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  • Genius Bar Policies Stricter Due To AppleCare+ and Accidental Damage Coverage


    During last week’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” event, Apple introduced AppleCare+ for iPhone buyers. A $99 replacement for the previous $69 extended warranty plan. One of the appealing features to this plan included coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage , compared to the previous plan which didn’t cover any accidental damage. Furthermore, under the terms of the new plan, customers who experienced factory defects or problems with their devices, such as premature battery failure or issues with their headphones, would be covered for free for two years. The accidental damage caused by the user would cost the customer a $49 deductible, which would be considered a “service fee.” Users would also be given two full years of free software support. The caveat to the software support was that any beta software was excluded from the warranty.

    Going back to the most appealing feature here, the accidental damage coverage, Apple refers to this as “ADH” (Accidental Damage from Handling) and defines it as "operational or mechanical failure caused by an accident from handling that is the result of an unexpected and unintentional external event (e.g., drops and liquid contact) that arises from your normal daily usage." The ADH doesn’t provide "protection against normal wear and tear, theft, misplacement, reckless, abusive, willful or intentional conduct associated with handling and use of the Covered Equipment.” Also excluded from coverage are "abuse, misuse, fire, earthquake or other external causes," "scratches and dents, that do not otherwise affect the functionality," other wear and tear due to normal aging of the product, devices "with a serial number that has been altered, defaced or removed, or has been modified to alter its functionality or capability."

    This may not appeal to everyone due to the fact that the device needs to have an issue with functionality for it to be deemed worthy of replacing for Apple employees. I can safely assume that Apple will be a bit stricter on replacing these as asking for a $49 deductible will probably reduce their profit margins. I wouldn’t exactly recommend purposely damaging your iPhone if you dented it just to get a nicer looking one. All in all though, it still is pretty nice that Apple will give you a new or refurbished model at the price of $49 as opposed to the $200 it would cost outside of the warranty.



    Previously, Genius Bar employees also had the ability to waive that fee, which makes the potential value of the AppleCare+ plan seem negligible. This policy has ended though, pretty much forcing all users who expected a cheap replacement for their accidental damage to opt into the AppleCare+ plan and pay a fee each time they damage their device (with a two incident limit as well). Apple also seems to be enforcing a stricter requirement for purchasing the AppleCare+ option, mentioning that it must be purchased together with new covered equipment. The contract also goes as far as noting that it will not cover the "pre-existing condition on any Covered Equipment if you purchased the Plan after you purchased the Covered Equipment."

    The price of the plan does seem pretty hefty to me but I can see where it may be appealing to others. I personally never opt in to any warranty plans and try to take care of my tech gadgets from the get-go. I haven’t had any bad luck yet but know people who do and end up jumping on warranty plans such as this one. The $49 accidental damage replacement does seem pretty appealing but I am not sure it would be worth it for someone like me who would probably never even get to take advantage of the replacements.

    So what do you think of the AppleCare+ plan? Did any of you purchase it along with your iPhone 4S or plan to at the time of purchase? Share your thoughts and comments below!

    Souce: Apple
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Genius Bar Policies Stricter Due To AppleCare+ and Accidental Damage Coverage started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 32 Comments
    1. brownlace's Avatar
      brownlace -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      Over the course of 24 months you end up paying $168 for this insurance if you DON'T have to use it. ($69 more than Apple). If you had to replace your phone it would cost you $168 + $199 deductible = $367. With Apple it's $99 up front plus $49 deductible = $149 for the phone or $199 if you had to replace it TWICE in a 2 year period (or $566 with AT&T). I think you may want to reconsider your choice here buddy.
      Exactly! AT&T is stupid expensive. The only benefit of paying monthly is you don't have to pay all at once, but a lot of customers don't know they can also cancel their AppleCare and they will prorate you the remainder of what's left.

