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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > APPLECARE..Is it worth it?

APPLECARE..Is it worth it?
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DUDE 007
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Oct 1, 2003, 03:35 PM
 
I am just about to make the order final but deciding if I should extend the warranty on my new PB G4(17 1.33ghz). For those with Mac is it worth buying the extended warranty...what are your experiences?

The other dilema is whether to upgrade the 4200rpm hard drive to the 5400rpm option....even knowing that eventually I will buy an external 7200rpm firewire drive.

Just so you know this will be my first Mac and I want to do it right the first time soooooooo any advice from anybody will be greatly appreciated.
     
AssassyN
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Oct 1, 2003, 03:39 PM
 
First off, great choice for a first Mac, the AlBook rules!

Next, get the faster hard drive, it'll be a real pain trying to swap internal hard drives down the road for a faster one...better to get it built that way.

AppleCare for laptops is a must to me, but not for desktop systems. Laptops have so many more areas in which they could fail, plus, it's not going to be staying safe & sound on a desk like a tower would. But don't buy it from Apple, buy it cheaper from ppl in the Marketplace forum or from www.smalldog.com
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dcsmrgun
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Oct 1, 2003, 03:40 PM
 
IIRC you have a year from the date of purchase to add on the AppleCare protection.

While its worth the money, I wish it was a little cheaper. My Dell laptop has a 2 year on-site next day replacement plan for $200. No hauling my unit off to Dell. Very nice -- something I wish AppleCare would take a little more after.

If its possible, I almost say to spend the next year saving up the $300 instead of spending it right then and there.
     
machem
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Oct 1, 2003, 03:46 PM
 
IMHO, if you plan on keeping the machine more than a year, it is well worth it. Even the simplest repairs can be more than $200. Maybe not so important on desktops.

APP has saved my bacon on more than one occasion, especially as my wife is quite hard on her iBooks.
     
macxtal
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Oct 1, 2003, 04:37 PM
 
AppleCare isn't worth it.

If you look at the deprecation on Macs, expecially powerbooks and I would imagine the G5's should hold their value as well - it's pretty good compared to the PC world.

Your notebook is warrantied for a year from the date of purchase. Plan on selling it before or shortly after your warranty expires and get a new one. Put the money you would have spent on Applecare towards buying a new machine, and you will find that the deprecation cost you see doesn't end up being $50/mo. That's a pretty good deal, you get a fresh, faster machine - or hell, a brand new one of the same, if you want.

It might be worth it to get theft insurance or other insurance, but put this as a rider on your existing home policy - and AppleCare doesn't cover accidental f--kups anyhow.

My $0.02
     
machem
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Oct 1, 2003, 04:51 PM
 
Originally posted by macxtal:
AppleCare isn't worth it.

If you look at the deprecation on Macs, expecially powerbooks and I would imagine the G5's should hold their value as well - it's pretty good compared to the PC world.

Your notebook is warrantied for a year from the date of purchase. Plan on selling it before or shortly after your warranty expires and get a new one. Put the money you would have spent on Applecare towards buying a new machine, and you will find that the deprecation cost you see doesn't end up being $50/mo. That's a pretty good deal, you get a fresh, faster machine - or hell, a brand new one of the same, if you want.

It might be worth it to get theft insurance or other insurance, but put this as a rider on your existing home policy - and AppleCare doesn't cover accidental f--kups anyhow.

My $0.02
I agree with this, if you can do it. I'm an institutional purchaser, so I can't refresh/reapply costs towards a new machine as easily.
     
Nawus
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Oct 1, 2003, 10:14 PM
 
I'm on my third pb and had no problems with any of them. I never buy Applecare.
     
Tomster
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Oct 1, 2003, 10:51 PM
 
I have gone through a bunch of Powerbooks. Got a 180c stashed somewhere in the basement next to a couple of Mac Portables. I have never gotten Applecare and have not been in a position where I needed it. In my experience, if problems arose, they usually did so in the first year. That being said, I tended to turn over computers fairly rapidly. Additionally, I took very good care of my equipment so I never had any physical trauma to any of my units. In my case, Applecare would have cost me thousands of dollars without returning any benefits.

Asking the question of, "Is Applecare worth it" was akin to asking, "Do I need an umbrella?" Depends on the circumstances. If one was a student in college and this was to be the one piece of equipment to get him or her from orientation to graduation, then maybe it was worth it. If one did field research in the middle of the desert, then Applecare would be a great idea. It all depended on the context.
     
nobitacu
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Oct 2, 2003, 01:07 AM
 
I think it's well worth the month, just in case something happenes to your Powerbook, you'll have a safety net to back up on. It is also three years, so a lot of things might happen in those 3 years of time. Better be safe than sorry.

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DUDE 007  (op)
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Oct 2, 2003, 04:52 AM
 
What if I wait out the first year and then decide to buy it...hows that? I have heard a few people did that and worked out good.
     
Link
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Oct 2, 2003, 05:06 AM
 
:shakes head: whatever you wish. Personally I'd look into insurance coverage.. perhaps through homeowner's or renter's policy.

