Turns out AppleCare is available to Florida residents, but Apple is too cheap to pay a one-time $500 administrative fee to the state to be allowed to offer it.

It’s no secret that extended warranties are mostly a money tree for manufacturers, and with so many retirees on limited incomes living in Florida, the state enacted a law years ago to protect them. This law essentially makes it illegal for companies to offer extended warranties unless they pay a one-time $500 fee to the state for a corporate “background check” of sorts to ensure the company offering the extended warranty is legitimate and meets certain financial criteria.

The byproduct of this was that Apple wouldn’t offer AppleCare to Florida residents, but until fellow ATPM staffer Lee Bennett pointed me to an investigative article at the St. Petersburg Times, no one really knew why Apple wasn’t offering AppleCare. Stories that made the rounds of the Mac Web included the untrue rumour that all extended warranties were illegal in Florida and the similarly untrue rumour that manufacturer’s warranties were limited to one year by the state.

So much for that idea.

The blogosphere/Mac Web/whatever absolutely needs to hold Apple’s feet to the fire for this. A one-time fee of $500 is a piss-poor excuse for refusing to offer AppleCare to all 16 million residents of a state with seven Apple Stores. (Florida is third behind California and New York for most Apple Stores.) Microsoft and Gateway both offer extended warranties in Florida. Dell appears to offer extended warranty service in Florida. Dare I point out that despite Apple’s consistently superior customer service ratings in such magazines as Consumer Reports, people constantly cite warranty coverage as a reason to choose Dells over Macs?

I’ll take this opportunity to remind you that a thoughtfully worded letter to sjobs@apple.com will have an effect, especially if it’s accompanied by a million others saying the same thing: quit being cheap, pay the $500, stop losing sales to Dell, and start raking in the cash from your Floridian customers!

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  1. applecare is available to florida residents over the internet. i bought a computer and monitor from an apple store in orlando and was told that i couldn’t get apple care. i went to apple’s website and ordered it there. no problem

  2. Slippery Pete Wednesday, April 6, 2005

    Dude, just pay the $500 yourself. Seriously. Or start a collection. Email me and I’ll donate $50. Find eight more people (plus yourself) and…problem solved.

  3. Why should the customer have to pay this measly fee when a company as big as Apple throws $500 around like pocket change. It’s the principle of the thing.

  4. Pete, aside from it being, as Josh said, the principle of the thing, I HIGHLY doubt that an individual can apply for “warranty status” on behalf of a company.

    No, Apple must do this themselves.

    Carl: I’ve heard of other people doing as you did with success. However, when they tried to make a claim under the AppleCare warranty, it was rejected. Caveat emptor is the operative phrase here. Until Apple resolves the issue with the state of Florida, I wouldn’t count on being able to actually use the AppleCare you paid good money for.


  5. Slippery Pete Thursday, April 7, 2005

    Ok, you guys obviously don’t understand what I’m getting at here. This is The Apple Blog, correct? And The Apple Blog (as well as its readers) are surprised and somewhat pissed at Apple’s juvenile refusal to pony up $500 to provide warranty coverage to the entire point of Florida.

    My point was that starting a fund drive publicly, on this blog, would be a great way to draw attention to this silly matter and get attention for this Blog.

  6. Haha, Pete, your original post sure didn’t covey any sort of “point.” And how would starting a fund drive to raise $500 for Apple’s pettiness do any good to draw attention to the issue? Wouldn’t that be us, the Apple users, still paying the $500? Maybe I’m missing something here but it seems pretty cut and dry. Apple should quit being little toddlers over this issue and just fork over the $500. They’d make that back in a matter of hours with people buying the AppleCare package. There is NO reason Apple users should have to fork over a penny for apple in this case…especially when they still have to buy an AppleCare package.

  7. Slippery Pete Thursday, April 7, 2005

    Congratulations, Josh, you are the densest person I’ve interacted with all week.

  8. Haha…Pete, think what you would like…but you’ve yet to provide any grounds/explanations/reasons for ANY of your thoughts/points.

  9. Slippery Pete Friday, April 8, 2005

    Take a pill, dude. Jesus Christ. You wanna hold Senate hearings on my so-called sneer-quoted “points”? You wanna dance? Think you can take me? My dad can beat up your dad.

    Grow up and have your blood pressure check out.

  10. Slippery Pete Friday, April 8, 2005

    I’ll try, one last time (God knows why I’m wasting my time) to explaing my so-called sneer-quoted grounds/explanations/reasons/thoughts/points. I was suggesting, albeit far too subtly for certain people, that TAB hold a mock fund-raising of $500 to illustrate how ridiculously cheap Apple is being here. Score a little PR and maybe get Apple’s attention. That was it. That’s the alpha and the omega of my entire ground/explanation/reason/thought/point.

    There is, really, so very very little to it that I’m starting to wonder if your amusingly Dickensian names (both of them) aren’t clues that this absurd pigheadedness isn’t just a bit of joshing at my expense.

    Do you understand now, or is further clarification/explanation/dissertation/self-flaggelation required to beat my little ground/explanation/reason/thought/point even further into the dust?

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