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Smoking voids Apple warranties

Smoking voids Apple warranties

The Applecare warranties offered with Apple's equipment appears to be invalidated should your laptop come in contact with cigarette smoke.

If you're a smoker with an Apple Mac, be prepared for a shock should your system require service - Apple won't touch it with a barge pole.

As reported over on The Consumerist, reports are circulating the web from people who have been refused warranty repairs of their Apple MacBook and iMac systems due to residue from cigarette smoke being present within the machines - something which is unavoidable if you smoke while at your computer.

Consumerist reader Derek took his two year old MacBook unit to an Apple store in West Des Moines, Iowa after experiencing problems with overheating - caused, more than likely, by smoke residue gumming up the fan and covering the heatsinks. While the repair should have been a simple case of cleaning the residue from the inside of the laptop, the Apple store refused to work on the unit - stating that as "the computer [has] been used in a house where there was smoking" work could not be carried out due to the "health risks of second hand smoke"

Another Consumerist reader, Ruth, experienced a similar story when returning a two year old iMac to a service centre only for the workers there to refuse to repair the unit due to it being "contaminated with cigarette smoke which they consider a bio-hazard."

When both cases were bounced up to the CEO's office at Apple, responses were received stating that due to nicotine being present on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's list of substances hazardous to health, Apple workers would not be expected to work with machines which were contaminated with cigarette smoke residue. However, as Ruth points out "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)," and other seemingly benign substances that an average worker could expect to encounter in their daily life.

Perhaps the biggest issue with the whole sorry story is that Apple's extended warranty service - Applecare - makes no mention in its terms and conditions that the presence of a smoker in the household in which the device is used will render the warranty null and void, an omission which could potentially backfire on Apple should Mac-owning smokers wish to start a class action suit against the company.

Do you think Apple is doing the right thing by refusing to repair systems gummed up with nasty cigarette residue, or should the company be honouring the terms of its warranty without inventing new conditions on the fly? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

93 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Xen0phobiak 23rd November 2009, 10:23 Quote
As a PC tech, I think this is a great idea. I hate working on smokers machines.
yakyb 23rd November 2009, 10:28 Quote
i have had laptops come in before that absolutely stink i completely agree with apple on this one
faugusztin 23rd November 2009, 10:29 Quote
Xen0, that is all nice, but unless it is written in warranty description that smoking voids the warranty then what they do is illegal.
proxess 23rd November 2009, 10:30 Quote
Independently if you like it or not, if there's nothing stated in Warranty Agreement, then they should work on the PC IMHO. Nothing a health-care worker's mask won't solve.

The only difficulty is obtaining the mask, with all the nut-jobs thinking it'll save them from the flu. But that's another story.
Javerh 23rd November 2009, 10:34 Quote
What about the bio-hazard from infected people bringing their laptops in for maintenance? Or the infected ones in Apple stores! Run for the safe house!
mi1ez 23rd November 2009, 10:39 Quote
Right to not work on the units, wrong to omit it from TACs
frojoe 23rd November 2009, 10:44 Quote
Somewhere in the forums there are pictures from the inside of a smokers machine, truly disgusting. I guess it should be in the warranty info, but at the same time legally they could probably throw it in under the part where if you break it yourself, its not their problem. Residue from cigs is probably harder to remove than just blowing off dust as well.
Evildead666 23rd November 2009, 10:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Xen0, that is all nice, but unless it is written in warranty description that smoking voids the warranty then what they do is illegal.

Yes. They cannot refuse. If they've updated the terms for support and repair, they should say it out loud now :

"If you're a smoker, don't buy apple. We won't repair it, even under warranty".

like to see how many reporters and graphics designers etc will give up their Macs now.....
p3n 23rd November 2009, 10:46 Quote
Curry powder laptop nearly made me vomit... cancer sticks are ANTI social - ul smokers!
dire_wolf 23rd November 2009, 10:49 Quote
I smoke myself but never near my PC, having worked on a few machines used by heavy smokers I can't blame apple, I had one that was completely gunged up, yellow/orange layer of thick sticky dust all over, made me puke. Can't blame them but they really should update their t&c's and make customers aware of it before purcahse to cover their own arses.
B1GBUD 23rd November 2009, 10:51 Quote
Serves you right for buying a Mac... to avoid getting clusterfvcked in the future.... by a PC
FatMikel 23rd November 2009, 10:54 Quote
The Apple warranty states:

The warranty does not apply: (d) to damage caused by accident, ABUSE, misuse, flood, fire, yadda yadda yadda.

