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New Second-Hand Smoke Risk: Your Apple Computer Warranty

We've all learned by now that second-hand smoke presents a health risk, and should be avoided. But here's a new risk posed by second-hand smoke that you might not have known: It may void the warranty on your Apple computer.

The Consumerist notes in this post that at least two of its readers claim Apple deemed their "Applecare" warranties to be void due to secondhand smoke. Indeed, both readers reported that not only would Apple not repair the computers under warranty, it refused to even have its tech people work on the computers because they were a "bio-hazard."

Apple reportedly told Consumerist reader Derek that his warranty was void due to the second-hand smoke, and that they refused to work on the machine due to "health risks." Similarly, Consumerist reader Ruth says she was told by an Apple tech person that her son's computer couldn't be worked on because it was "contaminated with cigarette smoke which they consider a bio-hazard!" When Ruth complained to Steve Jobs' office, she says that an Apple employee in that office told her that "nicotine is on OSHA's list of hazardous substances and Apple would not require an employee to repair anything deemed hazardous to their health." According to Consumerists' readers, the Applecare warranty says nothing about the warranty becoming void due to second-hand smoke. Consumerist says Apple has not responded to its requests for an explanation.

Commenters on the post pointed out that the written warranty does exclude damage for an "improper environment," but most commenters seemed to agree that it was not at all clear that second-hand smoke would void the warranty. Some commenters noted that they have seen the inside of computers owned by smokers that were completely covered in a nasty, tar-like substance. However, the prevailing sentiment seemed to be captured by a commenter who wrote, "I am in utter disbelief. Citing OSHA? Really? Put on some damn gloves and fix these computers, Apple."

Posted by Bruce Carton on November 23, 2009 at 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)


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