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Summary:

Back when I was in high school, I worked at Best Buy for about 6 months. (Of course I was selling computers!) Yeah, that was a fun time…trust me when I say, no one knows anything there. But I digress. I mention this job because we […]

Back when I was in high school, I worked at Best Buy for about 6 months. (Of course I was selling computers!) Yeah, that was a fun time…trust me when I say, no one knows anything there.

But I digress. I mention this job because we tried selling BB’s protection plans (warranties) for everything. I would never have bought one myself, but whatever. Well, AppleCare is Apple’s “protection plan”. Buy it. I’m totally serious here.

When I got my 17″ Powerbook (the day it arrived in the stores following their announcement), I put down the extra $249 for 3 years of protection. Over the past 2 years, I’ve called with a couple minor-ish problems that AppleCare tech folks have been great about helping me work out. I just called them last week because I’ve had a couple bright spots in the display, and most recently the onboard speakers stopped working for some reason. This is the experience I had…

  • On Thursday night the 27th I called AppleCare, explained the problems I wanted fixed under my Protection plan. They logged the ticket and told me I’d receive the packaging in a couple business days in order to ship my Powerbook back to them. They also said it may take up to 2 weeks, based on the multiple issues I requested service for. (I figured this was probably on the high side, but didn’t know what to expect.)
  • On Monday the 31st I got the box. Packaging was very complete and of high quality. There were instructions on how to do it all (if you couldn’t figure it out by yourself), and then I just had to peel their shipping tag off and waa-laa, the return tag was underneath!
  • My Powerbook was picked up Tuesday EVENING the 1st of February.
  • Today – Thursday, February 3rd – a couple hours before NOON, my wife called me at work to tell me that my Powerbook with the BRAND NEW 17″ DISPLAY had arrived back at the house! And not only that, they’d handled the speaker issue and a couple other small things they’d detected in diagnostic checks.

All in a DAY! The longest part of the whole process was waiting for the packaging to arrive, and that was because it was over a weekend. My hat is off to Apple and their Technical Services.

The biggest thing to me is, that for $249, I got an entirely new 17″ display on my Powerbook. See what that runs you out of your own pocket. I guarantee it wouldn’t be pretty. The speed of their service and the quality of their response is remarkable. I’ve not ever experienced this kind of customer support/service with any company.

The Price of AppleCare is completely worth it. Yes, Apple makes quality products, but you never know when some glitch in the assembly line, or age will take effect on your hardware. It’s a small price to pay on your investment. I recommend AppleCare to everyone.

It was only three days!! I cannot believe it. My baby’s back…

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  1. Sounds good. I’m curious as to how this goes in other countries, such as the Netherlands.

  2. I have had a similar positive experience with AppleCare. I had never purchased a warranty program for my computer(s) before, but I opted for it with my 12″ PowerBook G4. I recently sent it in to have the infamous squeaking hinge issue handled appropriately. The box arrived at my door Monday morning, I sent it out Monday afternoon, and the repaired laptop returned to my door Tuesday afternoon. A 36 hour turnaround!

    1. Well, Stay AwayNot anymore a good service, as of 2009-2010
      I work for BestBuy too in the computer devision, GeekSquad as a technician for Mac since 2008. Apple care used to be a great service but not any more. I can go all day long telling you the horrible stories of the bad complaines people have with the technical side of the Apple care. if you have a hardware issues it is not a great service like it used to be, most of the time i see logic board issues with imac and laptops that the company will not cover and the client that paid $1500 get no warranty cover. If you need the apple care for technical questions I would say buy it even though you can get your answer from google, but if you want hardware support stay away from Apple-care.

  3. Hmm, that gives me hope. I’ve used AppleCare before, and generally it’s great, although when I had the HD replaced on this 17″ baby right before WWDC 2004, it was *bad*. They screwed up somehow and damaged my logic board such that it blew my airport and bluetooth. I had to send it back and it spent 2 days in a repair center in Texas (I live in MA, so that’s half the country away), and the extra repair time plus transit time meant I didn’t have my baby when I had to leave for WWDC 2004.

    But I’m treating that as a rare anomaly. Hopefully when I send in my baby again to have the HD replaced again (it hasn’t died yet, but it was a-squeekin’ when I installed Tiger on my 2nd partition, and the Genus bar guy said that means it will die), plus the right speaker’s pretty much dead and needs fixing. Erm, right, as I was saying, hopefully I’ll get a similar experience to yours.

    1. Well,Stay Away of Apple care. Not anymore a good service, as of 2009-2010
      I work for BestBuy too in the computer devision, GeekSquad as a technician for Mac since 2008. Apple care used to be a great service but not any more. I can go all day long telling you the horrible stories of the bad complaines people have with the technical side of the Apple care. if you have a hardware issues it is not a great service like it used to be, most of the time i see logic board issues with imac and laptops that the company will not cover and the client that paid $1500 get no warranty cover. If you need the apple care for technical questions I would say buy it even though you can get your answer from google, but if you want hardware support stay away from Apple-care.

  4. Kevin – sorry to hear about all that. What a drag!

    but yeah, seems to be the exception with all the good things I’ve read.

    Odd that you had a speaker problem too. wonder what that’s all about in the 17 inchers…?

