post are. He had the Apple Care. They had to take it in either they liked it or not. He paid for the apple care and since the terms and agreement say nothing about smokers then it was very unprofessional of them.
  9. diane143 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    In the late 80's I worked for a computer rental company. We had a client who rented a ton of Mac Pluses from us, with external floppies. Just about every external drive failed and many of the internal ones did as well. When I went to their office (smoking was still allowed in the workplace back then), I'd find ashtrays on top of the machines. I begged them to please stop smoking as much around the machines but they didn't care - the rental agreement clearly covered replacements for defective equipment. We had to show them how gummed up the inside of the drives were with nicotine and tell them we wouldn't cover anything we discovered damaged that way before they even listened a little.
  10. AZREOSpecialist, Aug 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2012

    AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68020


    Mar 15, 2009
    Is the world really this black-and-white to you?


    You don't think there are clauses in your AppleCare contract that give Apple ultimate discretion whether or not they will repair your machine? Just because you purchased and paid for AppleCare does not mean Apple has to accept your repair whether they "liked it or not". That's not how these things work. Apple always has the right to refuse a repair if they feel the unit has been abused, mishandled, or constitutes a hazard for the employees.
  11. HighEndMac macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2011
  12. beamer8912 macrumors 65816

    May 30, 2009
    This has happened before. The consumerist indicates Apple will void your warranty.
  13. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    Jeez, how disgusting was your laptop that you couldn't nip out and grab a canister of pressurised air and blow the keyboard clean then come back to the Apple store the same day within warranty - I'm guessing it wasn't just ash stuck in there? Pretty revolting. Can't stand smoking as it is, but doing so over an expensive laptop is downright idiocy.
  14. Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    If you read the AppleCare Terms and Conditions:

    Damage caused by smoke is at least an external cause, if not abuse or misuse. AppleCare simply covers from damage resulting from malfunction of internal parts that happen completely by themselves (note that I am not a lawyer and this is not a legal opinion).

    This is why I always recommend REAL insurance over AppleCare. It's far cheaper, and actually covers against this sort of stuff (if you get the right insurance). AppleCare is simply an extended warranty.

    Honestly, smoking does TERRIBLE things to electronics. If you smoke, I'm sure you've seen all the health-stuff of plaque-filled lungs, etc. A laptop's fans do the same thing as lungs do - they take in air, and they release it. Just like lungs, constant cigarette residue will eventually build up and clog everything.

    Tl;dr - don't smoke near your computer.
  15. hakuin macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2010
    Go back on Saturday or Sunday when there is probably a different person there and say your friend did it.
  16. iMacDragon macrumors 68000


    Oct 18, 2008
    "(ii) Damage caused by (a) a product that is not the Covered Equipment (b) accident,
    abuse, misuse, liquid contact, fire, earthquake or other external cause,"

    I think smoking damage counts as other external cause.
  17. HighEndMac macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2011
    Really? Its always improved my experience with electronics!:D

    But ya good advice.
  18. AZREOSpecialist, Aug 1, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012

    AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68020


    Mar 15, 2009
    I love my Volcano Digit :)
  19. AzN1337c0d3r macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2010
    I used to work laptop repair for Gateway/Compaq (man are those things cheaply made) and quite a few units had a smoky smell. I'm not quite sure why they're claiming it's a biohazard. Smoke residue/tar isn't that hazardous to your health. Anyways I've seen weirder things in a laptop, for example, one was basically an anthill.

    A quick blast of compressed air after pulling open the covers fixes everything.
  20. taedouni macrumors 65816

    Jun 7, 2011
    If you used Google then you would see that this policy is not new. I don't blame Apple for refusing to service your computer. They fix computers, not remove your mess. How do you think they can fix the computer? Any technician would need to use compress air to remove dust. If you have ash residue all over the place it would get in the air,henceforth why they call it a hazard. This is Apple, not a biohazard clean room. Why don't you open it yourself and see just how bad it is. Please post pics.
  21. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    They need to honor the request and open it, smoke or not. I'd raise hell and demand a manager. I don't see how smoke damage can cause a DVD drive to fail, but if they open it up and find evidence that this is the cause they shouldn't cover it. Sounds fair right?

    I bought a used camera on eBay once that was so disgusting with smoke smell I couldn't bear to bring the thing up to my face. And I'm not one of those "anti-smoking" nazis either. I sent it back. I can't imagine what the last owner's lungs looked like.
  22. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    Reminds me of buying preowned games and opening them up to the vile stench on the disc, case and every page of the manual. It was so disappointing.
  23. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Sydney, Australia.
    This is absolute BS. Apple is obviously attempting a bit of social engineering by this attempt at humiliation.

    I am an intermittent heavy smoker and I've never had any complaints of smoke residue on the 4 or so laptops I've lodged with apple for repair.

    It is obvious they are they are reacting to your admission that you are a smoker, rather than any actual smoke damage.

    I'd be going boots and all on this. Open it up and take photos of the fans, etc (it won't be anything as bad as the cheese-cloth nazi aka genius (yeah right) suggested) and release it to the media.
  24. mykelala01 macrumors 6502


    May 17, 2009
    "Blast of compressed air" is that a biohazard too, which harm our ozone layer. How I love green initiative people.

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229 August 1, 2012