Why? If something goes wrong with the machine after a while your insurance will probably pay to replace it. If you get applecare, you'll be subject to apple's lying and squirming around with their 'policy' so they don't have to pay up to fix it.
Aloha
     
Jeff-Flowers
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Oct 2, 2003, 09:59 AM
 
Originally posted by Link:
:shakes head: whatever you wish. Personally I'd look into insurance coverage.. perhaps through homeowner's or renter's policy.

Why? If something goes wrong with the machine after a while your insurance will probably pay to replace it. If you get applecare, you'll be subject to apple's lying and squirming around with their 'policy' so they don't have to pay up to fix it.
Insurance will cover theft or accidental damage. Items like "my USB port no longer works" or "my Mac crashes randomly" are warranty items and will not be covered by an insurance policy.

Personally, if I were to purchase a Powerbook, I would get Applecare because even though the base warranty lasts a year, phone support only lasts for 90 days. After that, you have to pay to talk. It should also enhance the resell value of the Powerbook, as Applecare is transferrable.
Past Macs: PB 100, IIsi, WGS 6150, iMac (Rev C; strawberry), G4 Cube (450Mhz/Radeon), iBook (Dual USB; 500Mhz)

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ownersbox
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Oct 2, 2003, 11:27 AM
 
I just bought a new AlBook last week @ edu prices, I was told I had 90 days to buy AppleCare. Was the sales person wrong? This was purchase over the phone.

I will be buying AppleCare @ edu prices as well.
     
Rain
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Oct 2, 2003, 11:37 AM
 
Originally posted by ownersbox:
I just bought a new AlBook last week @ edu prices, I was told I had 90 days to buy AppleCare. Was the sales person wrong? This was purchase over the phone.

I will be buying AppleCare @ edu prices as well.
The person's wrong. The free-no-question-asked phone service expires in 90 days. But you have up to one year to purchase the applecare.
     
ownersbox
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Oct 2, 2003, 11:39 AM
 
If you don't mind, what is the difference?

Thank you
     
AssassyN
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Oct 2, 2003, 11:43 AM
 
When you buy your computer, you have 90 days of free PHONE SUPPORT. After that, it's about $50 per call (seriously).

You have ONE YEAR of warranty w/ your computer, and you can add AppleCare anytime during that one year (but not after). Your phone support is also made into 3 years instead of 90 days.
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Liquidity X
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Oct 2, 2003, 01:07 PM
 
what kind of insurance do you buy if u wanna be covered on theft or say i drop it down the stairs? thanx
     
Jeff-Flowers
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Oct 2, 2003, 02:48 PM
 
I've heard good things about Safeware.
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SoCal_BigFoot
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Oct 2, 2003, 03:00 PM
 
Originally posted by Jeff-Flowers:

Personally, if I were to purchase a Powerbook, I would get Applecare because even though the base warranty lasts a year, phone support only lasts for 90 days. After that, you have to pay to talk.
You are kidding! Have you ever tried to call Apple and ask a question? Apple makes great computers, but their support is the worst. I bet you can get any question answered here on this board in a few minutes, that phone support is a joke. And one more thing - have you ever tried to have something fixed in your Mac, I mean send it to them for a repair? It's another joke. You can be sure it's not gonna be fixed, more, something else will be broken. They are a bunch of tech-morons. I sent them my old iBook once to fix a closing mechanism, I got it back much worse than before. I know a lot of stories like that. They suck, period. So why would you consider getting a $300 "support"???
It's much easier, better and SAFER to find a friend who can help you in any kind of repair, than try to ask Apple for help. BTW phone support doesn't work on Sat/Sun (if it's any kind of real support...).
     
Jeff-Flowers
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Oct 2, 2003, 03:14 PM
 
Well, your experience does not match mine.
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SoCal_BigFoot
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Oct 2, 2003, 03:34 PM
 
Originally posted by Jeff-Flowers:
Well, your experience does not match mine.
Of course. It's all about the production process and tech support. Apple computers are DESIGNED by a few smart people in California. They are PRODUCED by a bunch of computers in Taiwan. Usually they are good. As everything else made by computers. But, if something goes wrong, they are "REPAIRED" by local, not so well paid technicians in Texas. It can be a smart guy, who knows what he's doing, but most of them don't. So if you have a friend who you can trust, he will do much better job. Probably YOU can do a much better job. Apple care works in one case only. When your computer, having traveled to Texas 5, 6, sometimes 10 times is finally approved to be replaced. A friend of mine who suffered a known DVD drive bug in an early Ti, got his replaced after 12 attempts! Each case made his Ti worse. But if it's a lemon, you can get yours replaced during first year, So really Apple care is useless.
     
ownersbox
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Oct 2, 2003, 03:36 PM
 
Is it possible to upgrade the parts warrenty and exclude the support, for a lower price?

Just interested...

Thank you
     
crouchingtiger
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Oct 2, 2003, 03:44 PM
 
First of all: Can we make this a sticky? This is another one of those questions that ALWAYS comes up.

