Last week, I decided to get some AppleCare coverage for a few pieces of Apple kit still in warranty, namely, an iPhone 3GS, a MacBook Pro and a Mac Pro.
AppleCare is extended warranty for all the hardware (and some software) products Apple sells, and usually extends the warranty of the kit for up to three three years. Current thinking is that AppleCare is pretty much a no brainer, especially for the laptop range of machines due to the high cost of repairs if AppleCare is not in place.
You can purchase AppleCare at any time during the standard warranty period of your Apple kit (usually within 12 months of purchase) but you’re not restricted to buying it from Apple. AppleCare is a separately sold product which usually is just a box with a manual and a registration code. The registration code is entered onto Apples online system, along with the serial number of the machine you wish to cover with the AppleCare. The online system checks to see if the machine is still in warranty, that it’s a valid registration code and bingo, you’re covered with AppleCare. You usually receive a AppleCare Protection Plan Certificate within 24 hours via email or you can opt to have it posted to you.
Because AppleCare is a separate product and available through multiple channels, not just Apple, you can receive some significant discounts off the usual price by shopping around.
Now any sensible person would restrict their shopping around to Amazon and the like, but as I was feeling particularly reckless last week, I thought I’d checkout eBay! Before I knew it, I’d been swept along in a frenzy of cheap deals for AppleCare and I’d secured AppleCare for all three devices and saved myself a bundle of cash in the process.
Of course, what do you do after being so clever? You tweet it of course!
As soon as I tweeted the news of how clever I’d been, I was met with a flurry of tweets warning me of the dangers of AppleCare on eBay and to be wary of the scams.
The main point people were making was that you need to make sure you get the printed box and printed registration code or else you can get scammed. If you receive just the registration code, it may not get flagged as fake by Apple until you take your kit in for repair, at which point it’s usually too late to get any recompense from the seller.
So I considered my position and as I’d already completed my transactions, though I may as well press on and perhaps others could learn from my experience (besides, it makes great copy for a blog post!)
So this is what I bought and what the current position is:
AppleCare for Mac Pro
Usual retail price at online UK Apple Store: £195
eBay Price: £81.95
Status: The full Applecare package arrived in the post a couple of days after purchase. I entered the details into the online system and immediately received an AppleCare Protection Plan Certificate from Apple via email. As far as I can see, everything is above board and I’ve saved myself £113.05
AppleCare for MacBook Pro
Usual retail price at online UK Apple Store: £273
eBay Price: £94.95
Status: No Applecare package dispatched. I received an email with the registration number and instructions on how to enter the agreement number in Apples online system. On checking, the vendor has been on eBay since 2000 and has over 2142 positive comments in the past 12 months. I entered the details into the online system and immediately received an AppleCare Protection Plan Certificate from Apple via email. As far as I can see, everything is above board and I’ve saved myself £178.05
AppleCare for iPhone 3GS
Usual retail price at online UK Apple Store: £59
eBay Price: £30
Status: No Applecare package dispatched. I received an email with the registration number and instructions on how to enter the agreement number in Apples online system. On checking, the vendor is a top rated seller on eBay and has 100% positive feedback since 2004 and has over 1233 positive comments in the past 12 months. I entered the details into the online system.
That was 5 or 6 days ago.
As of yet, I’ve not received an AppleCare Protection Plan Certificate from Apple via email.
If I log on to the online system and try to access the Proof of Coverage I get a message “We’re sorry, but we are unable to complete your request at this time. Please try again later.”
Time to call Apple and see what they say.
To be continued