Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Who Ya Gonna Call?

For me this week, it wasn't the scientist trio in the popular hit film, Ghostbusters, from which this post title was taken borrowed. Instead it was Apple support and speaking with several support reps is how my day was spent.

Grenville and myself are unabashed Apple users and we each have our own devices as we don't share well. Our 2-person household contains: two desktop PCs, notebooks, iPhones and tablets. At the very least, we're “standardized" in our product line. We even invested in the company's stock (on a very, very limited basis).

Whenever either of us have bought a new and/or refurbished Apple product, we've always added AppleCare Protection which extends the standard 1-year product warranty to 3 years with 24/7 priority access to Apple experts by chat or phone. Of course, it's more costly  to do so, but it's proven useful for us. It covers hardware issues with unlimited phone-in support for software issues/questions, which have been the focus of most calls. 

For myself, the expense has been worth it. This week, I experienced an issue when a 2-year old iMac desktop PC (with AppleCare) and an external Apple DVD drive no longer "played together." Short story is that the DVD caused the PC to "crash" when a CD was inserted. This DVD drive was working when used about 2 weeks ago and to verify that it was still working, we tested it on Grenville's PC and a notebook PC, where it worked as expected. 

Over 6 hours, I spoke with support reps in NC, TX and FL on this issue. The reason for so many calls was there were procedures the PC needed time to complete and Apple support sets a callback time — and always called back. AppleCare support centers are nationwide in the U.S. and the case number and detailed information was available to each rep. Unfortunately, the issue is unresolved and on the last call was escalated to a senior support analyst who guided me through running PC diagnostics and uploading files for analysis by Apple. After it's reviewed, the analyst will call back (no doubts about this). 

I'm hopeful optimistic this issue will be resolved to allow completion of my VERY large project of transferring images from (too many) CDs to several portable hard drives. It's a tedious and time-consuming project. I've mentally set a  mid-2019 completion timeframe.

As for buying extended warranties for major appliances, we're now apartment dwellers so if something breaks down, we notify the management office for a repair. As former homeowners, we never bought extended warranties and never had an issue even during what would have been the "lifetime" of an extended warranty. However, with delicate electronics that can be costly to repair, we get extra coverage to ensure that nothing "bad" happens, sort of like buying auto and house insurance — you dislike the expense and pray you don't have to use the coverage

No, I'm wondering curious about your views on extended protection coverages.
Have you ever purchased a support plan for product — electronics or not?
If so, did you ever use it and was your issue(s) revolved?


Christina said...

I should probably buy Apple shares, too. I even use my personal MacBook Air at work because the clunky PC that is my alternative is too tedious to use.... but I do unfortunately need a PC for some pieces of software that are inferior on the Apple platforms.

We never bought any extended buyer protection and (fingers crossed) have not had any problems... I hope you get your problem fixed soon. Glad you are in good hands.

Anvilcloud said...

We don't usually purchase extended warranties except for the car, and that worked out slightly in our favour. Also for the furnace and AC, which worked out too.

Sandra said...

hope the issue is solved soon. we purchased ONE warranty about 16 years ago, our first big screen TV. after 3 years, still under warranty, the sound board went. it was not covered and to get it repaired would be 500.00. we sold it to the repair man for 200 and bought the one we have now, minus the warranty and it is 10 years old and no problems. we paid 697 for it. to me it is a rip off.

robin andrea said...

We purchase extended warranties on all of our Apple products. It has come in handy many, many times. They once had to replace a Macbook Pro when all of their multiple interventions failed. Years and years ago, we contemplated buying Apple stock. It was back in 1997 when it was less than $5 a share. We didn't, but sure wish we had.

Linda said...

No extended warranties for us but we do have a Geek Squad membership. Worth the $ and we sweeten the deal with homemade baked goods.louis Dean is treated like family up there at Bedt Buy.
I’m going to have to bite the bullet and contact our internet provider. It is so slow and I have to turn the router off and back on to connect often. I’ll gear myself up to tackle that tomorrow......

Nil @ The Little House by the Lake said...

I bought an extended warranty for my previous laptop. Just three days before it expired, the laptop had a problem and I was able to get it fixed.

I haven't bought any extended warranties since then. I'd buy it for an Apple product though.

I hope you will get the computer problem fixed soon.

Snoskred said...

Absolutely, we never buy a product without - as they call it here in Australia - Product Care.

This is partly because I work in the electronics industry and part of my job is to do returns, exchanges and negotiate with the suppliers for customers to have their products replaced by the supplier when they break - which they do routinely these days. These products are not made like they once were, where you would get 20 years out of your toaster or dryer.

We've had numerous products replaced free of charge as a result of buying product care. Everything from a kettle to a TV set. I've had two laptops replaced, one was an Apple. Apple care is not as good in our country.

A couple of times when items broke we were surprised to find they were still covered under product care because we thought we'd had them a lot longer than we had actually owned them, so now I always check to see when something was purchased if it breaks just in case it is still covered by the extended warranty.

We also have accidental damage on our home insurance and we've had to use that a few times. One time they replaced a $3,000 camera lens which fell over while on our tripod.

We are Android users who were once Apple users - Apple has changed so much since I was a user that I struggle when someone brings me an iPhone that needs something done with. It isn't intuitive to me the way that Android is now. And now they seem to keep changing the file types to things that can't seem to be used with regular computers, eg if you put a photo on a USB stick it is some weird file like HEIC or something.. :)

Red said...

I'm a gambler. I don't buy extended warranty. I bought only one extended warranty .However, with modern products I may have to rethink that one.

Emma Springfield said...

I really hate trying to talk to IT people. Sometimes I even know the solution to the problem but it is something they need to fix. Most of them are reading from an instruction book and if you can get through to the supervisors of supervisors you might finally get some help.

mamasmercantile said...

Hope it is all sorted out soon.

DeniseinVA said...

No, never had a plan. I'm curious if you ever was able to fix your being unable to comment on your iPad. I am still not able to.

William Kendall said...

No plans for me either.

Connie said...

We don't buy extended warranty plans. I hope you get the trouble figured out and fixed on your Apple products.

baili said...

Hubby is more careful to buy product who have few years or at least one year warranty but not extended plans ,fortunately never felt need to call IT people

only once few years back when our PANASONIC TELEVISION suddenly lost it's colors hubby took it to the local company office but there was not positive response as they asked for huge amount ( almost half price of new t.v) to fix it

we did not find it worth it so bought new t.v of another company

later we knew that many other people who had bought t.v from same series faced same problem

that made SONY OR PANASONIC products so unpopular here