Ergo; smoking near the machine and knowingly (come on, everyone knows smoking leaves it's dirt on everything surrounding it) clogging up the machine's internals with cigeratte smoke/yuckiness could be argued as a case of abuse of the machine and therefore Apple are well within their own terms to refuse to fix the machines.

It's akin to regularly dumping the machine into a septic tank, arguably.

Simples.
chimaera 23rd November 2009, 11:03 Quote
Depends on your perspective really - you could also argue damage caused by smoking is self inflicted, and therefore no different to knocking a glass of OJ into the equipment - and the warranty doesn't cover that either.

Personally having taken apart the computer owned by one of my older relatives that still smokes I can't blame them, the interior of that machine was possibly one of the most disgusting things I have ever had to work ok :(
scawp 23rd November 2009, 11:07 Quote
One simple solution is to block the intake fans, that way no smoke can get in. done.
FatMikel 23rd November 2009, 11:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by scawp
Not problem because apple products don't break, as I keep getting told by all you apple fanboys.

Serves you right for buying apples you pretentious w**kers.

Well, generally they don't when they're not abused.

Yeah, because buying a stylish, generally powerful piece of hardware that runs a sublime OS that delivers a user experience much greater than that of Windows, particularly for new computer users, makes them pretentious w**kers.

Grow up.
digitaldave 23rd November 2009, 11:13 Quote
OK, what if your girlfriend smokes, you use your apple in the same room as her then something unrelated happens to your apple mac.

apple should be ashamed of themselves this is just worming out of warranties and this sort of behaviour is what scares me most about apple becoming more popular.

(typing this from a mac but not near a smoker, thankfully)
AshT 23rd November 2009, 11:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Xen0, that is all nice, but unless it is written in warranty description that smoking voids the warranty then what they do is illegal.

Are you saying there is nothing written in the warranty that says something similiar to "caused by the user"?
scawp 23rd November 2009, 11:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatMikel
Quote:
Originally Posted by scawp
Not problem because apple products don't break, as I keep getting told by all you apple fanboys.

Serves you right for buying apples you pretentious w**kers.

Well, generally they don't when they're not abused.

Yeah, because buying a stylish, generally powerful piece of hardware that runs a sublime OS that delivers a user experience much greater than that of Windows, particularly for new computer users, makes them pretentious w**kers.

Grow up.

Tetchy arn't we :-)

Apples do break, there not as reliable as "you people" make out (just have a quick search on google). Also style is of individual preference (unless your a sheep of course).

Apple products are vastly overpriced, lets buy a £1000 Mac and a £1000 PC and lets see what has the most "powerful hardware" shall we?

Personally I don't like the MacOS but its alright I suppose, I'll be sticking to Debian/WinXP to be honest.
AshT 23rd November 2009, 11:27 Quote
"experiencing problems with overheating - caused, more than likely, by smoke residue gumming up the fan and covering the heatsinks"

This is the fundamental issue with the rejections. Using health as a reason ... yeah right, you can side swipe that and bring it down to the computers going wrong due to NEGLIGENCE. I was a smoker for a couple of decades and practically chained in front of my computers but NEVER was I such a dirty ******* that my fans got clogged up with tar/reidues from smoking. The sad sacks that were rejected deserved it. Dirty *******s.
airchie 23rd November 2009, 11:35 Quote
lol, so much potential for a flame war in this thread.
Apple fanboys Vs PC AND smokers Vs Non-smokers. :D

Right enough though, gunking up your machine with cigarette smoke must amount to abuse and hence invalidate your warranty.
crazyceo 23rd November 2009, 11:41 Quote
I think Ruth has a valid point here:-

"However, as Ruth points out "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)," and other seemingly benign substances that an average worker could expect to encounter in their daily life."