      AppleCare is $0.14 a day, what a joke It's totally worth it in my opinion. By the end of their two claims they are paying a little less than the $199 replacement phone people paid when swapping.
    1. Beastly L92's Avatar
      Beastly L92 -
      Quote Originally Posted by brownlace View Post
      AppleCare is $0.14 a day, what a joke It's totally worth it in my opinion. By the end of their two claims they are paying a little less than the $199 replacement phone people paid when swapping.
      Not IMO. Will Apple replace my phone if lost? Nope. Stolen? Nope. If they deem it damage from abuse? Nope. Further, I have to make an appointment, or go without my phone, like I don't have anything better to be doing. And say I shatter my screen. Are they gonna try and repair rather than replace? Exactly. I'll bet you money they'll want to keep my phone for a week and replace just the screen. I'd rather pay more, actually have total coverage and have an easy, quick and convenient claims service that doesn't require driving across town or going phone-less for days.
    1. brownlace's Avatar
      brownlace -
      Quote Originally Posted by Beastly L92 View Post
      Not IMO. Will Apple replace my phone if lost? Nope. Stolen? Nope. If they deem it damage from abuse? Nope. Further, I have to make an appointment, or go without my phone, like I don't have anything better to be doing. And say I shatter my screen. Are they gonna try and repair rather than replace? Exactly. I'll bet you money they'll want to keep my phone for a week and replace just the screen. I'd rather pay more, actually have total coverage and have an easy, quick and convenient claims service that doesn't require driving across town or going phone-less for days.
      Replace your phone if stolen? What?! Why should any company be held liable for your responsibility? "I lost my phone Apple, so you owe me something at least.." If anyone is that irresponsible then they should rethink investing in a $6-800 phone. A $6-800 phone, take care of your ****. As long as your phone isn't in pieces, you can get a new phone. If Apple has the parts in stock you can get a new phone the same day as your appointment. If not, you take home your phone, use it normally until they call to tell you the part is in, which is usually a day. Yes, depending on which Apple store you go to it is recommended you make an appointment because in some cases it is very hard to walk in and be seen due to the high foot traffic. An appointment guarantees someone will take care of you. If you don't like visiting the store call AppleCare and have them ship you a phone the next day. Whether they repair or replace your phone for a shattered screen at least you have no doubt in your mind they will take care of you.

      BUT it's not everyone.
    1. nealh's Avatar
      nealh -
      The warranty says if functionality is affected. So they could for a cracked rear screen, they could easily deny the claim. Front screen they most likely would replace.
      But not damage from normal wear and tear? That's a big out too.
    1. fvargasfrank's Avatar
      fvargasfrank -
      I would personalty do SquareTrade or At&t over apple care, for me at&t seems like the winner because they cover theft.
    1. PatrickGSR94's Avatar
      PatrickGSR94 -
      So, earlier this year my wife's 3GS was damaged when she pulled the power cord out of the 30-pin port. The board supporting the pins broke off and came out completely, leaving the pins just floating in the port. I managed to carefully get a cable in and run a backup, and then took it to the Apple store where it was replaced with a refurb 3GS at no charge. I assume this was due to us having the $69 AppleCare plan on the device. Would this new $99 service do the same thing, or would we end up having to pay the $49 fee? To me that was damage that was not a result of any sort of mishandling. Is the $49 deductible only when a customer asks for a replacement because they fudged up the phone?
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      I would get the Apple Care when my one year warranty was going to run out on my phone. However I don't care that you HAVE to get the Apple Care+ when you purchased the phone... as it is you are paying for the phone and some may not have that extra $99.00 at that time. I also feel the Apple Care+ should start once your year warranty is up as well. I did not purchase it because Apple's site crash and there was no option to purchase it at the time I was pre-ordering. As it is I was right there when the pre-ordering started and it took over two hours just to order. However I read on the internet to call Apple as soon as you get the phone and tell them you want to buy it and then you can still get it.
    1. Beastly L92's Avatar
      Beastly L92 -
      Quote Originally Posted by brownlace View Post
      Replace your phone if stolen? What?! Why should any company be held liable for your responsibility? "I lost my phone Apple, so you owe me something at least.." If anyone is that irresponsible then they should rethink investing in a $6-800 phone. A $6-800 phone, take care of your ****. As long as your phone isn't in pieces, you can get a new phone. If Apple has the parts in stock you can get a new phone the same day as your appointment. If not, you take home your phone, use it normally until they call to tell you the part is in, which is usually a day. Yes, depending on which Apple store you go to it is recommended you make an appointment because in some cases it is very hard to walk in and be seen due to the high foot traffic. An appointment guarantees someone will take care of you. If you don't like visiting the store call AppleCare and have them ship you a phone the next day. Whether they repair or replace your phone for a shattered screen at least you have no doubt in your mind they will take care of you.

