Who knew? Apple offers prorated AppleCare refunds

“It’s important to admit ignorance; otherwise, you’re arrogant,” Glenn Fleishman reports for Macworld. “I had no idea that the extended-warranty plans, AppleCare and AppleCare+, could be refunded on a pro-rata basis for the unused remaining portion, despite ostensibly being a veteran reporter of things Apple.”

“Apple says its formula varies by country,” Fleishman reports. “This is because countries and regions have varying rules about how warranties must be honored and rebated. In the United States, the formula is, paraphrased: ‘Original cost pro-rated for time remaining less the value of any service used and less a cancellation fee of either $25 or 10 percent of the pro-rated remaining value, whichever is lower.'”

“On a $99 AppleCare+ plan after 12 months exactly and no service incidents, you’d have $49.50 in value left,” Fleishman reports. “Since $25 is more than 10 percent of that amount ($4.95), Apple would subtract that lesser value, for a net of about $44. While not huge, it’s not nothing, either. For a computer, it could be larger. A $349 MacBook Pro plan after a year would result in $233 remaining in value, less $23.30, or about $209.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re not AppleCare users (extended warranties are generally a waste of money), so we’ve not lost anything over the years by not collecting any pro-rated amounts, but, AppleCare buyers, have you left any money on the table over the years?


  1. I love AppleCare.

    On my current iPhone 6, I dropped the damn thing and destroyed the screen a few month’s ago and Apple for $79 replaced the entire phone.

    I had a MBP from 2010 and had Apple care. In 2012 after three repair attempts and the same display issues, they gave me a brand new Unibody MacBook Pro with a new 2 year warranty on it. It was worth every penny.

    1. Applecare is worth its weight in gold.

      (If only for the 24/7 free user and technical support, not to mention the no hassle free replacement of any defective product)

    2. Apple should have replaced your macbook pro for free and refunded your Apple Care with it. The 2010 macbook pro is the most useless Mac out there… Apple even extended the guarantee on it. Suffering from the issue I know it’t to do with the GPU and I hope Apple are getting every penny back from intel for their cock up in this saga… So to sum up your Apple care on that product was a waste of money

      1. shoulda woulda coulda

        All I know is that I got a brand new computer with a brand new Apple Care. That is MORE than I wanted, so I am not going to be a dick and ask for more. At the end of the day I was satisfied and that’s all that matters.

  2. I bought AppleCare with my first iMac in 2006 (20″ CoreDuo)
    after two years it started having video issues, Apple replaced the entire motherboard. A year later, a few weeks after warranty expired, it began to happen again. I limped it along another two years with SMCFan Control.

    Bought a replacement 2011 27″ iMac along with Applecare.
    Decided two years later to sell it but it had a slight haze under the glass. Local Apple Store worked on it three times, no avail.
    Took it to Dallas towards the end of its warranty…and they replaced the iMac with a brand new late 2013 27″ 3TB fusion drive, Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce 780M w/4GB GDDR5 memory. I decided to keep it and never buy another desktop again…

    I doubt I would buy AC for a Mini, and missed the date on my MacBook Pro (13″ 2012, which has worked flawlessly), but I highly recommend it for the iMac.

  3. MDN, I don’t know how you think AppleCare is a waste of money. I’ve purchased it on all my Apple/Mac purchases and it has almost always saved me from expensive repairs (e.g., display, motherboard, etc.). So much, that with Mac purchases, my preferred rule is to buy the extended warranty and then sell the computer before the 3 years is up and buy a new Mac with a new 3 year warranty.

    1. Ditto: my rule of thumb on a mobile device since the Titanium MB, has always been to top up with AppleCare. So far I’ve had two new MB pros, iPad 3rd gen., an iPad Mini and 2 iPhones.

      As above I usually sell my used equipment with 3-6 months of warranty left. They always sell faster and on average I get somewhere around half the value of the AppleCare cost back on my selling price.

      AppleCare has consistently been one of the best returns on an ‘insurance’ policy I’ve ever had.

