November 23, 2009

Apple Voids Warranties Due To Second-Hand Smoke

It's well known that smoking can add health risks to your body, but Apple says it also poses a health risk to your Mac.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based firm believes this to such an extent that two Mac users in different regions of the US have reported having their Applecare service plan voided on account of second-hand smoke damage to their Mac.

In April 2008, Derek, a Mac user from Iowa, took his 2007 Macbook to the Jordan Creek Apple Store in West Des Moines, because he had been "experiencing some issues with it overheating."

"Today, April, 28, 2008, the Apple store called and informed me that due to the computer having been used in a house where there was smoking, that has voided the warranty and they refuse to work on the machine, due to "Ëœhealth risks of second hand smoke,'" Derek said in an e-mail to Apple Chief Steve Jobs, which he copied to The Consumerist, a consumer watchdog group.

"Not only is this faulty science, attributing non smoking residue to second hand smoke, on Chad's part, no where in your Applecare terms of service can I find anything mentioning being used in a smoking environment as voiding the warranty."

A few months later, an iMac user named Ruth, wrote to The Consumerist about a similar situation.

"I bought an iMac for my son (for school) along with the extended Applecare warranty. A month ago, it quit working. My son took it to the authorized Mac service center. The "tech" informed him it would be ready in 48-72 hours. Five days go by and he's heard nothing, so I called."

"When I asked for an explanation, she said he's a smoker and it's contaminated with cigarette smoke which they consider a bio-hazard! I checked my Applecare warranty and it says nothing about not honoring warranties if the owner is a smoker."

"I'm all for destroying cigarettes and putting big tobacco out of business (yes, I'm a reformed smoker), but to label a computer a biohazard because one is a smoker is going a bit too far in regulating who can have the warranty they purchased honored," added Ruth, who also appealed her case to Steve Jobs, and was also denied.

Applecare's terms and conditions do not mention anything about voiding warranties due to second-hand smoke, but it does state that it will not cover repairs in cases in which "damage to the covered equipment caused by...extreme environment."


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