I am one of the worlds biggest anti-smokers which I can hold my hands up and call myself a hypocrite since I am an ex40aday man. (It was hard to give up in Tokyo where they don't have the strict smoking laws like here and the US).

However, Apple cannot refuse to repair a machine on these grounds alone unless of course they change their terms of agreement and publise that fact.

I wonder what Stephen Fry has to say about this as a hardcore smoker and Apple fan? Right, I'll think I'll head over to Twitter and pose the question.
MR BUNGLE 23rd November 2009, 11:41 Quote
Retarded.
- I'd give it a week or two before a class action suit is raised against Apple. (Or they backtrack on this statement)
Anyone with a mac still in warranty who smokes could get in on the action because apple are breaking the terms of the contract.

Seriously, if it's not mentioned directly in the t+cs, they haven't got a leg to stand on: I mean, even in the US it's still legal to smoke in your own home isn't it? Therefore, apple have mis-sold warranties to however many thousands of their customers that smoke, knowing that they will never honor that agreement!
scawp 23rd November 2009, 11:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by airchie

Right enough though, gunking up your machine with cigarette smoke must amount to abuse and hence invalidate your warranty.

Been a smoker I hate to agree but I think your probably right, I think you'll find in most warranties cover operational conditions (not just Macs but most electrical equipment) like temperatures, atmospheric conditions (eg dont use in rain, sandstorm, at the deep end of Donny dome swimming pool etc) I'm sure all manufacturers could argue not to repair due to smoking under such conditions without explicitly saying no smoking and by not having to change their current warranty T&C at all.
mooseguy 23rd November 2009, 11:55 Quote
Quote:
"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)," and other seemingly benign substances that an average worker could expect to encounter in their daily life.

Wait, what? Chlorine is by no means a 'seemingly benign substance. It was used in the trenches to kill soldiers :P
RTT 23rd November 2009, 12:01 Quote
Awesome, good work Apple (no sarcasm) :)
RichCreedy 23rd November 2009, 12:01 Quote
Also an IT Engineer, I agree, that cigarette/nicotine residue, is unpleasant, smelly, potentially dangerous, can cause equipment to fail because it sticks to, and causes dust and other things to stick to the items, potentially causing overheating.

I hate working on smokers machine for the above reasons, I do still do the work, and I have in the past advised customers not to smoke around computers.

I think Warranties should state nicotine contaminated machines will not be covered under warranty, and that they should honour a warranty that doesn't state that, but i think it could come under customer induced damage.

oh and you dont just need a mask, as nicotine can be absorbed through the skin, you would also need gloves, but they are impractible for IT Work - to many sharp bits that would get cought

Nicotine
frojoe 23rd November 2009, 12:03 Quote
Bit-tech should just stop publishing any stories that have to do with Apple. Whether good or bad news about the company it seems we can't grow up and get over this silly "war" between pc's and macs. Can't the comments ever just stay on topic?
liratheal 23rd November 2009, 12:04 Quote
HA.

Sucks to be a smoker!

Well, if they also have a broken Mac..
Landy_Ed 23rd November 2009, 12:14 Quote
How does the residue (tar, dried/sticky dust) become a contaminant? There is no direct relationship between coming in direct contact with a surface that cigarette smoke has adhered to and inhaling or otherwise being somehow "infected" by it.

Unpleasant though it may be to consider, there's just as much risk of health implications caused by someone coughing & sneezing all over their machines, or not keeping their hands clean - I wonder how many repair centres check the items' surfaces for traces of urine, faeces or vomit? Personally, I can put up with bad smells, it's not that big a deal, but if H&S is to get involved in this level of complaint, the staff should be asking for surgical gloves and masks at all times, not just for machines that are a bit pungent.
specofdust 23rd November 2009, 12:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooseguy
Wait, what? Chlorine is by no means a 'seemingly benign substance. It was used in the trenches to kill soldiers :P

It's also used in swimming pools and for water purification. Anyone who's just been to their local pool will almost certainly have a good few chlorine molecules on them. Apple is being undeniably inconsistent here.
fodder 23rd November 2009, 12:22 Quote
Whilst nicotine itself is very poisonous, it would be present in incredibly small amounts in the residue. The major health risks would be from all the other chemicals in the gunk left, which has been shown as a reasonable health hazard to children but nothing concrete on it's effects to adults.

