Is AppleCare worth getting for a refurbished iMac?
April 30, 2012 1:00 PM   Subscribe

Is AppleCare worth getting for a refurbished iMac?

I recently got a refurbished iMac. It works fine. Is it worth getting AppleCare for it before the initial year is up?

Last time I researched this, the best practice seemed to be to always get AppleCare for a laptop but only if you were risk-averse for a desktop.

The question has been asked here before, but some years ago or for a laptop (as far as I can see), so it would be good to get an update. (I'm in Ireland, if that matters.)
posted by Grinder to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Personally, I have always gotten my money's worth from AppleCare. And except for once, it has never been for repairs. But they would walk me through any setup, help me install programs, email accounts, troubleshoot, etc. Might not be worth it for you, especially if you have lots of tech knowledge, but for a low tech person, the cost has been completely worth the lack of frustration.
posted by Vaike at 1:25 PM on April 30, 2012

AppleCare makes perfect sense; I always saw the iMac and Mac Pro AppleCare as being much better value for money than the laptop ones. Think of it this way: other than the RAM (and possibly the hard drive - not sure about current models) if anything goes wrong, it has to be pretty much completely disassembled. I now work in a forensics firm where we do this regularly, have all the kit etc, and even we regard iMacs as a royal pain in the butt to take apart. The screen is a particular pain as you need suction pads to do it right.

Honestly, unless you plan on replacing your system more frequently than every three years, I'd say do it. And as Vaike says, the support is a godsend when you're in a bind.

- Ex AppleCare first line support technician, for full disclosure purposes :P
posted by fearnothing at 1:30 PM on April 30, 2012

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! I'm on my refurb MBP's 6th year.
posted by jgirl at 1:34 PM on April 30, 2012

YMMV, but my refurbed iMac was replaced by Apple under AppleCare because they said they took too long to fix it or something. In my case they exchanged it for a brand new current model that was faster than my refurb. In my 25+ years of experience AppleCare is worth it on any device.
posted by Gungho at 2:01 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Absolutely, positively, yes
posted by silsurf at 2:55 PM on April 30, 2012

Definitely yes: the iMac is pretty tightly sealed -- the iFixit teardown illustrates fearnothing's comment -- so it's more like a laptop in terms of its build, and the thing most likely to go bad is the hard drive, which is a non-trivial replacement.

AppleCare's the one extended warranty that I consider worth paying for, and it's paid itself back on every machine.
posted by holgate at 3:05 PM on April 30, 2012

Yes; I was a student when I bought it, and had qualms about the extra expense, but ended up using it several times during the warranty period (optical drive went, harddrive went, something was buggered with the monitor...).
posted by Pomo at 4:28 PM on April 30, 2012

Yes. Applecare is worth it on a brand new out of the box Mac, let alone one that's used.

Ugh. I didn't get Applecare on a mid-2010 Mac Mini and the optical drive just went out. I dare you to look at the iFixIt repair pages and not start crying. "Difficulty: Difficult." Understatement of the year.
posted by hwyengr at 4:33 PM on April 30, 2012

I spilled water on my Macbook Pro about two weeks before my AppleCare expired, and it shorted out completely. There was obvious water damage, and I was expecting them to laugh me out of the store. But they replaced everything, and the computer has been chugging along for the past two years. This is not counting the Airport card that fried or the optical drive that needed to be replaced. It's much more expensive than a similar extended warranty from Best Buy or what have you, but they'll take care of you.

FWIW, I believe AppleCare is only one of two extended warranties Consumer Reports recommends.
posted by calistasm at 5:09 PM on April 30, 2012

Yeah. The iMac's are essentially not user serviceable. Removing the hard drive involves popping out the screen with suction cups. As much as I like working on my own machines, the iMac is one I don't relish the thought of messing with.
posted by chairface at 6:39 PM on April 30, 2012

I’d be more likely to get AppleCare with a refurbished machine. I did it once, had problems, and got a new machine much better than the one I had.
posted by bongo_x at 9:01 PM on April 30, 2012

Thanks for all that. I'll get AppleCare then. I've only had one hardware problem with Apple products - a "clicking" drive in a MacBook Pro some years ago - but it sounds like sensible insurance.
posted by Grinder at 12:35 AM on May 1, 2012

Macs are much more intricate than they used to be. I've had iMacs replaced because I had AppleCare after breaking down completely. I don't go in for extended warranties EXCEPT for AppleCare.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 9:54 AM on May 1, 2012

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