Apple Service Centers Still Turning Away Smokers

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A Facebook friend posted this on his wall yesterday, and at first I didn’t believe it. Apple is refusing to fix smokers’ computers. Seriously.

Something I just learned: Apple will refuse to repair your Mac if anybody in your home or office has smoked in its presence.

When asked for details about his house guest’s problem, here’s what he said:

“Smoking near your machine voids the warranty,” he was told by the snooty help desk geek.

Apparently this was a story in late 2009, but it’s not been talked about much since then. According to The Consumerist, which broke the story back then, Apple contends that smoke residue is a health hazard under OSHA guidelines. But as one of their reporting consumers pointed out:

Dena [from Jobs’ office] did advise me 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. However, OSHA also lists calcium carbonate (found in calcium tablets), isopropyl alcohol (used to clean wounds), chlorine (used in swimming pools), hydrogen peroxide (also used to clean wounds), sucrose (a sugar), talc (as in powder), etc… as hazardous substances.

Listen, I’m about as anti-smoking as they come. I’ve never smoked a single cigarette, so this ridiculous policy doesn’t affect me in the least.

What I am, though, is an advocate for fairness and reason, and this anti-smoker corporate policy is the opposite of that.

WTF, Apple?

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  • http://happywaffle.com Kevin Miller

    Not true, at least not to the extent described. The existence of smoke is not sufficient to void the warranty, but it’s also possible for smoke residue to affect electronics. I once saw an iMac come from a smoker’s home that was literally yellowed from the smoke. The logic board inside had visible residue. If it had been in for service, I could easily imagine Apple refusing to honor its warranty. Long story short, it would need to be extreme.

    Of course there can and will always be individual instances of technicians being needlessly picky, or quoting nonexistent policies. So sometimes you have to bitch and moan to get another opinion from a manager or what have you.