Reader Mark Sticht reports a discouraging incident with AppleCare:
"I just concluded a lengthy conversation with Apple AppleCare reps. It started with a brand new iMac 17" that I ordered thru the Apple web store. Upon receipt, the DVD drive was DOA and now I must return the entire computer. I purchased AppleCare ($149) at time of purchase.
"During this ordeal, I was told that my PB G4 12" did not show up as having AppleCare. (purchased in Feb '03). She also advised me to purchase AppleCare for my other iMacs. I called AppleCare to see why my PB G4 was not in their computer only to be told that they will not sell Applecare in the State of Florida. Apple took my on-line order each time (the PB fee was $349!) and sent me the Applecare package to fill out. I dutifully did fill the info out and returned it to Apple. Not at any time - point of purchase; in the AppleCare documentation; or even when Apple received my enrollment ap - was I told it as not valid. They simply kept my money and, apparently, were ready to refuse coverage."
Mark says that his local Apple Store even has AppleStore packages on the shelves for purchase.
We've heard of this restriction on AppleCare before (not being available in the state of Florida). And to be fair, when you configure a Mac or PowerBook on the Apple Store Online, the "Learn More" page for AppleCare does state "This plan is not available for Florida consumers or where prohibited by law." However, if you do not visit the Learn More page, you never see that information. And it appears that Apple allows customers in Florida to purchase AppleCare plans, and even register the computer covered by that plan under a Florida address. Even more curious is why Apple's retail stores in the state of Florida would have AppleCare plan boxes for sale. (Are they expecting a lot of out-of-state AppleCare buyers to be visiting their stores?)
We wonder if the cashier would advise you of the Florida restriction if you attempt to purchase AppleCare at an Apple retail store in Florida. We also find it troubling that after receiving an enrollment plan from a Florida resident, Apple didn't notify the customer that they weren't eligible for AppleCare and offer to refund the customer's money. Perhaps there are other factors in this situation that we don't know about. If you have more information, please drop us a note.
UPDATE It appears that AppleCare can be sold to businesses in Florida; this would explain why it is available in retail stores.