Both noobs and savvy users will agree that it’s very important to consider a highly informed opinion before getting this insurance policy for your Mac.
As Brand himself puts it “AppleCare might be the right choice for some people but a waste for others. Only after looking at all of its advantages and alternative options can you determine if AppleCare is right for you.”
His post includes scenarios where AppleCare makes a lot of sense such as for desktop systems and some situations where customers should look the other way.
For example “If you plan on buying a new computer every year don't buy AppleCare” Brand bluntly states.
The reasons are obvious: “Apple's standard one year warranty covers parts and labor on manufacturing defects and is included with all new or factory refurbished Macs.”
“If you need phone support remember you get 90 days worth of free AppleCare support calls from the day you purchased your computer and free support is only as far as your local Apple Store” he explains.
The former Apple Genius says “You can purchase the AppleCare Protection Plan anytime within the one-year limited warranty period. Your eligibility for coverage under the AppleCare Protection Plan starts from your hardware purchase date.”
On the downside “American Express and many premium charge card companies double your manufacture’s warranty when you make eligible purchases on your card. These claims are not as easy to redeem as AppleCare but an additional year of parts and labor on your Mac is an added benefit for paying with credit” Brand warns.
For those who have their homes insured particularly those who have specific riders that cover costly electronics AppleCare is not something they should consider.
Brand says he’s heard good things about Best Buy’s service but he does asks readers to note that they are dealing with retail sales strategies when they invest in one of these policies.
What he does recommend AppleCare for is desktop Macs. In fact Brand himself buys the service.
“iMac AppleCare is cheap considering it covers a difficult repair and cost of the integrated display. Mac Pro AppleCare is an investment on an expensive machine that will last at least three years” he writes on his Newton-styled blog.
He also outlines that although AppleCare is never on sale through Apple it can be purchased at a discount for education or from a third-party reseller.
His buying advice: “Check to make sure the AppleCare box is sealed when purchasing from a third-party.”
Brand even has a piece of advice for those who bought AppleCare but wish to return it: “you can return AppleCare for a refund but you won't get your full purchase price back. Instead you'll get a pro-rated refund based on how long you've had the plan before returning it.”