The Isopropyl alcohol used to clean components (not just on smokers machines) would have a far greater health risk over the employees carreer than the amount of machines with smoke residue. Plus, what about remnants of bodily fluids on the keyboard? Not a nice thought is it.

I do agree though, even as a smoker, that this is abuse of the machine by the user. Should be a bit clearer in the T&C though. But then Apple are the masters at concealed/ignored details.
RichCreedy 23rd November 2009, 12:23 Quote
@Landy Ed, Nicotine can be absorbed through the skin, as you've stated gloves and masks could be used, but having worked inside machines, and tried using gloves, they are no good, they get caught on the components and solder joints, and tear, or get caught and pull the equipment.
[PUNK] crompers 23rd November 2009, 12:25 Quote
Calling nicotine gunk a biohazard is just a joke tbh, ok so secondhand smoke can be bad for you (in huuuuuuge quantities) but this gunk can just be wiped of with a damp cloth, i do it about once a year in my own pc and its fine. People seem to think its ok and will take any opportunity to bash smokers at this point, we know we're social lepers thanks, but that doesn't mean smokers can just be treated however people want. If its not in the T&Cs they should repair the system or put it in there.

What about people who have pets? animal hair and dust can gunk up a system just as well, and could be considered a biohazard as its an irritant.
Cyberpower-UK 23rd November 2009, 12:34 Quote
The number of failed graphics cards that come back covered in tar has made me think that perhaps the tar is the cause of failure. Also when I worked in a silicon fab you weren't allowed into the processing section within an hour of smoking because it affected yield. Nicotinic acid is known to etch some metals and silicon so perhaps there is more to this than Apple is letting on but actually proving damage from nicotine is harder than calling it a health hazard.
crazyceo 23rd November 2009, 12:47 Quote
Quote:

Wow! That's finger lickin' Good!
B3CK 23rd November 2009, 13:25 Quote
One should also be able to say that if you have had the cold or flu, that the warranty is also void; for the same reason as second hand smoke then. Cold and flu bio's can stay alive for several days, and lets face it, most computers apple or pc are like vacuum's. Sucking in dirt with the air, only to be atomized when your friendly tech shop cleans it up.
Woodspoon 23rd November 2009, 13:53 Quote
I smell an extended warranty option coming on.

"would you like an extended warranty to go with your new Macbook sir?"
"that will be £100"
"would you like your extended warranty, extended to cover smoking around your new Macbook as well sir?
"that will be an extra £100"
leslie 23rd November 2009, 13:54 Quote
Would you refuse a warranty if the computer fan and heatsink was covered in dirt?
It's the same thing. It's abuse by the user. It doesn't matter what it's covered in.

However, I think it's a cheap cop-out that they are using. In that quantity those chemicals are really only dangerous if ingested or inhaled. Disgusting, yes, but a health concern, no. This is just cheap.


And to the guy who claimed Apples are so reliable, you really should go look into the statistics. Apples are average at best in terms of reliability, and that is an improvement over what they have been in the past.
Bindibadgi 23rd November 2009, 13:57 Quote
Removed all the posts by people who cannot conduct themselves in a civil way.
thEcat 23rd November 2009, 14:06 Quote
Given that the average keyboard is five times dirtier than a toilet seat and a laptop is basically a keyboard within a box I would hope Apple provides suitable protection for all repair staff: If this is so then residuals from cigarette smoke should not be a problem, if this is not the case then perhaps Apple repair staff should consider suing the company.

Of course the study I've linked to could be biased and sensationalised. Heh, I guess so long as ignorance satisfies an important someone's agenda there is little hope that the masses will be educated to tell FUD from fact.
B1GBUD 23rd November 2009, 14:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Removed all the posts by people who cannot conduct themselves in a civil way.

