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Something that I did find interesting

By HAL 9000 Moderator ·
Apple Refuses To Fix Smokers' Computers

Was the headline with the body of the text telling about 2 refusals to repair systems covered by the Apple Extended Warranty

If you run over your computer with a monster truck, stick dynamite in the USB slot or attach it to a Slinky and roll it down the stairway, you can reasonably expect to lose any warranty or cover care you have on it. But now there's another rash activity that can leave you out of pocket if a fault develops: smoking.

The Consumerist website, run by the same group behind Consumer Reports magazine, says two readers have found Apple refused to fix computers because they were smokers. Both had purchased the extended warranty Applecare package. In one case, the problems with the machine were blamed on tar residue from cigarette smoke, while in the other its not yet clear what was to blame.

However, it wasn't just the fact that smoking may have caused the damage that led to Apple to refuse to fix the machines. Instead, Apple staff reportedly claimed that fixing the machines would expose staff to the health risk from second-hand smoke.

Nicotine On Official Danger List
One customer complained directly to the office of Apple owner Steve Jobs and says she was told by a Jobs assistant that nicotine is on the Occupational Health and Safety Administrator's list of hazardous substances. (Source:

Of course, not only is it questionable whether the amount of smoke residue which could have built up inside a Mac would have posed a health risk to a repair technician, but by the time the staff had examined the machine closely enough to detect smoke residue, any damage would presumably already have been done.

Contract Unclear On Smoke Exclusion
It's also questionable whether the terms of Applecare allow the firm to reject claims in such cases. There's certainly no explicit mention of smoking in the policy, and there doesn't appear to be any mention of hazardous substances. The nearest thing to relevant would be a clause which excludes damage caused by "abuse, neglect [or] misuse", though there is a catch-all clause excluding damage from "other external causes". (Source:

And if lawyers wanted to play the literal card, the contract does also exclude damage caused by fire.

Whatever the situation, if Apple does want to refuse to repair computers used by heavy smokers, that certainly seems like a class of customers big enough that it needs to be explicitly stated before people hand over their cash.

To give Apple some credit, it's important to note that this only represents two cases, one of which was last year. However, if this is a widespread issue, the Consumerist story may prompt others to come forward with similar complaints.

Seems as if one may have been a reasonable reason not to repair the unit under warranty but I'm not sure what to make of the second refusal where no reason for the refusal is given or an explanation of what's wrong.

Full Article is listed here for those interested


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by seanferd In reply to Something that I did find ...

<i>Apple staff reportedly claimed that fixing the machines would expose staff to the health risk from second-hand smoke.</i>


Sure, they have every right to refuse servicing machines actually damaged by smoke.

But if they are Sore Afraid of smoke, they out to consider what the plastic in the computer is outgassing and leaching. Or their carpets. Or their drapes. Or cars. Or iPod earphones. Or pretty much anything.

(Don't drink from plastic bottles.)

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What Plastic can hurt you?

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to LOL

No that's not possible Apple is a respected company and they would never dream of using anything potentially dangerous would they? :^0

Col [Maniacal Laughter]

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ipod headphone, don't get me started

by .Martin. In reply to LOL

apple tech sitting there listening to his ipod up real loud (cause they don't work good) and bam they catch on fire

more second hard smoke... and first hand in the ear...

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Not to mention

by NickNielsen In reply to LOL

all the emissions from all those cars. Wonder how miniscule the effects of secondhand smoke are compared to the effects of breathing traffic fumes for an hour.


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As one who has had to repair a smoked PC

by GSG In reply to Something that I did find ...

I can say that it is a horrible, nasty job. This person was a home transcriptionist and we'd given her a brand new system 2 months prior. The first week, everything went great. The 2nd, things started going wrong, until we finally told her to bring it in.

I popped the case, thinking that maybe the RAM had come unseated, or that I'd find that we needed to replace the Motherboard, etc... and found almost 1/2 inch of ash. I measured it!

It was a pizza box style with the air intake in the front, and the fan sucking air out the back, and she put her ashtray at the intake because it "pulled the smoke away".

I couldnt' work on it for gagging, and no one else wanted to touch it, so we got what we call a bunny suit from surgery (disposable paper jump suit), goggles, mask, and gloves, and took it outside to **** out the ash.

That was nastier than the dead mouse incident!

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The one Smoked Server that I had to fix

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to As one who has had to rep ...

Was similarly Disgusting. It had copped a Lighting Strike and vaporized everything inside the case.

I didn't hear anyone then complaining of the possible Health Hazards from the Chemicals inside the Components that had been spread out all over the inside of the case.

There are many more disgusting things inside the IC's than in most other things that can be found in the home but the Absolute worst repair that I have ever had to do was a VCR that a Cat had Peed into.

Apparently the cat liked sleeping on the VCR because it was warm and the owner refused to believe that Pu$$y had relieved itself into the VCR. She even went as far as accusing me of placing the Cat Urine into the unit to get out of repairing the unit.

Some people are just thick or want to believe the best of their pets.

I've had to fix a lot of Disgusting things over the years and anything around smokers is easy compared to the more common things that I've found inside some equipment. That Cat Urine was by far the worst but a 10 foot Black Snake inside a Desktop computer was probably the scariest.


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I hope...

by cmiller5400 In reply to The one Smoked Server tha ...

I hope that said snake was not venomous??? I would have ran for the hills screaming like a banshee if I were in your shoes I don't mind snakes as long as they don't surprise me and the snake is non-venomous. I've actually handled pythons and boa's and they are absolutely amazing creatures.

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Well what can I say

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to I hope...

When I saw the snake I didn't even look closely I slammed the cover back onto the computer and grabbed as much gaffer Tape as I could lay my hands on to keep the cover in place.

Probably scared the snake senseless but it didn't do much for me either.

Only thing that stopped me decamping was the fact that one or more of my staff would have had to deal with the snake. But what didn't help was they all wanted to open the case again and see the snake as none of them believed me.

Dammed if I know how it got in there or how it stayed alive but I wasn't going to run the risk of it getting loose in the workshop. :0


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You win

by GSG In reply to The one Smoked Server tha ...

I'd rather have cigarette ash any day than cat urine or a snake. OK, Black snakes are a good snake because they get rid of rodents, but my instinct is to scream like a little girl and run as far aways as possible.

One hospital I work at, we had a pneumatic tube system to send items to various departments. Sometimes, people didn't screw the lids on the lab specimens tight enough. Our tube address was 1 character different from the labs. Occasionally, we were treated with a cartridge screaming into our console spraying Urine or Blood, and one day, some Einstein decided to send a can of Coke through the tube. Can you say explosion?

When there's a leak, they have to stop the system and send bleach cartridges through to each console.

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by seanferd In reply to As one who has had to rep ...

As well as the cup holder, I need the smokeless ashtray on my new system fixed.

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