Michael Trimm also sees the value in getting AppleCare:
If you buy a Mac (or most any big electronic), get the warranty. I purchased the extended warranty for my MacBook Pro back in November and it’s already halfway paid for itself. See, I’m one of the lucky people who received a MBP battery that has a health issue. According to iStat Pro (which I referenced to the tech, who understood), I have 65% health at 132 cycles. That’s not natural. After trying everything I could think of (which was only one thing – calibrate), that’s the numbers I had. System Profiler shows “Fair” battery health.
So Apple’s gonna swap out my battery no charge. Now, if I hadn’t purchased the warranty this may not have been as easy. (Apple includes a year of warranty support, but I know some extra services are provided for those who extend Apple Care). Also, don’t be afraid to call support (Apple: 1-800-APL-CARE) and tell them you’re concerned with something on your system. The best they can tell you is that your stuff is fine and nothing to worry about or it isn’t and they’ll replace it. The worst that could happen is they’ll tell you that you have nothing to worry about it. (If you don’t have a warranty, they could tell you that you’re on your own because you didn’t fork over the extra cash).
I’ve had to deal with Apple’s support channels a few times before as well, and the experience was just about as “nice” as it could be (all things considered).
In-store appointments are easy to set up, and the only phone call I made was handled astoundingly well – the CSR even gave me his email address for follow-up responses, not long after Leopard was first released. I don’t know if that’s common practice or over-the-top dedication, but I was impressed either way.
Ponzi had similar “happy” experiences when she called support for iPhone issues back in the first days of ownership.
So, what about your computer / vendor of choice? How are their support lines doing these days? I’m sure this is a case of “your mileage may vary,” but I’d still be interested in detecting general tech support trends from my readership.