That would be one of mine then, I was also gonna mention COSHH, nicotine isn't on the register as far as I'm aware
ffjason 23rd November 2009, 14:19 Quote
This is stupid. I'm NOT a smoker and regularly repair friends machines. There is no real difference between the dust in the average machine and a smokers dust. Just don't breath the **** in either way and your fine!

This is idiotic and smoking should have no effect on your warranty's validity.
Bindibadgi 23rd November 2009, 15:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
That would be one of mine then, I was also gonna mention COSHH, nicotine isn't on the register as far as I'm aware

It is. But only if you're dealing with it in its raw form - COSHH states that in the air you should only be around 1.5mg per meter cubed every 15 minutes. Not to mention that it passes through the skin, so again in its pure form you can easily OD if you spill it on your hands.

COSHH doesn't apply - it's more about the fact that smoke and tabacco can easily block vents and fans. But by that argument, will Apple not RMA products from dirty student bedrooms? Must I proove I own and use a vacuum cleaner to buy an Apple product? What if I live near an ocean so the salty air increases the speed of rust? Or in a very humid/hot country where it's easier for it to overheat? What about pubic hair - how many laptops do you think are thrown on beds or clothes or used for looking at porn? Where does it draw the line?

As much as I hate smoking, boo bloody hoo if Mr. Apple engineer has to deal with dirty Macs. Tough ****, jobs have downsides.
TurtlePerson2 23rd November 2009, 15:11 Quote
It's fine to do, but not if you don't have a provision for it in the contract. Apple should add that provision, then stop doing it for new computers sold.
M7ck 23rd November 2009, 15:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Tough ****, jobs have downsides.

Tell that to Clarkson and co :|

But on topic, yeah we all know that smokers make for dirty filthy computers (im an ex 40 a day guy) but fact is computers can get dirty and if we allow apple to get away with this, what next? Void the warranty if you have pets, just in case the hair clogs the system?
AshT 23rd November 2009, 15:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by M7ck
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Tough ****, jobs have downsides.

Tell that to Clarkson and co :|

But on topic, yeah we all know that smokers make for dirty filthy computers (im an ex 40 a day guy) but fact is computers can get dirty and if we allow apple to get away with this, what next? Void the warranty if you have pets, just in case the hair clogs the system?

Erm ... yeah.

What are you on about? You want the computer companies to replace and/or fix your stuff when you clog it with animal hair ... what about when your 5 year old fills it with water? Why don't you just open it up and fill it with cement and take that in to be fixed.
M7ck 23rd November 2009, 15:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AshT
Erm ... yeah.

What are you on about? You want the computer companies to replace and/or fix your stuff when you clog it with animal hair ... what about when your 5 year old fills it with water? Why don't you just open it up and fill it with cement and take that in to be fixed.

Read my post again dude!
AshT 23rd November 2009, 16:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by M7ck
Quote:
Originally Posted by AshT
Erm ... yeah.

What are you on about? You want the computer companies to replace and/or fix your stuff when you clog it with animal hair ... what about when your 5 year old fills it with water? Why don't you just open it up and fill it with cement and take that in to be fixed.

Read my post again dude!


ack. sry. :|

My computer started playing up the other day, graphic anomalies. I opened her up, cleaned out the cat hair and away she went. I don't expect Apple/Dell or anyone else to do that for me, and if it breaks then that is my fault and they would be right to tell me to get lost!
crazyceo 23rd November 2009, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by M7ck
Quote:
Originally Posted by AshT
Erm ... yeah.

What are you on about? You want the computer companies to replace and/or fix your stuff when you clog it with animal hair ... what about when your 5 year old fills it with water? Why don't you just open it up and fill it with cement and take that in to be fixed.

Read my post again dude!

I actually got a new system that way. I was swapping a graphics card and my lad decided to pass me his can of coke and dropped it into the case. Fortunately, it was a PCWorld refurb job so I took out the protection and they completely replaced the machine. This was about 8 years ago but still my 5 year old at the time filled mine with Coke! and it was replaced! Not exactly the same thing but AshT, it does happen!
Bede 23rd November 2009, 16:14 Quote
These repair techs aren't balanced for smoke? :P
Unknownsock 23rd November 2009, 16:19 Quote
Yet more discrimination for smokers.
AshT 23rd November 2009, 16:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Quote:
Originally Posted by M7ck
Quote:
Originally Posted by AshT
Erm ... yeah.

