Feeds

Apple discontinues UK mail-in repair service

Take a hike, Mr Jones

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

In a manoeuvre distinguished by both its stealth and audacity, Apple UK has discontinued its mail-in repair service without notifying its customers or, it appears, its resellers.

The move came to Ping Wales' attention when regular contributor and resident Mac guru David Chisnall contacted Apple to schedule a repair for a PowerBook which has been registered with the vendor's AppleCare Protection Plan, a service that extends the warranty on Apple products from the statutory requirement of one year to three. It also extends telephone support from the standard 90 days after purchase to three years.

However, instead of going through the usual procedures associated with the direct mail-in service – which involve Apple sending the customer prepaid shipping labels, packaging material if it's needed, and paying for shipping to and from its repair centre – he was told to take the machine to the nearest Apple authorised repair centre.

Apple declined to comment on the matter, but a call to the company's tech support call centre confirmed that the mail-in repair service had been discontinued just over a month ago.

A straw poll of businesses in Wales which use Macs reveals that no business customers have been informed of the change to the repair service. Among the companies polled is fotoLibra.com, a digital picture library based in Harlech.

Gwyn Headley, managing director, told Ping Wales: "We haven't received any information from Apple to inform us of this change, but though it is a cynical viewpoint, I'm not surprised at any computer manufacturer reducing their support service, because of the cost to maintain it."

Headley added that the move will not dissuade fotoLibra.com from making future Apple purchases, as the performance of its other Apple equipment, such as servers and laptops, had been largely faultless.

Apple resellers in the region told Ping Wales that they hadn't been informed of the change either, adding that this did explain why the number of repairs coming in had increased significantly over the last few weeks.

For Apple customers in South and West Wales, this means taking their faulty equipment to Cardiff. For those living in more northern parts of Wales, getting Apple products repaired may take a trip to Chester or beyond.

Either way, any Welsh business considering buying Macs now has to take into consideration the impact this will have on the total cost of ownership of the equipment. Popping a machine in a box and handing it to the UPS man is a lot cheaper than having a technician drive to Cardiff twice. There's also the issue of downtime; many repairs will require parts to be ordered, and can't be completed while the customer waits, so the machine will have to be left for a day or two.

Apple's FAQ on the AppleCare service states: "The AppleCare Protection Plan includes telephone technical support, global repair coverage, on-site repairs for desktop computers, web-based support resources and powerful diagnostic tools."

At the time of publishing, Apple continued to assert in its terms and conditions that a direct mail-in service was available for most equipment covered by AppleCare. However, as the company has not made any official statement on the matter, it remains to be seen whether this service promise will be honoured for existing customers without the pressure of a class-action lawsuit.

Ping Wales is Wales' leading technology news site. Register for free at pingwales.co.uk.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
Amazon hopes FIRE STICK will light up its video service
We do streaming video? It seems we do...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.