  4. “extended warranties are generally a waste of money”

    Probably the dumbest thing ever written here. Really? After all, who needs 2 additional years of hardware support for their computers? Who needs the nearly 3 additional years of phone support? 2 1/2 years into the warranty on my 2006 17″ MBP, Apple decided I was having too many problems. Their solution: a brand new replacement 2009 MBP. Near the end of THAT Apple Care warranty I started having HD and RAM issues. That solution was a top to bottom rebuild (top case, logic board, HD, RAM, Bluetooth and wi-fi chips and a new keyboard. And this doesn’t include phone support for the myriad of ITunes and other software issues over those 6 years. And this doesn’t include THREE iPhone 4 replacements along the way.

    It is THIS level of support that separates Apple from the pack. You do your readers a disservice with your advice.

    1. Exactly. When my Apple notebooks (iBook, TiBook, MacBook Pro) were nearing the 3-year mark, they each had collected various hardware problems. Every single time, Apple either repaired it to almost-new status, or replaced it. That is good customer service, and a good return on investment for the cost of AppleCare.
      It’s VERY smart to get AppleCare on notebook computers, and I’ve had similar experience with my various iPhones over the years.

  5. I’m a strong AppleCare fan and am well ahead financially. It is also helpful when you have an iPhone with a problem – the years of AppleCare makes it easier for the local manager to simply swap out the phone

  6. Not mentioned here is a clause in the AppleCare contract allowing a one-time transfer of the contract to a new user. As I’ve always passed my phone on to family members, having that contract is a great reassurance to all. And though I would never buy another product’s warranty, the iPhone (and iPads) are in such continual use that using AppleCare to get immediate service or replacement is a small price to pay.

  7. MDN face plants into the concrete again. :-S
    I wish I had gotten AC on my first Mac, a 1.2Ghz iBook G4. Failed from the noted GPU/logic board issues (that Apple didn’t see fit to address) 2 days from what would have been the end of the 3-year coverage that I opted out of. AppleCare has been warranted for a number of purchases, for iPhones and MacBooks. Some items have gone without issue, but on balance, I’m glad I have purchased AC with every Apple product after that iBook.

  8. I don’t see how MDN doesn’t see the value in AppleCare. Every machine I have owned I needed to take in and thank goodness for AppleCare cause I have had to replace some major components. Especially laptops!

  9. AppleCare is generally considered to be one of the few extended warranties to be worth the investment.

    I haven’t had to use it on most of our Apple devices, but it definitely saved me an arm-and-a-leg on the iMac.

  10. I have never thus far bought AC on any of my Apple computers from my first white macbook in 2001 to my current 2011 iMac and I have never had a problem with any of the computers within 3 years of buying them. Had a Hard drive crash big time after four years of use in a Macbook Pro and a Graphics card go bad and need replacement (covered under warranty because it was a defect in the board) after 4 years of use in my next Macbook Pro but AC never would have helped me in any of the incidents I had.

    Granted AC can help had there been a problem within 3 years but so far I have had no issues an any Apple computer within that timespan *knock on wood* Guess I have been lucky to get the good ones.

  11. Nope! No value lost, because I keep some devices until it expires, and for everything else I use it as a selling point on eBay which typically fetches it a better final price, so the money I would have gotten back from Apple is more than made up for by selling it along side my used item on eBay.

  12. I’d say AppleCare is a very smart purchase for iMacs, laptops and iPhones. I take the utmost care of my Apple products but have had several unfortunate issues where AppleCare has saved me.

    My 27″ iMac started developing yellow banding on the display 1 month prior to my AppleCare warranty expiring. I promptly took it in and they replaced the entire display for free (which would have been an $800 repair). When I got it back, it had a scratch on the base so I had to send it back and have that replaced as well.

    One of the speakers on my iPhone 5 stopped working and Apple replaced it on the spot.

    Before owning AppleCare, Apple actually took very good care of me as well. A fan on my G4 Quicksilver tower broke and Apple ordered the part and did the repair for free. The computer was more than 4 years old. Doubt that would happen these days, but that was back when Apple really valued the positive word of mouth that could be generated by such an act. And they were probably more likely to identify their long-term, loyal users such as myself – a Mac only user since 1989.

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