What are you on about? You want the computer companies to replace and/or fix your stuff when you clog it with animal hair ... what about when your 5 year old fills it with water? Why don't you just open it up and fill it with cement and take that in to be fixed.

Read my post again dude!

I actually got a new system that way. I was swapping a graphics card and my lad decided to pass me his can of coke and dropped it into the case. Fortunately, it was a PCWorld refurb job so I took out the protection and they completely replaced the machine. This was about 8 years ago but still my 5 year old at the time filled mine with Coke! and it was replaced! Not exactly the same thing but AshT, it does happen!

Fine! I'm just waiting for someone else to say they've filled their machine with cement and had that replaced and then I may as well give up! ;)
HourBeforeDawn 23rd November 2009, 17:00 Quote
ehh what doesnt void your warranty now and days ~_~ either way a company will find a reason to blame you and void your warranty. Like something else is that most warranty are void the moment you take your laptop to another country but a lot of people dont know that either.
FeRaL 23rd November 2009, 17:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
@Landy Ed, Nicotine can be absorbed through the skin, as you've stated gloves and masks could be used, but having worked inside machines, and tried using gloves, they are no good, they get caught on the components and solder joints, and tear, or get caught and pull the equipment.

Landy's point is valid and this whole arguement that there are shaps inside the computer that can poke through the latex gloves doesn't hold any water. Last I checked, when you clean surfaces inside of computers you generally uses highly pure alcohol and cotton swabs. There should be little if any actually contact between a glove and a computer component aside from touching it to move it. Fact is Apple just doesn't want to waste time and money cleaning computers.
AshT 23rd November 2009, 17:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
Fact is Apple just doesn't want to waste time and money cleaning computers.

You honestly think a computer company should clean ... and more importantly to this story FIX your computer for you when it fails to work due to overheating through no fault of the parts used to manufacture said computer?

LoL
HourBeforeDawn 23rd November 2009, 17:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AshT
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
Fact is Apple just doesn't want to waste time and money cleaning computers.

You honestly think a computer company should clean ... and more importantly to this story FIX your computer for you when it fails to work due to overheating through no fault of the parts used to manufacture said computer?

LoL

agreed you caused the damage to your system and that typically is not covered so it makes sense to me.
Star*Dagger 23rd November 2009, 17:30 Quote
People smart enough to use computers are still smoking?!?! WTF.

If you smoke or eat by your computer the chances are high that you will in some way damage your gaming rig.

I place any drinks I am imbibing on the floor on a tray, BELOW the level of the KB.
Smoking is just moronic and will lead to cancer and a poor social life.

Go work out, get muscular and fit, then you will not want to pollute your body (or your poor computer!)

Yours in Fit Plasma,
Star¤Dagger
mikeuk2004 23rd November 2009, 19:25 Quote
The world is crazy, the more developed we become the crazier we become.

Glad I dont have any apple products even though im a non-smoker. More reason to avoid an apple ifthey make these silly reasons to avoid fixing their crap.
IvanIvanovich 23rd November 2009, 20:13 Quote
i smoke and have never seen a build up of any reside in my machine. to me it just seems like whiny cry babies not wanting to work on something because it looked dirty. it would be like telling a fat person that they won't work on thier machine under suspicion that they were eating cake around it...
PureSilver 23rd November 2009, 20:46 Quote
I just want to thank BiT; I have literally just returned from Sainsbury's and am on the way out to the off license - having been a bit stressed was contemplating a quiet few Marlboros (I smoke a fag on average about every four years, lol) but the linked photos have firmly sealed the deal on not doing that.

Ewwwww.

