Smokers Burned By Apple Warranty

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Smoking is hazardous to your warranty, at least it is if you are an Apple user, after the Mac maker refused to repair computers exposed to cigarette smoke

Apple has voided warranties and refused to carry out repairs on computers exposed to cigarette smoke, according to a US website that champions the rights of consumers.

Reports on The Consumerist website are claiming that Apple did not honour a Macbook warranty because it was “contaminated” by second-hand cigarette smoke that could be harmful to its repair technicians.

“I took my mid 2007 apple macbook (black) into the Jordan Creek Apple Store in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, April 25th, because I had been experiencing some issues with it overheating, and figured the fan was bad. After some initial testing, they took the computer in for work under my Applecare plan, which has over a year remaining on it.”

Apparently the Apple store then informed Derek that due to the computer having been used in a house where there was smoking, the warranty was void and they refused to work on the machine, due to “health risks of second-hand smoke”.

Derek then checked his Applecare terms of service and confirmed that it did not mention the warranty risk if the machine was used in a smoking environment. He therefore appeal directly to Steve Jobs’s office without success.

In the end however, Derek apparently fixed the problem himself by disassembling his Macbook and cleaning it out with a can of compressed air.

Another user, Ruth, also had a similar complaint after trying to have her son’s iMac repaired at a local authorised repair centre. The centre refused to work on the machine, informing her that the “computer can’t be worked on because it’s contaminated.”

“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!” Ruth wrote. “I checked my Applecare warranty and it says nothing about not honouring warranties if the owner is a smoker. The Applecare representative said they defer to the technician and my son’s computer cannot be fixed at any Apple Service Centre due to being listed a bio-hazard.”

Ruth also appealed, unsuccessfully, to Steve Jobs’s office.

It seems that Apple is using regulations governing worker safety to avoid working on the machines. Nicotine is apparently listed on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) list of hazardous substances.


Author: Tom Jowitt
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