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  • Apple Refusing To Repair Macs Belonging to Smokers?



    It's no secret that smoking is bad for you.

    But did you also know that it's bad for your Mac? With news emerging that Apple may not touch your machine if you touch a cigarette, perhaps smokers will find twice the incentive to kick the habit, which could very well kill their Mac long before it kills them. And what is life really worth anyway if it has to be endured with a busted Mac?

    According to a new report from Tech Radar, several smokers have reported being refused repair service for their Macs by Apple.

    Why? It's all about the evidence. Upon opening the machine, if "evidence" of tobacco use is apparent (smoke residue in the Mac), Apple may effectively pronounce your Mac dead on arrival, void the warranty, and not repair your machine.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by :
    According to reports from Mac owners seeking repairs under warranty, the company claimed evidence of cigarette smoke inside the machines in question constitutes a "biohazard."
    One smoker quoted in the story was allegedly informed that "Apple would not require an employee to repair anything deemed hazardous to their health."

    For sure, its a controversial policy that will leave some Mac fans jumping for joy and others outraged that a company of Apple's size would "discriminate" against their "right" to smoke and live as they please within the private confines of their home or office. So how does Apple get away with this?

    Originally Posted by :
    As the company's Applecare warranty does not specifically exclude machines showing the presence of smoke or nicotine from repair, it's likely that Apple will fall back on its 'extreme environment' clause that lets it off the hook.
    While Apple is largely correct that a potential biohazard could emerge for their Apple Store employees working on a machine infested with tobacco smoke, this policy, which is bound to seem polarizing to many, also sets an important precedent for the company. In essence, if you are responsible for damaging your machine as a direct result of tobacco smoke seeping into the Mac, why should Apple be on the hook for free repair service or replacement even if your machine remains under warranty?

    If Apple does indeed begin refusing to service the machines of smokers on a widespread scale, we're bound to hear plenty more about this topic in the days and weeks ahead. So let the debate begin now. Is Apple right or wrong to implement this policy?

    Image via GameSpot
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Refusing To Repair Macs Belonging to Smokers? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 77 Comments
    1. drumstyx's Avatar
      drumstyx -
      not a smoker at all myself, but this is pretty insane. Show me where you can find a reference to a smoker's house being an "extreme environment". No where is it classified as such. While I agree if you've got your ashtray next to an intake for 2 years, and you get a nasty caking in the computer. But in THAT case, apple needs to specify "do not put lit cigarettes near the intake vents". Since this comes with no prior warning at all, it's ENTIRELY not fair.
    1. nosliwsirhc's Avatar
      nosliwsirhc -
      If I bought a Mercedes and they told me I voided the warranty by smoking in my car on a regular basis then why fork out the extra dough for a German engineered luxury car? Just get a Buick and enjoy your freedom. I've bought four Macs within two years because I think that they creamed PC's. These days I'm not too sure of the difference except that if I'm using my Mac now I feel like I'm living in Soviet Russia and have to watch what I do around my computer or it'll rat on me.
    1. bbillh77's Avatar
      bbillh77 -
      I think they are right I haven't done customer comp work in a while but to make ppl understand someone needs to post a pic of a smokers computer. I think they should void if that is the reason for the problem
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      Smoking has been proven to be hazzardous to your health. Preganant woman should avoid smoking during their pregnancy. Also Mac userS should avoid smoking during their warrenty period.
    1. chuckiecheese's Avatar
      chuckiecheese -
      I am not a smoker, but this has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard!!!!!!! Everything causes cancer. You just going outside is a hazard cuz your inhaling carbon monoxide from the exhaust of cars....its not like the tar from the cigs gets into the computer!!!!
    1. reaves205's Avatar
      reaves205 -
      What now Geeeeeee.
      TELL THE TECS TO WEAR GLOVES!!!!!!!!!
    1. uglyboygq's Avatar
      uglyboygq -
      I'm sure Apple has techs who smoke. Problem solved by allowing techs who smoke work on smoked-out macs!
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      talk about an extreme use of the paranoia of second hand smoke inhalation.

      fortunately i dont smoke.
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      Forse them to put a warning label on each computer in big print and see how long they stick to there morals when then loose sales.
    1. ALL DAY's Avatar
      ALL DAY -
      Is it only cigarettes? Lord knows my keys smell like bud and the apple on front has pieces stuck in it from rolling on top of it, but it's never been near a cigarette...
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      Quote Originally Posted by matthew1111 View Post
      Asking me? I think thery're right. People have the "right" to smoke in someplaces, and Apple has the "right" to protect its employees...
      You sir are a moron. If I owned a mac I'd take it back to them, say they smell arrogant and I refuse to be exposed to their douchyness. If apple sells products, you better ******* honor it.
    1. psychodave's Avatar
      psychodave -
      I don't blame them, when I did PC/Mac repair smokers machines were nasty and you get that tar crap all over your hands and clothes. Of course they should probably put wording for that in there EULA
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      The genius geeks that work at apple stores are just the type of people who would be afraid to touch anything that does not come with a Steve jobs wipe cloth. Apple cannot prove in any way that a machine that has been in a smokers home is a "biohazard". Apple is seriously getting close to pushing away long time loyalists.

