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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!