AppleCare service review


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…



Here is my experience with AppleCare trying to get Windows running properly using Bootcamp… specifically trying to get the drivers for my Macbook Pro installed in my Windows installation after having lost the Mac OSX install CD that comes with the computer:

I have been waiting for 1 month to get an Apple installation disk sent to me in the mail, so I can install the MacBook Pro Drivers (trackpad, keyboard, wireless, videocard, iSight, etc.) on my Bootcamp Windows Installation. These are the steps I’ve had to go through so far, and still Apple has been UNABLE TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE for me.

1) I called AppleCare to find how to install drivers for my new Windows 7 installation on Bootcamp. I no longer have the Apple OSX Install DVD that came with my computer, so I was told to go pick one up from a Mac Store. (20 minutes)

2) I drive to the nearest Mac store, with my laptop, get there and am told that it is impossible for them to give me an installation DVD. It has to be sent from the factory and is custom to my laptop (what BS is that?), and so I have to order it from AppleCare. (1 hour and 30 minutes with driving and returning to my house)

3) I call AppleCare a 2nd time to order the installation disk. I tell them how I need these drivers ASAP and am told it should take between 3 and 5 days… most likely 3 days though. I ordered on a Friday or Thursday and they say expect it in the mail on the following Tuesday. (20 minutes on the phone)

4) 2 weeks pass an no Mac OSX Installation Disc. I call AppleCare to ask whats up. I speak to a representative, who says they are going to check and they end up hanging up on me. (15 minutes)

5) I call a second time… I speak with a representative. Am put on hold again and then am transferred to a more senior associate… Krista. And am told it is only just leaving the warehouse and to wait a few more days. (30 minutes)

6) Installation disc arrives 1 week later, I pop it in and the drivers are no where to be found on the disc. I call AppleCare. Hold for 15 minutes to speak with someone. I speak with someone, and he has to put me on hold to figure out how to install the drivers… 20 more minutes. He comes back and says Apple doesn’t support anything related to Windows, and that all he can tell me to do is to put the Apple Mac OSX CD into my computer while Windows is running. DOESN’T WORK. I ask to speak with a supervisor. 10 minutes on hold, and then am disconnected. (45 minutes)

7) I try calling Krista with the extension she gave me, she isn’t available. (5 minutes)

8) I call AppleCare again. Initial hold 10 minutes. Speak with Brittany, she has me put the disk in and out twice. Check all the folders multiple times. Restart the computer into Apple, check for software updates… I was completely up to date. Download a Bootcamp updater for windows… which is useless since I don’t have the initial Windows Bootcamp for windows installed… because I’m supposed to get that from the MacOSX install CD which they sent me, but it isn’t on there. She puts me on hold again for a Senior Advisor. I speak with the senior advisor, Eric, spend a half hour or so and he has no idea how to install the drivers. All anyone can say is that there should be a setup.exe on my MacOSX DVD that I waited a month for Apple to send to me. Finally hangs up saying he will do some research and will call me back. (1 hour and 20 minutes)




I work as a consultant, and bill at $100 dollars an hour. So basically I’VE LOST $500 DEALING WITH APPLE CUSTOMER SUPPORT, and still no one can tell me how to get the drivers running properly for windows. All I’m told is that my MacOSX disc should have a setup.exe file, and because it doesn’t all they can do is send me the identical disc again (Apple apparently makes it impossible to get the drivers for my computer at their Apple stores or over the internet)… so I can go on this Marry-Go-Round all over again.

A much better use of my time would have been to work those 5 hours, take my $500 and go buy a Windows PC.

If anyone from Apple reads this, they can contact me at


Well, 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.


AppleCare went above and beyond for me when my 23″ display died. I bought it about two weeks after my G5 tower so it wasn’t covered in my G5 AppleCare. I had a 3 year plan with the store I bought it from. It had problems but I didn’t think serious because it worked fine but had sleep problems. The store warranty expired a day before it went dead. AppleCare repaired it at no cost because of the G5 AppleCare purchase date so close to the display purchase. I believe they deserve all the good reviews of fast repair and shipping. Super. But this is only half of what the AppleCares is suppose to cover. The AppleCare phone tech support, the award winning geniuses as they call themselves are terrible. Maybe they know the most about how to connect earbuds to a ipod because simple problems are more popular. I’m in the middle. I’ve always had Mac so never needed to learn allot of tech stuff. But occasionally I need to figure something out I can’t find on Apple Community so I call. I called today because my wireless printer wouldn’t communicate with my laptop. He couldn’t help me because it is network related. He could have now that Brother explained the problem. I had to punch the printer address in the print preference settings, somewhat Brothers mistake for not including it in their driver upgrade for OSX 10.6 instructions. The phone guy was preoccupied with something. I doubt he was responding to any on-line support, maybe they have it for iPhones but that’s all I think. I asked a question, long pause, he’d said I’m sorry what did you say? Ending the call should have been easier. I should have hung up but waited for a response. Was he going to actually help me and I should wait? But I can accept this. I realize they can’t get bogged down dealing with networking. A few years ago I put a second hard drive in my G5 tower. THe hard drive explained finding a cable already in place and connecting it to the hard drive. I couldn’t find it. I considered the hard drive instructions might be wrong and I called AppleCare. They told me there isn’t a wire and I need to buy a cable to connect it. So I called the company I bought the hard drive from to order whatever cable I needed. They assured me there was one in the computer already so I looked and finally found it tucked in the upper frame. So I can say they don’t know their own computers. But that’s not the worst of it because I called AppleCare twice trying to figure things out. Two different geniuses told me I need to buy and install a cable. Iw this kind of service to much to ask? Maybe it is and I just don’t understand the limitations. And if you call then and have the AppleCare it’s not helpful to enter extension 0-0-0 to by-pass the messages and information they want. If you do this you could easily be trying to understand the western side of China.