      By the way apple, you think ALL your users wash their hands after taking a dump? Cigg smoke is what you are worried about being in that laptop? You suspect nobody on macs surf iternet porn, eh? Those sticky keys ain't tar smoke.........
    1. audi20fsi's Avatar
      audi20fsi -
      Ive seen some nasty machines come in while i was servicing an imac.. its true the amount of tobacco residue that resides in there cause logic board failure, its actually pretty nasty! I've denied coverage because of it!!
    1. noop's Avatar
      noop -
      this is complete bullshi!t. what's next?
    1. viperstarpoint9's Avatar
      viperstarpoint9 -
      Let Smokers smoke, but if their computer has enough of the tobacco residue inside their computer to damage it with in the warranty period I would cite the adverse environment clause my self.
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Someone tell me how the hell you get cigarette smoke inside a unibody notebook computer without intentionally breathing it INTO THE KEYBOARD.
    1. dmt123's Avatar
      dmt123 -
      All the people saying that the techs should start to wear gloves are completely wrong, why do they have to conform and deal with the inconvenience of handling a computer in those conditions when you're the one who decided to be careless about where you put your ashtray. Besides, if you'd bother reading the posts from previous techs about the condition that the computers come to them, I guarantee you wouldn't like to handle that computer either.
    1. GTOpilot's Avatar
      GTOpilot -
      Quote Originally Posted by awesomeiPod View Post
      It sounds like a discrimination, but it is a lesson for smokers to stop smoking.
      Or a lesson for smokers to just say no to Apple products.


      If smoking in the home CAUSED the problem (which I find hard to believe) then Apple might be right in denying warranty service.

      Anything outside of that is just pompous posturing to promote themselves as the "good green guys"

      Let the class action suits begin!!

      Quote Originally Posted by dmt123 View Post
      All the people saying that the techs should start to wear gloves are completely wrong, why do they have to conform and deal with the inconvenience of handling a computer in those conditions when you're the one who decided to be careless about where you put your ashtray. Besides, if you'd bother reading the posts from previous techs about the condition that the computers come to them, I guarantee you wouldn't like to handle that computer either.
      So whats next? My mechanic going to refuse warranty service because the fluids in my car can be considered a bio-hazard?

      My furnace repair man going to deny me service because of soot buildup?

      If a computer comes to a tech that is dirty....from anything be it smoke or soda spills or a twinkie stuck in the fan....put on some gloves and give it a good cleaning first.

      This is something so ridiculously trivial I cannot even believe its become an issue.
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by dmt123 View Post
      All the people saying that the techs should start to wear gloves are completely wrong, why do they have to conform and deal with the inconvenience of handling a computer in those conditions when you're the one who decided to be careless about where you put your ashtray. Besides, if you'd bother reading the posts from previous techs about the condition that the computers come to them, I guarantee you wouldn't like to handle that computer either.
      I smoke and I wouldn't want to work on them either. That crap can get really nasty. However, touching it is in no way hazardous to ones health if the proper PPE is worn. (For those who don't know PPE is Personal Protective Equipment ie. rubber gloves.) If Apple is going to cite hazardous conditions claims they better have provided rubber gloves or some other protection for their tech to work on computer components. If they were sued over this them not having something as simple as a dust mask available to employees to prevent dust inhalation could lose them that lawsuit in a heartbeat. Trust me on that. I work on $40 million aircraft and get all kinds of nasty fluids on me even while using my PPE, so I don't feel sorry for the people working on these computers. Contact with any residue in these computers won't hurt them unless they don't take proper precautions, end of story. This is a BS move by Apple.

      Quote Originally Posted by GTOpilot View Post
      So whats next? My mechanic going to refuse warranty service because the fluids in my car can be considered a bio-hazard?

      My furnace repair man going to deny me service because of soot buildup?

      If a computer comes to a tech that is dirty....from anything be it smoke or soda spills or a twinkie stuck in the fan....put on some gloves and give it a good cleaning first.

      This is something so ridiculously trivial I cannot even believe its become an issue.
      While I agree with you it's a bad move, the two examples you give are not related to this article. A mechanic is employed to remove and replace contaminated fluids from your car, and a furnace repair man is required to clean something that produces ashes. Computers do neither of those. Dust is a byproduct of being alive and having an enclosed space for living in, the smoke residue buildup (if this is even true) contributes to that and shouldn't be expected by a computer repairman. Doesn't make the job hazardous though. The chemicals in toilet bowl cleaner are more dangerous than this so called residue.