Mac Tips Daily! #217 - Apple Care Experience - Ensure a smooth repair

I had some dealings with Apple Care this morning (read here), and it prompted me to tell you a few things to make your calls go as smooth and efficient as mine. 1. Always have the serial number ready. If you don't see the serial number on your product, it's probably available via software. On a Mac, you can go to the Apple menu -> About this mac -> More Info -> Hardware. It will be at the bottom, under the 'Hardware Overview. iPod users have it on the back of their iPod. You can also retrieve your serial # under the 'Extra Settings -> About' menu. Other methods to find serial numbers can be found here. 2. Take that product serial number and go to the Support page and type it in. You can find out exactly how many days you have left on your warranty, and decide if it's even worth a call. 3. Before you call, check around the Apple support documents, Google, and MacFixit.com. Find out if other people are having a similar problem, and find out what solutions Apple care has taken care of for them. Occasionally, Apple doesn't 'fess up immediately to widespread problems, and will only address them when you use a special 'buzzword' or describe a specific problem with 'key' words. Unfortunately, this is ostensibly how things are done, so before you call, be up to speed on specific terms that the rep may be looking for. 4. Be courteous. Most of these reps would like to help you out. They are just like us.. and usually they have the power to make a repair that is on the cusp of validity. Even if they have to go to a manager for approval, usually managers say 'what do you think'... and if you have been rude to the rep, they may just say '... I wouldn't do it'. 5. When courtesy doesn't work, say 'Do you know who I am?'. Do you know I can write an article and get on Digg.com and cause a flurry of bad PR. Well, unless you are someone, this may not work. You never know.. this may work for you, although I don't recommend it. 6. Blog about it. If you have a popular blog, and are well known... you may just get a personal call from Apple Executive Relations. It worked for Paul Turrott.. and he didn't even tell the Apple customer service reps who he was. He's not that kind of guy. However, he does have the power of the people behind him, and once everyone knew, Apple was quick to call him and fix his problem. We may not all get this kind of treatment, but when you are right, you have to put it out there and see what will happen. At the very least, it's good to get the frustration off of your chest. This is not an ad for Apple Care, just my opinion. If you don't have it.. you might consider it. The cost of repairs for electronics is outrageous. I mentioned in the podcast that they don't cover LCDs. I don't want that to be a blanket statement. There are cases when they do... but just not for mis-use. It never hurts to call and get an opinion, or even take it to your local Apple Certified service center.