If you’re of the opinion that smoking bans have gone far enough, then you won’t like what you’re about to hear. It seems that Apple think that smokers should have more respect for their Macs – and not smoke around them. The penalty if you don’t comply? Well, consider your Applecare warranty invalidated.
This might sound like a story of “political correctness gone mad” but according to The Consumerist, two Mac users in the US have been told they’ve invalidated their repair warranties because the internal components of their Mac are covered in tar. They’ve even taken their cases as far Steve Jobs himself – and have still been rejected.
One of the aggrieved users described what had happened in his e-mail to Jobs:
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 “health risks of second hand smoke”. Not only is this faulty science, attributing non smoking residue to second hand smoke but no where in your applecare terms of service can I find anything mentioning being used in a smoking environment as voiding the warranty.
Meantime the other user was informed her son’s smoke was a “bio-hazard”:
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.
There are going to be those who jump on this and say that Apple are making-up any excuse to get out of repairing products.
But damage caused by bio-hazards invalidates an Applecare warranty so Apple are well within their rights to refuse repair of a Mac that’s covered in tar. I very much doubt Apple would try to get out of performing a few repairs just to save a bit of money for what would be very bad PR. By all accounts, Applecare customer service is revered by most of those that have had to use it. If a Mac’s internal parts are covered in black sticky tar from years of being surrounded by smoking, I don’t blame Apple for claiming it could have done damage to the computer not to mention the poor maintenance guy who has to clean it all up.
So if you’re a Mac user, this news is one more good reason to give-up smoking for Christmas.