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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:
    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?

    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. TooSlo's Avatar
      TooSlo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Melech518 View Post
      I think the point was that tar and nicotine build up from smoke can cause liquid damage to the electronics...
      Horsesh*t. Cite where any scientific research has shown that liquid damage has been caused because of this build up.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      ^uh yeah. Cigarette smoke can deteriorate curtains. Meaning make them become brittle and fall apart. So, why doubt that it could mess up the inside of an electronic gadget?
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Quote Originally Posted by TooSlo View Post
      Horsesh*t. Cite where any scientific research has shown that liquid damage has been caused because of this build up.
      Here you go:
      http://www.twistedinternet.com/libra...20Computer.txt

      and another:Real-life computer photos from The Computer WizardStart reading about half way down the page

      The chemicals in tar cause a sticky residue to build up on electronics. These chemicals can corrode the electronics as well. When I said liquid damage I was referring more along the lines of corrosive damage. But still, the evidence does indeed show that smoking can and will harm a computer.
    1. TooSlo's Avatar
      TooSlo -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      ^uh yeah. Cigarette smoke can deteriorate curtains. Meaning make them become brittle and fall apart. So, why doubt that it could mess up the inside of an electronic gadget?
      I never stated that smoke couldn't harm the computer, I was pointing out the flaw in the thought that it would be "liquid damage" and asked for citation.
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      well if theres that much nicotine/tar build up in there macs then its there own fault, you would have to smoke alot of cigs and blow every hit directly at the computer WTF. apple should not fix there comps but should supply them with a nicotine patch instead!
    1. TooSlo's Avatar
      TooSlo -
      While I can agree that the end user is damaging their own device, I'm finding it a slap in the face to people who were never told that this would be the case.

      I'm assuming that if this voiding of warranties becomes widespread, that there will be some very public backlash. Apple would need to define some type of threshold of buildup that would then void a warranty instead of leaving it to a case-by-case basis. If there is no definition set upfront, it becomes an incredibly slippery slope.

      What happens when an Apple employee spots a pack of cigarettes in the pocket of a woman's purse or they reek of smoke from before entering the facility. Would the employee then have the right to state that the warranty is voided since the person is a smoker?

      There is too much possibility for abuse, as well as a lack of definition that a warranty will be voided. For current owners who may have purchased an extended warranty while unaware of these consequences, they should have an opportunity to have the remainder reimbursed as this is a very large change in the warranty coverage.

      While I don't smoke, and loathe the smell of cigarettes, I don't think that this decision is wise for Apple. While they can say "we're the green company," they risk alienating a fairly large portion of their business.

      With a company that thrives on being hip and trendsetting, look around to the night clubs or emo concerts and ask yourself how many of those people smoke. How many college students smoke to relieve stress and then continue on after school?

      To void these user's warranties is a slap in the face. I don't know why they would do such a thing.
    1. setkeh's Avatar
      setkeh -
      The damage you are talking about would take allot longer than any warrenty period as far as I'm concerned I have been looking at my computers, NAS's, and servers that are all older than 3 years and all I'm seeing is dust that can be brushed off and as I said earlyer there are 5 smokers In my house and all my equipment is in the lounge room (the most used room in the house) there is absoulutly no signs of any smoke damage
    1. asae's Avatar
      asae -
      We used to be one solid mac/apple supporter community. Very sad to see now that its broken apart. Not because we fight between mac or pc nor because of debating on jailbreak/non-jailbreak, or iPhone vs Palm Pre/WMobile, but truly because Apple is very smart in using one very emotional issue of the world that touches everyone: smoker and anti-smoker. There u go, well done Apple! for breaking us and tearing us, your supporter, apart.

      oh well...time to setup a Hackint0sh
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      It is funny to see so many people who love a product that is killing them and making them smell like shyt. No, I am not talking about the Mac people. Defending smoking is like saying, "I love cancer and I will never give it up! Time to switch to a cancer friendly company..."
    1. thinknoffcenter's Avatar
      thinknoffcenter -
      um.....i smell a discrimination lawsuit......wtg Apple!!!!
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      well i typically don't like smokers and i could care less if Apple does go through with this...buttt it is wrong to deny customers because they smoke. Also, i didn't know that smoking could ruin the laptop...what about PC laptops? How come they don't have that issue? How would smoking damage a laptop?
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Quote Originally Posted by hollow0 View Post
      well i typically don't like smokers and i could care less if Apple does go through with this...buttt it is wrong to deny customers because they smoke. Also, i didn't know that smoking could ruin the laptop...what about PC laptops? How come they don't have that issue? How would smoking damage a laptop?
      Read through the thread, a few people including myself attached links and photos of how this can damage any computer or laptop. However, I remain neutral on the topic and will continue to work on any Mac or iPhone that comes into my shop regardless of how heavily they smoke.
    1. setkeh's Avatar
      setkeh -
      And I have also seen that damage inside the computers of non smokers all that is is a build up of dust packed in with ur CPU fan so apple should just open a can of harden the Fu*k up and Internet morons should stop telling us smokers that we shouldent smoke it's our body and we will Fu*k it the way we want to
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Your period button still isn't working I see...
    1. dmt123's Avatar
      dmt123 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GTOpilot View Post
      Yet if my machine comes in pristine with the exception of a smoke smell, then Apple is off their rocker.
      Quote Originally Posted by TooSlo View Post
      What happens when an apple employee spots a pack of cigarettes in the pocket of a woman's purse or they reek of smoke from before entering the facility. Would the employee then have the right to state that the warranty is voided since the person is a smoker?
      Did you even bother reading the first post, seems to me like you're taking things out of context.

      Quote Originally Posted by Messany View Post
      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.
      Guess you didn't read because nowhere does it say they can void your warranty for the reasons you mentioned. It's not like apple is making decisions without justification and evidence. They need evidence INSIDE the computer, such as the pictures that were posted, to make a decision whether or not they can service your machine.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      This is discrimination; however, it is 100% legal, at least in the U.S.

      Smokers are not in a protected call under the law, there have been companies that have refused to hire people who smoke and that was also deemed legal, so I see no reason why this wouldn't be, especially since the smoke would most likely cause damage.

      In all honesty I think smokers need to be held more accountable for their actions, they endanger other people's lives when they smoke around them, or smoke while driving and they get distracted (i.e. they drop their cigarette and cause an accident)
    1. setkeh's Avatar
      setkeh -
      How ever no one has been able to provide any legitimate evidence they have onlyblamed dust damage on smokers