Apple voids warranties over cigarette smoke, users say
No repairs for 'biohazard' Macs
A Mac user claims that Apple voided her warranty and refused to repair her machine because it was "contaminated" with cigarette smoke.
The claim mirrors a similar report from last year, when another user complained that the Jobsian cult wouldn't service a system due to the "health risks of secondhand smoke."
Both complaints arrive by way of The Consumerist, a site obsessed with consumer empowerment. According to the site, the claims come from separate parts of the country and were reported more than a year apart.
In each case, the site says, an Apple service center agreed to repair a machine before telling the owner repairs were not possible because the system contained some sort of smoke residue. "They informed me that his computer can't be worked on because it's contaminated," wrote one woman in a complaint about Apple's treatment of the iMac her son used.
"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! I checked my Applecare warranty and it says nothing about not honoring 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 Center due to being listed a bio-hazard."
Indeed, the warranty does not include mention of either secondhand smoke or biohazards. It does say that the plan does not cover "damage to the covered equipment caused by...extreme environment," but both Consumerist claims indicate systems failures weren't necessarily related to smoke residue. One user even says that smoke residue was falsely identified.
Both users appealed directly to the office of Steve Jobs. According to one, the office confirmed that the cult would not repair machines showing signs of smoke residue. "[A person from Jobs' office] did advise me that nicotine is on OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration]'s list of hazardous substances and Apple would not require an employee to repair anything deemed hazardous to their health," the user said.
Apparently, the Jobsian office worker contacted the Apple Store in question to see about a possible repair - before calling back to say it was out of the question. "[The worker] called me earlier this week to deliver the 'bad news.' She said that the computer is beyond economical repair due to tar from cigarette smoke! She said the hard drive is about to fail, the optical drive has failed and it isn't feasible to repair the computer under the warranty.
"This computer is less than 2 years old! Only one person in my household smokes - one 21 year old college student. She said that I can get it repaired elsewhere at my expense. I asked why my warranty didn't cover the repair and was told it's an OSHA violation." ®
Well spotted. I had one immediately after posting that and it calmed me down immensely.
I'd give up smoking. Unfortunately every time I consider it I see something from the anti-smoking brigade that winds me up, so I have to have a fag to avoid doing something illegal involving a roomful of rabid non-smokers and a fire axe.
It's a vicious circle.
chill out dammit!
Wow, a grand total of two people making this claim out of how many tens, nay hundreds of thousands of Macs serviced every year? Could it possibly be that these are extreme cases?
You lot need to throttle back on your over-reacting.
Nicotine Is Not A Poison
... at the exposure level present by merely touching something with smoke residue on it.
What these employees did is the equivalent of stating "We can't work on your PC because it has painted parts"... because when the paint was applied there would have been fumes that go against OSHA standards, nevermind that it is dry now and everything around them had some manufacturing process that wouldn't be safe to work in if it weren't contained.
It is not clear that smoke caused the fault and actually it is not likely. It would be more likely smoke caused dust accumulation at an accelerated rate and ultimately lack of cleaning dust out caused a fault. Proper electrical contacts would become coated with smoke residue but not where they contact each other, I can't even begin to enumerate how many tar covered systems I've seen that besides the other problem unrelated to smoke residue, they worked fine. Certainly buildup from tar can be a problem eventually but it's pretty unlikely within the warranty period for a system even if the person chain-smokes right next to it.
Environ-mental hazards to consumers...
In breaking news, Apple refuse to repair machines which have been used by 'climate deniers'.
A spokesman said - "These machines could be used to support thoughts which threaten humanity. This is a crime ..."
Former PC Tech opinion
I use to work for a major PC retail store as a technician and I can't tell you how many times I received computers that were malfunctioning because their owners smoked around them.
They were plain DISGUSTING on the inside with their previous white cases turned yellow and insides coated with a nasty smelling sticky tar. The smell was terrible and strong. The tar would cause fans to stop and acted as insulation, which then caused the system to overheat and parts to malfunction. I often spent more time attempting to clean the pc out then actually performing the work (which the customer should have been billed for). I felt like i should have been wearing a hazmat suit the entire time while working on them.
I agree with Apple for not performing warranty work on these systems. In my opinion smoking next to your system is just as bad as keeping your system in a damp environment where the insides can rust and corrode (which is also not covered under warranty).
Point is that people in general should be held responsible for the damage they cause to their equipment regardless what the cause is.