Applecare Pays for itself Three Times Over

This month has been a horrible one for my mac. Both the logic board, and the battery failed, and my charger broke down as well. But thanks to Apple’s fantastic extended warranty program – Applecare – my computer is better than ever, and it didn’t cost me a cent. Here’s the tale of my nightmare, and how Apple made it as painless as possible.

I’ve had bad support experiences with other companies, one of which prompted me to reach out to, and work with that company’s head of customer support, to avoid future similar situations, and Applecare really is unique in how they handle support.

13 inch macbook pro with retina display

Applecare for one Macbook Pro: Total cost of $350

The First Failure

The first thing to fail was my charger. The wire, worn by months of use, tore open at the weak point, and nearly caught on fire. There was even a little char on the wire, when I noticed it, and unplugged it. I use my computer on a daily basis, and regularly travel with my charger, so it goes through the wringer. I called Applecare, and I had a replacement at my house within five days. This is actually the third time that my charger has failed, always in the same spot. That particular joint is just not well-equipped to handle the heat and stress of repeated charging and transport. Each time, Applecare has saved me about $80 on a replacement, for total savings of $240.

The Second Strike

The next thing to fail this month, was my computer’s logic board. While working on this blog, my computer froze, and all of a sudden, it would not turn on. After hours of my own analysis, and an hourlong support call with Applecare, we determined  I had a hardware issue. After going into my local Apple store, we confirmed it to be an issue with the logic board, the mac equivalent of the motherboard. This is essentially the central control of the computer, so it’s not cheap to replace. It probably would have cost me around $526 with labor, but with Applecare, it was free! Total savings so far: $766. Net savings: $416.

*Related: Overheard at the Apple Store*

The rule of threes

Finally, the “big one” came. My battery failed. It already down to around 60% of its previous capacity, and quickly decreasing, and I was getting all kinds of warnings. Normally, Applecare doesn’t replace batteries for free, but after some thorough convincing that it was a manufacturer’s defect, Apple agreed to replace it. This took some work to prove, but them replacing the battery, saved me $438 in parts and labor. 

Even better, since the battery is attached tightly to the lower chasis of the computer, they replaced the entire bottom, including peripheral ports, keyboard, and trackpad. I had some dents on my old chasis, and my keys were heavily worn from years of typing for this blog, so it made my computer feel like new. With new keys, no more scratches, and a new battery, it’s practically a new computer!

Total Savings: $1204

Net Savings: $854

Conclusion: I made 2x my money back.

If Applecare were a scalable investment, I’d think it was a Ponzi scheme, because Applecare was the best return on my money, I’ve ever seen. Even well-made products end up breaking a bit with wear, and tear, so I always recommend buying Applecare on expensive products. It pays for itself (this is some solid empirical evidence), and it will continue to do so, at least until the point where technology products don’t break, or the prices of parts come down significantly.

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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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