Where’s My Applecare? “Trust Us!”

Outside of the gaggle of shiny faced cretins obsequiously smirking behind the Genius Bar, we love Apple. But do we love them enough to be reassured when they respond to a complaint by leaning back in their chair and sigh “Trust me?” Yeah, uh…. no.

Justin P. has an old Powerbook, which he purchased in 2003 along with a 3-year Applecare Warranty. Apple has no record of this, despite repairing this laptop under the same warranty.

Now Justin’s got another hiccup in his system that needs to be repaired. Unfortunately, as far as Apple’s concerned, he never bought a warranty. He’s only got a few days left before the warranty expires. A CSR has promised him that he’ll “look into it” and get back to Justin. “Trust me,” he soothes.

Justin wants to know if he should trust Apple at their word, or if he needs to escalate the issue. ‘No’ to the former, ‘hell yes!’ to the latter. You just don’t sit waiting by the phone when you’ve only got a day left to get a warranty issue resolved.

Justin’s email, after the jump.

So I bought a G4 Powerbook on September 20th, 2003, and purchashed the 3-year Applecare warranty with it. I made a call into Apple about a year and a half ago with a RAM issue, phone support walked me through it. They clearly had record of my Applecare agreement. I was having the bright white spot issue with my display that seems to have been well known to everyone else (I honestly didn’t look it up, thought I may have done something) and was pointed out to me at the end of last week as being a commonly known and warranty covered problem.

I call up Applecare on Saturday, with 4 days remaining on my coverage, and they tell me they have no record of my ever having purchased Applecare. They have no record of my call a year and a half earlier either. I get my receipt, give them the info off the paperwork, and they come back saying it must have been an internal error that it wasn’t applied. Still no comment on why my previous call didn’t exist in their records, but ok. They tell me it will take 24 hours to be active in their system, call back in a day or two and they’ll set up the return process.

I check the website on Sunday, enter my serial number, it still doesn’t show my computer as being covered. I figured it might just be a weekend thing, so I waited til Monday to try again…still no dice. I call up last night, get a VERY rude guy who tells me that I would only have a few days left on my coverage anyway, do I still want to try to do something about this? I told him yes, especially since it was an Apple mistake that didn’t auto-enroll me when I purchased both at an apple store.

He proceeds to tell me that it will take up to a week to have the Applecare agreement tied to my computer, and that I will have to call back in a week or so (my 3-year Applecare agreement expires at end of day today) to get it taken care of. He says that since a ticket has been opened before the Applecare would have expired I’ll be fine, but that he can’t send me an email or fax verifying that. I just need to “trust him” and call back in a week.

I’ve seen some rough stories about Applecare, and I don’t want to get run around for a few days til the warranty is up and “whoops! sorry for you” gets said to me.

Does this sound legit to you guys? Or do I need to worry/call someone higher up?

Comments

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  1. homerjay says:

    Oh yeah, this needs to be escelated. This is also the ideal time to start recording conversations that include someone on the phone saying the date of the conversation. I hope he also got the case number and the name and extension of the guy that told him to “trust me”

    Document EVERYTHING.

  2. ChazB says:

    Escalate just to be safe. I’d also suggest recording the call and making sure that you get them on tape saying that they will fix your computer next week when they fix things even though you’ll technically be out of warranty. Then I’d try to complain my way into a one year extension for all of your time, effort, and stress. ;) Good luck.

  3. tz says:

    When you purchased the powerbook with Applecare, you should have gotten a box with a diagnostic program disc and two post cards and some other papers that would have your applecare ID number. The same should have appeared on the previous repair paperwork.

    I would escalate only because it seems something is wrong with your or their records. They normally key off phone numbers so if that changed they may not be able to find it (see if you can find old phone numbers over the last three years).

  4. KevinQ says:

    Usually Applecare and the Apple Reps are quick and responsive, but I’d also recommend escalating in this case, just because of the limited amount of time.

    K

  5. snazz says:

    get a case number for your original ticket so that you have something in their system for sure. once you have that, call another CS rep and ask them to verify that your case is in the system. if you call back and they have no record of your previous call, start another ticket today and get a case number, call again and verify. if you have something opened in their system before warranty exipiration, once they get the mishap straightened out, they will honor the original ticket.

    they arent being sketchy, they just have poorly trained CS reps who read from a script and dont know how to actually fix your warranty problem.

  6. Lew says:

    In the future you may want to use an Apple Authorized repair center instead of an actual Apple store, or the Apple Support number. I’ve always had good experiences, because you actually talk to a sane person who will actually make an effort. Versus the harried geniuses at the Apple stores that primarily deal with “My iPod” questions all day, and are just happy to leave when their shift is over.