if you would have bought a Dell you would have had a tech at your door in one business day.


my battery died on me recently. it is quite rubbish that applecare decided not to cover it. Applecare wasn’t worth my money. I should have taken the risk and gone without it. This way I would be £150 richer.

My next laptop will be a Windows based one. Here the market is more competitive and I’m sure I can get better value for money.

What a complete, undenyable waste of time and money. DONT BOTHER.*

* apple software is pretty robust, the HARDWARE IS NOT.


I had a bad experience with Applecare I own a Mac Book Air, Dropped it off in a Apple store for a repair after having few bright spots on the monitor. The apple representative inspected my laptop and accepted to replace my monitor, here comes the main story, I got a call from some xxx saying that my laptop repair is on hold and found few parts missing, and accidentally damaged parts, after a long long discussion with supervisor he agreed to cover the repair, it was 16th and when i checked my status it said “repair completed 17th ” it was still 16th 6pm. finally received my laptop on 18th and found “dent” on the base. so again calling the old apple care !

Lucien Creekwater

Apple Care seems great through advertisements and their whole “smart guy” act, but will leave you sitting on the phone for hours, stall you at the store, and basically pay you no mind when you are in need of assistance. I have an iPhone with a simple problem, a dysfunctional power button, that is still under warranty that they refuse to even TELL me how to fix, let alone give me a new phone (which is necessary under warranty)…instead they hype up their new phone to me, in an effort to make more money… DO NOT BUY AN IPHONE if you care about your money. (This strayed a little from applecare, but I couldn’t find another place to discourage apple service and the iPhone)

S nayak

applecare has crappy service and they seemed to have deliberately misled me since may17th. They first told me(apple store in jacksonville FL) it would be shipped the same day and fixed and back in 3 days but I checked and it didnt reach the service center until 3 days later (20th may). They then told me it was already fixed and will be shipped the same day (27th may) . I called back again in the evening (27th may) about 10 min ago and was told they haven not begun working on it yet. All the people I spoke to were very polite but giving me absolutely contradictory statements. Now I am going to call and check every day… maybe twice… since I have lost all trust in what apple has to say. I will be leaving for a conference in boston(28th may) without my G4. I have to travel abroad next week for over a month… may have to buy a generic computer if apple continues their bad streak. Sad to say I was an apple fan(my lab and 2 home computers and an ipod are all apple)but I just got over it. I dont trust them anymore. I prefer to hear the truth, even if it is sore.


I am an apple user in the US. I gave them my computer on Nov. 3 to repair. It is now Dec. 1st and they have not as of yet returned my computer. As this is my school computer I was thinking the 7 – 10 days originally quoted to me would be good. But two weeks later I was informed that I needed to place my computer into it’s original configuration so they could replace it. The replacement would take about 1 week. It has been 1 week from today that I have done as they requested and they have 2 days until a full month has passed without my computer. I have never been as disappointed in apple’s care service as I am right now. They have certainly been dropping a ball they used to be able to carry very well.

Olly Whittall

I am an Apple user based in the UK and have had 2 problems with my Macbook now. Outside of the US you do not send you computer back to apple. Instead you take it to one of their authorised service centres, whos only association with Apple is that they have done the Apple Service Technican Exams. The level of service that you recieve seems to depend on the dealer you use. Some are incredibly good. For example I have found one that will fix your PC the same day or within 24hours if the part is unavailable. I have however had quotes from other dealers for wait times of 4 weeks. My advice for people in this situation would be ring round as many as the Apple Service Centres as possible to find the one with the most efficient wait. Usually these are the dealers that have their own workshop rather than one that sends your computer to a central workshop.

Stan Severance

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.


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!


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:

Note: Not associated with 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.


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.

nick santilli

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! :)


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?

nick santilli

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!

Kevin Ballard

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.


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.


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!


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.

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