That said, I agree that Apple should be servicing these (although I've never smoked around my MacBook). It's unpleasant but that's what they are paid to do; it's only because they enjoy adopting causes that have financial upsides (Product RED, for example) that they're going to make a big show of being a retail version of your parents...
wafflesomd 23rd November 2009, 20:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatMikel
Quote:
Originally Posted by scawp
Not problem because apple products don't break, as I keep getting told by all you apple fanboys.

Serves you right for buying apples you pretentious w**kers.

Well, generally they don't when they're not abused.

Yeah, because buying a stylish, generally powerful piece of hardware that runs a sublime OS that delivers a user experience much greater than that of Windows, particularly for new computer users, makes them pretentious w**kers.

Grow up.

*Launches apps in windows that are far better than the ones in MacOS and were free.
Bonzo45 23rd November 2009, 20:58 Quote
To be honest Mac vs Windows PC is getting a bit dull, just buy what you want and stick to it... although anyone who says they aren't tempted by Windows 7 is lying :)

I don't see any reason why Apple should fix a PC that has malfunctioned because of smoke, when your PC gets a bit dusty you don't send it back to Dell to dust it? You take of the side panel and give it a clean. If you smoke, and your smoke led to the breaking/overheating of your PC then it's your responsibility to clean the fans/heatsink etc.
M7ck 23rd November 2009, 21:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzo45

I don't see any reason why Apple should fix a PC that has malfunctioned because of smoke,

But if they refuse to look at it because it does have some smoke/nicotine/tar damage is what i think most people are complaining about. If the fault was indeed due to smoking then fair enough if they refuse to fix it (so long as it is included in t&c's) but to refuse to even touch the machine is another matter.
Bonzo45 23rd November 2009, 21:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by M7ck
But if they refuse to look at it because it does have some smoke/nicotine/tar damage is what i think most people are complaining about. If the fault was indeed due to smoking then fair enough if they refuse to fix it (so long as it is included in t&c's) but to refuse to even touch the machine is another matter.

Yeah, thats probably fair enough in that case, but then it's how to tell whether a build up of smoke has led to the issue that they're having. As common problems with laptops like GPU overheating may have been caused by the blockage, or maybe because they just run very hot and would have happened anyway.

But then again if there's a completely unrelated problem with say the Hard Disk and they refuse to touch it's a different matter. What problems can smoking cause then? The main one has to be overheating, due to reduced airflow through clogged up fans, but other than that I see no other problems as most components are pretty air tight and generally pretty robust. And even overheating can normally be fixed with a clean up as modern components just shut down when the temperatures get dangerously high.
HourBeforeDawn 23rd November 2009, 22:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysol
i smoke and have never seen a build up of any reside in my machine. to me it just seems like whiny cry babies not wanting to work on something because it looked dirty. it would be like telling a fat person that they won't work on thier machine under suspicion that they were eating cake around it...

oh man you should have seen some of the systems that have come through our shop that what once was a white case is thie yellowish ewww, and then the inside is caked with brown tar,

typically its not cigarette smokers that cause this issue, it tends to be cigar smokers that can quickly form this tar layer so I bet this is more of a response to cigar smokers then cigarette smokers.
Landy_Ed 23rd November 2009, 22:28 Quote
I think the crux of this is that Apple need to, instead of fully explaining the caveats, fully define fair use & wear & tear. Filters are not normally provided on these units which would go some way to protect the machines (though inhibiting airflow), so intake of foreign objects must be factored into the design. Also an ex smoker, but none of my machines have ever suffered, nor come out stinking like an ashtray.

@RichCreedy, I think you missed my point entirely. I believe if the issue is a H&S one, then nicotene (which, by the way, is not the most harmful substance in prepacked cigarettes except in it's pure form) absorption in those quantities do not represent the greatest risk to any person's health or safety. I'd be more worried if I knew a dog had pee'd over one, as some dogs urine carries bacteria that can cause blindness, or indeed that the user had just come from central africa and worked in a medical clinic treating ebola victims - it may look sterile but I'd rather smoke a pallette of cohibas than handle that computer! For sure, surgical gloves would not be guaranteed to stop this where sharp objects come into play, but if we're going to protect people from other people, perhaps that needs to come first - no sharp objects that can cause cuts or abrasions, or perhaps work on machines using the same kind of technology that is used in the handling of other really toxic substances.