    If they’re Apple Authorized then they can make warranty repairs and deal with AppleCare “mistakes”.

  7. snazz says:

    do you have an apple authorized reseller in your area? they are usually better at dealing with apple to fix warranty problem and can complete your repair in house (usually). if you bring it in to them today with your reciept showing the applecare purchase, they prob can help.

  8. I just bought the extended applecare for my new iMac. I received the card, which I dutifully put away. Glad I did. or maybe it doesn’t matter.

    Either case, it’s good to move up the ladder.

  9. guavo says:

    Call back ASAP, and imediatly ask to talk to a supervisor, the agent will try to want to help you, don’t let him, tell him another agent was giving you the run around and you want a supervisor now. This will get the problem fixed i hope.

  10. MrFalcon says:

    Thanks for all the tips guys, I called back, asked for a supervisor, was told they couldn’t do that, I mentioned the BBB told me to ask and to give them the info of the person I was speaking with if I was refused…an hour later, a return kit is on its way with lots of apologies. Thanks for everyones input!

    Justin

  11. homerjay says:

    Wow, that BBB stuff was a great idea! So if I got this right you said essentially “The BBB told me that if you don’t get me a supervisor that I should give them your name so they can follow up directly with you?”

    Nice…

  12. MrFalcon says:

    Close enough to count, yeah. I said something along the lines of “Well, the BBB told me what to ask for, and they said they wanted specific information about each person, their ID number, and the time of the call. I guess they’ve had some problems with people in similar situations to mine, and they want documentation”

    Apple says: “Oh, sir, I’m sure that won’t be neccesary, let me check again with my supervisor…”

    Once I got past the first tier rep, everyone was almost painfully kind and apologetic, and of course all the red-tape was able to be side-stepped. I don’t think this would have worked out so well if I hadn’t been encouraged to call, thanks again for everyones comments and suggestions!

  13. officedrone4 says:

    I agree- Document EVERYTHING.

    Its good practice to begin with, but in this situation it will likely be critical to getting them to comply with you.

    I had issues with my iBook battery several times, as well as had an issue with my screen burning out. Each time they couldn’t find me in the system, and each time I had to keep bitching and faxing my copies of the paperwork to get my issue addressed.

    I also, annoyingly, fax them EVERYTHING, so like each time I’ve had an issue with them not having me in the system, each time I send the fax I send all prior faxes. Each transmission is now like 20 pages, but I think its effective in terms of showing them that its a problem on their end and not yours.

  14. Way to go justin. Drinks for everyone. Smile Everyone Smile !!

  15. hipersons says:

    I’m not sure what is wrong w/ apple’s repair system, but I received my fixed iPod about a month ago and their online system tells me that it’s still in for repair. same happened the last time that I sent my Powerbook in for a hard drive. It just randomly showed up on my door one day (three weeks later, I might add).

    AND when I called to find out how my lappy is doing in the doctors office currently, the system didn’t accept the correct repair number, but he was able to find my case using my cellphone number. I think apple neeeds to get on this and fix the holes in this system as it’s quite frustrating.

    Unrelated, but I’m a freelance designer with my laptop being my only computer. I have clients that need me to finish projects and I would love to be able to give them a realisitc timeline of when I may have my computer back to make money and pay the bills. I think apple could stand to be a little more detailed in their status pages.

    I do have to credit the applecare, however, for saving me a crapload of money on now two hard drives and a new cd drive + labor. also, when my cord was breaking off at the nub and was sparking, they replaced it with no questions asked. I’m not looking forward to my applecare running out considering how many times I’ve called them in the past three years.

  16. iankasley says:

    I worked for a school district that paid for 3 years of AppleCare on every new machine purchased after mid-2000. When issues arose which required hardware replacement and I had to call in to Apple they routinely said we had never purchased said coverage. This happened with dozens upon dozens of machines, leading to talks with our sales rep who after weeks of prodding finally admitted there “might have been some issues” with whatever database in Austin, Texas that held this information. (or lack of it)

    I don’t know what ever became of it, to be honest. They did replace a couple of DOA iMacs we had purchased the next year, tho’ only after massive escalations and endless run-arounds, and I ended up moving on. Definitely made me extremely wary of recommending Apple as a vendor.

    (Insert cries of bloody murder here for suggesting to teachers and staff that a PC which functions and that Dell actively supports with 1-2 day turnaround on repairs might perhaps be more desirable than a Mac that Apple won’t even acknowledge, much less repair or replace.)

  17. @hipersons: While I definitely sympathise with your situation I don’t think it’s Apple’s (or any of your other equipment suppliers’) fault for your business decisions.

    As a business professional having back-up equipment available is something you just do.

    A photographer wouldn’t dare turn up at a wedding with only one camera body. At least not one worth his salt.