My take on it is this: Screw AppleCare. Buy with a credit card that extends your warranty by a year. That way you get a 2 year warranty and you save $300. I've had great luck with American Express in getting "2nd year fixes" on the Powerbooks I've owned, but many Visa cards now offer similar features (on paper, at least).
     
shatten22
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Oct 2, 2003, 03:53 PM
 
Originally posted by ownersbox:
Is it possible to upgrade the parts warrenty and exclude the support, for a lower price?

Just interested...

Thank you
buy Applecare. It's well worth it, IMHO, on ALL of the computers Apple makes. If you look around, you can find it for about $260-something.

All of the Apple's I have owned have had some problem in some form or another. I am still kicking myself for not buying AppleCare for an iMac that just died.

Especially with your first revision Alu15", you are going to have problems sooner or later.

g
     
moofman
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Oct 2, 2003, 04:01 PM
 
All I know is that I'll never by another laptop without Apple Care. Two years into my Pismo G3, the CD drive failed, and then six months later the processor failed... I consider it a necessity now.
     
tooki
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Oct 2, 2003, 06:32 PM
 
On a laptop, AppleCare is worth every penny, because (unless the PowerBook lives a completely sheltered life, never leaving your desk, being touched, etc) it will require some kind of repair in 3 years of life. One single out-of-warranty repair WILL cost you more than AppleCare.

Laptops get subjected to all sorts of stresses that desktops aren't exposed to... the jostling of carrying them, being pushed around your desk (or lap) in use, having the lid opened and closed, constantly plugging and unplugging connectors. This results in wear and tear -- and it's very expensive to fix out-of-warranty.

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hseikaly
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Oct 2, 2003, 07:19 PM
 
definitely get it, but you don't have to get it right away... but definitely get it... Apple likes it when you get AppleCare and the few times I called in as an AppleCare person, they seemed to help me more than when I called as a non-AppleCare person... plus the repairs I had done were a lot more expensive than AppleCare itself...

I just like having that peace of mind...
     
macxtal
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Oct 2, 2003, 11:10 PM
 
Pay attention to how little you can upgrade your notebook for - the time to decide is at the end of the year. If you can sell your notebook and get a brand-spanking new unit for only $300 or $400 in deprecation over the year, it is a very good deal. Better than if you kept the notebook the three years and ended up with something largely worthless. The cost of the Applecare can be directly subtracted from the cost of the new unit, as you saved it as well.

If you buy on a credit card with an extended warranty plan, you win double.

Take advantage of the resale value of these machines. If you sold your iMac before the warranty exprired and got a new one, you'd likely only be out small amount.

My opinion. Buy yourself some notebook insurance or put a rider against beer, coffee and theft on your insurance policy.
     
Kelvin
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Oct 3, 2003, 11:06 AM
 
I'm contemplating buying my first Apple PB, probably the 12" with Superdrive. I used a Mac about 5 years ago but switched to a PC. Now I'm serious thinking of the Mac again. I'm tinkering with home movies on my current 1gig PIII PC. I never had a hardware problem with a Performa or the 7600 I had back then.

I read early that phone calls are free the first 90 days. So what happens if you have a hardware problem after 90 days that should be warrantable? Do you have to pay for the call to report it and arrange to get it repaired under warranty. There is an Apple Store in Plano near where I live. Should I take it there and they would handle the shipping to the repair center?

Thanks for any advice

Kelvin
     
beachmark
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Oct 3, 2003, 04:35 PM
 
Originally posted by AssassyN:
When you buy your computer, you have 90 days of free PHONE SUPPORT. After that, it's about $50 per call (seriously).

You have ONE YEAR of warranty w/ your computer, and you can add AppleCare anytime during that one year (but not after). Your phone support is also made into 3 years instead of 90 days.
I am an Apple user since the late eighties and never ever I had a problem with any charges when calling Apple afterthe 90 days period. As long as you are not calling every day and come with a good story Apple is more than willing to help you.

Apple has quite a good database of its users and on the base of that they do a lot for you. In the end it is a proven fact that those who have bought an Apple once will most likely be tempted to do so another time. This is quite different with PC users who go for the best deal on whateverthey want and then can choose from a number of suppliers. With OSX you are limited to buy from Apple.

By the way: when you have bought your Apple in the EU you are entitled to two years coverage by EU-law. Even when one of the phone guys or girls tell you differently make them known of EU-laws. At that time they start to talk a different language.
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scoot
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Oct 4, 2003, 02:26 AM
 
Originally posted by Kelvin:

I read early that phone calls are free the first 90 days. So what happens if you have a hardware problem after 90 days that should be warrantable? Do you have to pay for the call to report it and arrange to get it repaired under warranty. There is an Apple Store in Plano near where I live. Should I take it there and they would handle the shipping to the repair center?

Thanks for any advice

Kelvin
After 90 days, but before the first year is up, you can either pay 49, or purchase AppleCare. If it turns out to be a repair covered under warranty, they'll back out the 49 on the spot.

The Apple Store would be a better bet. I'd rather wait in line at the genius bar (if there is a line) than screw around listening to crappy hold music. They'll handle the shipping for you too.
     
   
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