      BUT it's not everyone.
      You don't know the definition of insurance, do you? **** happens sometimes. Your fault, not your fault...it happens. I'm not arguing fault here. I'm arguing coverage. Apple's plan covers about 40% of what COULD happen to your iPhone. I'm not interested in 40% coverage. Not even kinda.

      If AppleCare ships you a phone, the will place a hold on your card for the cost of a phone plus shipping until you send them back your damaged unit. Dealing with AT&T, they send you the unit first with no charges, because if you don't send yours in, theyll charge your account.

      I'm paying for the better coverage. I hope you don't mess up and get you iPhone stolen. It'd totally be your fault. If it does, you could make an appointment at Apple a few days in advance, and maybe they'll have a new one in stock for you to buy.
    1. xsandman00@yahoo.com's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by brownlace View Post
      Replace your phone if stolen? What?! Why should any company be held liable for your responsibility? "I lost my phone Apple, so you owe me something at least.." If anyone is that irresponsible then they should rethink investing in a $6-800 phone. A $6-800 phone, take care of your ****. As long as your phone isn't in pieces, you can get a new phone. If Apple has the parts in stock you can get a new phone the same day as your appointment. If not, you take home your phone, use it normally until they call to tell you the part is in, which is usually a day. Yes, depending on which Apple store you go to it is recommended you make an appointment because in some cases it is very hard to walk in and be seen due to the high foot traffic. An appointment guarantees someone will take care of you. If you don't like visiting the store call AppleCare and have them ship you a phone the next day. Whether they repair or replace your phone for a shattered screen at least you have no doubt in your mind they will take care of you.

      BUT it's not everyone.
      So if someone steals your car, your insurance company shouldn't be held liable? If I am paying for insurance, (which is pretty much what applecare is), I would hope it covers a stolen phone. If I can get insurance from AT&T or someone else, for a similiar price (even if it is slightly more) and it covers a stolen phone, then I would rather pay a little extra for the additional coverage. It's not like he is asking apple to be held liable just because he bought the phone, but if he is paying extra for a form of insurance, it's reasonable to ask that it cover theft.
    1. brownlace's Avatar
      brownlace -
      Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
      So if someone steals your car, your insurance company shouldn't be held liable? If I am paying for insurance, (which is pretty much what applecare is), I would hope it covers a stolen phone. If I can get insurance from AT&T or someone else, for a similiar price (even if it is slightly more) and it covers a stolen phone, then I would rather pay a little extra for the additional coverage. It's not like he is asking apple to be held liable just because he bought the phone, but if he is paying extra for a form of insurance, it's reasonable to ask that it cover theft.
      Yes, I understand what you are saying. In their words (terms) AppleCare is not insurance it is just a protection plan.
    1. Beastly L92's Avatar
      Beastly L92 -
      Quote Originally Posted by brownlace View Post
      Yes, I understand what you are saying. In their words (terms) AppleCare is not insurance it is just a protection plan.
      And there we have it. AppleCare+ for iPhone is just slightly less of a complete waste of cash than the original AppleCare for iPhone was.

      Guaranteed to be a huge PITA to resolve claims, if they aren't outright denied.
    1. brownlace's Avatar
      brownlace -
      Quote Originally Posted by Beastly L92 View Post
      And there we have it. AppleCare+ for iPhone is just slightly less of a complete waste of cash than the original AppleCare for iPhone was.

      Guaranteed to be a huge PITA to resolve claims, if they aren't outright denied.
      Or... Just add it to your home insurance. Save your money.