    Good luck!

  5. I’ve never had a need to actually use it, but I have AppleCare on my 12-inch Powerbook.

    Because I’m a geek with no self control, I just ordered the speed-bump PB. Actually, I was already considering upsizing my HD, so this is really a 50% processor upgrade, 2.5 times HD upgrade and iLife for about 500-600 bucks after I sell the old PB on eBay.

    But one big problem I’m running into is that Apple has no program to transfer the remainder of my AppleCare account to the new PB. My only options are to recover the value on eBay (unlikely) or to get a refund for the remaining pro-rated value in a check from Apple.

    It would seem to be in Apple’s interest to let me simply apply that value to a new contract on the new PB, but after almost an hour on the phone last night I found that it’s a no-go as far as Apple’s concerned. Their reason: It would be too complicated for us to manage that.

    I can’t be ther first person in creation to upgrade a PB before the AppleCare timed out. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

  6. Tim – that’s really surprising. I find it hard to believe that Apple hasn’t figured out a simple system for making that switch.

    I can’t see the financial upside for them, I mean, they’d end up reimbursing you the remainder anyway. odd.

    enjoy the new PB. I’m trying to push the idea of a Mini with a 23″ display to my wife…wish me luck! :)

  7. This is good applecare news. I just sent off my Macbook Pro yesterday (A monday) for some dead pixels. Great packaging, and they got it today (Tuesday). The website says “part on order” under the status info, so I dont know what to think. These other comments are good news though, so hopefully it’ll be back soon.

  8. After going through a really difficult time getting my apple care extended warranty honored, and having techtools trash my G5, and speaking to more than a few other individuals that also experienced problems, I created a website to document user problems with the extended warranty products.

    The site is new, so the reporting won’t be up until mid Feb

    If you, or someone you know has experienced a problem with applecare, please have them complete the survey at: http://www.applecarecenter.com

    Note: Not associated with apple.com or apple computer.

    Why post here and try to gather user information?

    I don’t know another way to change company policies. An individual taking up a problem gets you no where, IMHO..

    Will apple change its policies because one user has a problem? I don’t, hence the website.

    To clarify, there are two issues, the first one affects every purchase of applecare, and the second one affects anyone running 10.4.x. that bought applecare in 05.

    Issue 1:

    You buy your apple product and applecare 3 year warranty. In year 2 something breaks and you try to get it fixed. Guess what? If you did not “activate” your warranty during the original warranty period, apple will not honor it – doesn’t matter if you paid for it or not.

    The only way they will honor it is if you can provide them with the original sales receipt showing you bought the product and the warranty at the same time. If you don’t have the original sales receipt you are out of luck – and the money you spent on the warranty. However, if you do have it then you still have to wait 7-10 business days for them to “review and approve” your sales receipt, which isn’t too much fun when you use your Mac for biz.

    This practice applies to everything from the ipod to a server.

    If you bought an extended warranty and have not activated it I strongly suggest you do so now.

    Issue 2:

    As part of the applecare warranty instructions, it tells you to run techtools before you call apple for support. However, the techtools provided may not be the same as the operating system. In my case, I bought my G5 in July 05 and it came with 10.4, techtools was updated to only 10.3. I ran techtools and repaired the drive – which promptly destroyed the operating system. When I spoke with tech support they acknowledged the problem. The only fix was to erase the disk and do a re-install.

    To me, this is simply not an acceptable practice. If apple knows that such a serious problem exists, they could have at least sent out an email or letter. They use the registration information for marketing, don’t you think they could use it to warn users?

    My issues are resolved. My posts and web site are not meant to help me, they are for helping everyone else that may encounter these problems in the future.

  9. I have been very disappointed in Applecare’s service warranty. I bought my warranty in Canada and moved to Senegal 6 months later. When my ibook needed service, I couldn’t call the Applecare Canada number from Senegal, but the Applecare US number works. The folks I talked to in Applecare US referred me to the only Apple certified technician in Senegal. 10 weeks later and I still don’t have my laptop. And everytime I call Applecare US to ask them to do what they can to speed up the process, they tell me that the Apple folks in Africa are an “independent dealer” and they have no control over them. They suggest I call Applecare France who has more say over this region (although, they always say, Africa is really independent). Unfortunately, I cannot call Applecare France or Applecare Great Britain from here. The numbers won’t go through.

    And this apparently is not an issue just for me in Africa. The fellow I talked to today in Applecare US said that he was just dealing with this issue yesterday for someone in Israel. His comment is that other countries may not have the same acceptable timeframe for service as the US, but at least I have the option for service in Africa. I told him, if I had known this was going to be the case of 10 weeks plus with no laptop, I would’ve found a friend flying to the US to take it back there!

    I challenged him as to why the folks in Africa are certified Apple technicians if they cannot give service in a reasonable time frame.

    In my opinion, Apple’s Global Warranty is not really global, unless you don’t mind going without your computer for 10 weeks and longer!

  10. Stan Severance Monday, June 11, 2007

    Gave the apple store my 15″ macbook pro on June 5th. They said it would be no longer than 3 to 5 days. This is Monday June 11th and they still haven’t looked at it. I will be pulling it from the store if not fixed today. I’m extremely underwhelmed with their service.

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