I have never been a fan of extended warranties. They always seem to get you in the end. However, the one extended warranty that I do buy and I do believe in is Applecare. Applecare is more than worth the money for any Mac you buy, and for most iPods (for iPods you have to weigh the cost of Applecare vs. the cost of a new iPod). This Macspiration is about Applecare for your Mac and why I am a believer.
First, letʼs lay out the basics. A Mac comes with a one year warranty. Once the year is up you are on your own. Applecare extends that warranty to three years. It also stretches phone support from ninety days to three years. As an experiences user I typically donʼt use phone support, but I have taken computers in for warranty service. In fact that is where this story starts (and this is the short version).
Back in January I was having problems with my ﬁrst generation Intel iMac. I took it to the Apple Store twice and they found nothing wrong with it. I then found a local Apple reseller/repair place. I took it there. Several trips later they replaced the motherboard, the DVD drive, and a cable connecting the drive to the computer. It seemed like the machine was working normally.
Fast forward to June. I bought a new iMac and gave the old iMac to my parents. Almost instantly they complained that the power button was not working. I thought they were crazy, until I experienced it for myself. I unplugged the machine and dragged it to the repair shop. They found nothing wrong. Took it home and it happened again. Took it back, and this time it was discovered that the contacts for the power button were not working properly and it was ﬁxed.
I took the machine back to my parents and the power button was working ﬁne.
Keep in mind that the cost of repairs on this machine would have been hundreds,probably over $1000, if I did not have Applecare.
Back to the story. The machine developed another issue where it sounded like the fan was still running when it was shut down. Instead of running back to the shop I called Applecare. I spoke to a great specialist who I told I was tired of taking the machine back and forth for repairs and I wanted to know when it was going to be replaced. He said due to excessive repairs on the unit that would not be a problem!
Hereʼs the good part: Since the machine was no longer being sold it was replaced with a brand new 20” iMac! The model that is currently the “bottom of the line” model in iMacs. I forgot to mention the original machine was a 17” model. Not only is the screen larger, but the processor is like going from a standard car to rocket fuel!
Of course, I said go for it. Apple emailed me a shipping label for the old machine, I shipped it that day, and in less than a week the new machine was at my doorstep.
Believe it or not, this is not the ﬁrst time this has happened to my parents. The originally had a blue iMac. It had major issues and was eventually replaced and upgraded to an eMac! My Intel machine replaced the eMac, and now they have the brand new 20” machine.
So when people ask me if they should buy AppleCare, my answer is YES! You donʼt even have to buy it right away. Apple gives you a year to buy the warranty. You can even buy it for refurbished units.
I only wish the replacement happened BEFORE I bought myself the new machine. Oh well.