Monday, March 19, 2007

The Limits of Apple’s Warranty

Rob Griffiths

Somewhat shocked at the assertion we couldn’t go any further unless I pulled out my Visa card, I asked the rep “so let me get this straight. I have a machine which is under warranty. But in order to prove to you that it’s broken, I have to pay you money first so you can try to fix it over the phone?” He replied that I was correct. I then asked what my “free” repair options were for my broken machine, and there was basically only one: take it to an authorized service center, where they can do the diagnosis and then send it in if it’s really hardware.

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apple's policies are total BS by now.

I had a mbp with a dead superdrive, the policy is I go to the next apple autorized reseller and have them find out that it really is dead, then I leave my mbp there while they order the part (no I can't take it back home with me, it stays there) and then it gets fixed and I get to pick it up again... do I have applecare? hell yeah I do.
is it worth it? HELL NO

if it weren't for me making a hell of a scene to get my mbp back with me and the apple reseller sort of going past apple policy I would have worked with a mac mini for 3 days while they were waiting for the part to arrive. (lucky I have one)

so if you're new to apple hardware, do buy 2 of the same machines if you rely on them, you just might end up leaving your almost fully working machine at the reseller while they wait for apple parts...

I'd consider myself lucky if I got it back in three days. The first time my MacBook Pro broke, I took it to a reseller thinking it would be faster for them to get the part than to mail the whole computer back and forth to Apple. It ended up taking ten days.

I like to put in a story about a friend of mine that owns a thinkpad, whenever I talk about apple sucking.

this guy is a private person, no business, just a guy with a thinkpad.

his cdrom drive broke, he called ibm, they walked him through testing if it was really broken. after 5 minutes of testing, they found out it was really broken.

upon that they asked him if he could handle a screwdriver, to which he replied yes.

they sent him the replacement part, inside the package was a huge red piece of paper, on it the number of the supportline to call. he called, they walked him throught the replacement.

this in itself is a nice thing, he didn't have to go through the hassle of sending the thinkpad in.

but the really cool thing? he can't be stopped telling everyone he meets, whenever the talk goes near computers, that he himself repaired his thinkpad and what a great and sturdy machine it is...

It's sad to hear of Apple's (apparent) change in support policy. I always get AppleCare on my notebooks, and have used their service 3-4 times over the last 4 years for some fairly severe issues. It's always been an exceptional experience each time and I've never been without the machine for more than 3 days.

then I leave my mbp there while they order the part (no I can't take it back home with me, it stays there)

Individual "geniuses" may choose to be jerks about it, but there's no companywide policy against letting the customer hold onto their machine while parts are ordered. My local Apple Store does it consistently, in cases where the machine isn't busted or at obvious risk. We're a mostly-Mac shop, and we go in often enough to be recognized, but I've seen Apple extend the same courtesy for others.

The store in your case wasn't even Apple-owned. The chance that Apple's policies on this subject would apply to them seem close to nil, whatever you were told.

I have found the Finnish 3rd party Apple repair centres really good abut this stuff. I have taken in several machines which work but have defects, they have been checked out within a day and I have picked them up and arranged another day to bring the machine back in for repair. My machines are usually away from me no more than 2 days.

Which beats Sony's policy of weeks and trying to charge me several euros for replacing a missing screw.

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