It has recently come to light that Apple is denying some smokers coverage under their AppleCare plans. At least two people have gone on record with copies of emails showing that they were denied service on their Apple computers, solely because they were smokers.
In both cases, Apple cited OSHA standards, claiming that cigarette smoke (and residue) are “health hazards”. Therefore, they refuse to force technicians to work on the machines – even though they are technically covered. Furthermore, Apple claims in both instances that the smoke/tar damage on the inside of the machines voids the Apple warranty. However, there is nothing in the warranty about cigarettes – nor their effects on a machine – whatsoever.
I am appalled by this, to be quite frank. Yes, cigarette smoke can cause dust and grime to collect on the inside of a computer. However, if it is not specifically stated in the Apple warranty that this type of damage will void said warranty – how can they possibly use that excuse? If they want to push this issue, they need to get their team of lawyers to change the wording of the warranty – and fast.
Another tidbit for thought: the cigarette smoke/residue appears on the OSHA list of hazardous substances. Okay… I get that. That is what led to the technicians in question refusing to work on these particular machines. However, if you take a look at the OSHA list, you’ll find things such as Isopropyl Alcohol, as well. How many computer techs do you know who have dipped a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol and then used it to clean a computer part or three? I see it on a regular basis, and have even done so myself at times.
Ammonia is on the list. Are you telling me those same techs refuse to clean their floors and homes? Ammonia is a common substance found in many household cleaners. Chlorine is on the list. Do these guys never go into a swimming pool? Hydrogen Peroxide is on the OSHA list. They better not buy that stuff to clean out cuts on their bodies, that’s for sure.
My point is that there are a lot of substances on that same list… rightfully so… that are used every single day. Many of them are likely even used by these same people who refuse to work on a cigarette smoker’s computer. The key is to be smart when you’re using the substances, right? For instance, you’d want to wear gloves when working with certain chemicals. That’s a commonly known fact! So why can’t the technicians take the proper precautions, and just do the work they are being paid to do?
What are your thoughts on this? Is Apple right to deny these people the service which they paid for – simply because they smoke?