The purchase of any extended warranty is always somewhat of a gamble. In some cases, it can pan out in your favor, and in other cases you might purchase coverage and then never need it. By some arguments, if your system has not had any hardware problems within the first year of purchase, then you might not need additional coverage for defects; however, there are instances such as with ongoing 2011 MacBook Pro logic board problems, where issues can creep up on you over time. This is especially true as in recent years Apple’s software and some hardware quality has fallen a little, bringing more bugs and problems that users have to contend with.
For most of its products, Apple offers an automatic 1-year warranty that covers repair and service charges, with an extended and optional AppleCare service that gives you an additional two years of coverage. Unfortunately, even though your system may be coverable through the three years following its purchase, Apple does not allow you to purchase this warranty at any time; it must be purchased in the first year of ownership, while still under the default 1-year warranty.
- Locate your Mac’s serial number, which can be found printed on its chassis, or by selecting About This Mac from the Apple menu, or in the System Profiler (System Information) utility.
- For iOS systems, go to Settings > General > About and scroll down to the Serial Number entry.
- Go to Apple’s Self Solve Web site, and enter your serial number into the field.
When done, the site will give you an overview of your current coverage, with options to purchase more, if desired. Even if you have not considered purchasing extra AppleCare, using this site will help you determine your support options.
Some people might be interested in purchasing AppleCare even thought their systems are out of warranty. By default, Apple will deny giving you extra coverage at this point; however, there are some exceptions. If your system is just barely out of warranty by about a month or less, then you can likely argue a case with Apple.
While not guaranteed, you can check with an Apple Store, or call AppleCare directly and if your system is in full and working order without any cosmetic damage, then with a little convincing you might be able to get a representative to agree and allow you to purchase an extended the warranty for your system.
One suggestion here is to be persistent, where if you are unsuccessful with one approach, then try again at a different Apple Store, or at a later date at the same one, or by calling Apple’s support lines again to talk with a different representative.
If you live in the EU you have another option – though the details vary from country to country.
The UK probably has the most consumer-friendly laws, known as the Sale of Goods Act and the Limitations Act. These provide a contract between the consumer and the retailer, not the manufacturer, that lasts for up to six years. Goods must be, among other things, of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and last a reasonable length of time. Clearly these definitions will vary from one product to another: a reasonable life for an expensive laptop is longer than for a cheap ballpoint pen. The retailer’s responsibility is to address the fault, not necessarily to return the product to as-new condition.
Persistence is often needed because by no means all retailers are familiar with the law. I suffered from the 2011 MacBook Pro graphics problem and the retailer didn’t know there was any commitment beyond Apple’s warranty: even an Apple agent to whom they spoke was unaware of the law, though it is properly described on Apple’s UK website. Eventually they agreed to replace the motherboard and I now have, at least for the time-being, a fully functional MBP again.