Suddenly people are up in arms over the fact that if you bring in a Mac for repair and we open it up and it reeks of smoke then we’re not going to honor the warranty. Apparently this is big news. Some Web site called Consumerist broke the story, and now it’s getting picked everywhere, like on ZDnet, and the haters are having a field day. Consumerist makes a point of saying how the smokers appealed directly to me, and I shot them down too.
Okay. Look. If you spill a cup of coffee or water or whatever into your MacBook Pro, and you bring it in and ask us to fix it under wararnty, we tell you no. How is smoking any different? We’re not telling you not to smoke. We’re not trying to tell you how to live your life. We don’t want to control you. We’re just saying that if you mess up your computer by smoking around it, then it’s your fault, not ours.
Just FYI, smoking is just one of many things that can void your warranty. You can’t believe the stuff people bring in and try to foist off on us, eg MacBooks that clearly have been dropped or otherwise mistreated. The most common one we see is a MacBook with scratches on it — an indication that its owner has ignored our recommendation that the MacBook be carried in a padded neoprene case at all times.
These people get all upset when our geniuses point out a scratch and say, Sorry, but clearly you haven’t been taking care of this MacBook, so we’re not going to replace the hard drive. The customers say how does a scratch cause the hard drive to fail and we say we’re not mind readers here, we can’t go back in time and see what you actually did to the machine, but clearly you didn’t respect your Mac.
We also see a lot of machines that haven’t been kept clean, or that have been cleaned with cloths and cleaners that are not on the Apple approved list. Windex? Are you fucking kidding me? You sprayed Windex on your Cinema display?
A lot of people also remove that sheet of tissue paper that comes in the MacBook above the keyboard and just toss it out. What the fuck are you thinking? The tissue paper is there for a reason, people. It keeps your screen from picking up specks of crap from the keyboard. It also keeps specks of crap from falling down between the keys. Correct procedure is, you remove the tissue paper when you first get your MacBook. You fold the tissue paper in half, then in half again, and then in half again. You place that neatly folded tissue paper into your special neoprene case, and whenever you put the MacBook away, you unfold the tissue paper and place it carefully over your keyboard.
If you don’t like the tissue paper, you can buy a chamois cloth that does the same thing. You should also consider a special silicone keyboard skin.
The idea is, you want to keep this thing pristine. You want it to look brand new. Do we really need to explain this?
There also are people who don’t wash their hands before they work on their computer, and then they expect us to touch their keyboard and fix it when it breaks. Ick. No way.
Finally, re: the smokers, I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but the fact is, they’ve done studies about smoking and socioeconomic status, and the studies show that smokers tend to be lower-class, uneducated and poor. Not our audience, and if by some accident one of these folks does happen to buy a Mac, we do our best to give them shitty service and drive them away. Nothing personal, but there’s a reason Dell was put on this earth, people.