Ever since The Consumerist broke this story earlier this month that Apple is canceling the warranties on products exposed to cigarette smoke, the techarazi have been having a field day.
Sound crazy? Here's the "deets" as my eight year old daughter would say:
1. Apparantly, there was a man in Iowa who took his two year old Macbook in for repairs at an Apple store in West Des Moines. They called him later to inform him that they were voiding his warranty because it had been exposed to cigarette smoke. What's more, they were not willing to work on it at any price because of the dangers of exposure to second-hand smoke.
2. There are other customer testimonials mounting up of similar responses at other Applecare centers around the country. An Oklahoma store told one customer that it would be an OSHA violation to have their employees expose themselves to his smoke-infested computer.
3. There is no provision about cigarette smoke in the fine print on the warranty itself.
4. Apple, so far, is not responding to any press questions on this one.
Perhaps, they should!
I admit that when I first heard about this I actually felt sorry for the smokers. I usually don't side with smokers. For example, I was in San Francisco when smoking was banned in the bars and I'm here to tell you that its a damn fine law.
This sounded pretty over the line, however.
What puzzled me, however, was how the repair people knew the unit had been exposed to second hand smoke. How does it evidence itself? Is it that bad?
Actually, smoking can really mess up a computer. The fan sucks the smoke right in and tar builds up on everything around it.
I spent some time reading discussion threads and blogs written by computer repair types. Apparantly, it's a common complaint just how nasty it is to deal with a computer gummed up with tobacco goo.