"Second hand smoke" is a term used to refer to being near a lit cigarette while not actually smoking it. It ceases to be smoke when it's not airborne, therefore it would be tar (of which nicotene is only one element). I can't imagine it causing the level of damage one would associate with, for example, pet hair, unless the computer has been used as either an ashtray or (dare I suggest it) a rather elaborate & frankly inefficient bong.
LordPyrinc 23rd November 2009, 22:29 Quote
I am a smoker and a heavy PC user. I know what the inside of a smoker's pc can look like. I stopped smoking inside where my computers are about 5 years ago. While the cases still build up some normal dust, its much cleaner than when I smoked indoors.

I think Apple should state specifically in their warranty that smoking around the Macs will void the warranty. I've never heard of any other company that manufactures computers or computer components rejecting the warranty due to smoking.

Until their warranty is modified, if they refuse to work on the machine, then they should be liable to replace it with a new one.
The_Beast 23rd November 2009, 23:26 Quote
I'm not a fan of apple but I think they are doing the right thing here. It's gross looking into a case that's been smoked around
Lazarus Dark 24th November 2009, 01:52 Quote
I gotta agree with Apple (note: I am a huge Apple hater). They should not be held liable for cleaning your mac if your smoking habit leads to it's problems by gumming up the works. By smoking, the smoker CAUSED the issue (if we are talking about overheating due to gummed up fans and such), Apple can't be expected to pay for this. However, they can't refuse to replace components due to factory defect. Although, personally, I would refuse to due the job myself, and any apple employee would have the right to refuse to work on it, so you may have to work your way through the ranks to a smoking Apple repair person to find someone willing to work on it
jonmcc33 24th November 2009, 04:59 Quote
I'm glad that I'm a system admin now and no longer do tech support. Nobody looks at me like I can fix their home computer now.

Nothing is worse than turning on a PC that a smoker used and have that PC burst out a jet cloud of cigarette residue.

Actually, come to think of it there is worse. The last company I worked for had an executive that was a chain smoker and had serious lung issues. He'd hack all over his laptop...spraying tar like fluid over his keyboard and LCD screen. When he was terminated I just lied through my teeth to Dell and got nearly everything (external) replaced. Thankfully there was Complete Care coverage on the laptop.
1ad7 24th November 2009, 05:41 Quote
this is bullshit, we cant all control who smokes in our houses, or where our computer may be. Dust has a similar effect and stinks just as much... If its in the warranty I bet apple sales would be less, lets leave smokers alone... how about we target alcohol now it does way more harm to others than the user.
HourBeforeDawn 24th November 2009, 05:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ad7
this is bullshit, we cant all control who smokes in our houses, or where our computer may be. Dust has a similar effect and stinks just as much... If its in the warranty I bet apple sales would be less, lets leave smokers alone... how about we target alcohol now it does way more harm to others than the user.

okay step back, take a deep breath, now look at your post and tell me does any of that make any real sense??
null_x86 24th November 2009, 05:56 Quote
I smoke, and I agree with Apple on the fact that they aren't working on the machines, but it shouldnt be voiding the warranty. Personally, they should question all the techs and find out who does and doesnt smoke, and have the non-smokers work on the non-smoker's machines, and the smokers work on the smoker's machines. That way its fair. Apple cannot discriminate against a group of people by denying it service like that. That is set in stone in Title 9 US Code, iirc.
Orothe 24th November 2009, 07:16 Quote
Ok, a lot of these comments look like Smokers who are offended so they're flipping out on Apple. Remember, you chose to start smoking, your choosing to keep smoking. If a company decides to go against it, change or deal with it. -.-

Apple.. Hmm.. Either looks like their going on an anti-smoking campaign, they just want to save on the workload/expenses and this is one way, or they've gotten complaints from workers and they decided to start this.

Either way, their wording is general/generic enough that it's technically covered, and legal disputes aren't going to get anywhere. The most you'll get is a lame settlement. And you'd be extremely lucky to even get that.
AshT 24th November 2009, 07:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orothe
Apple.. Hmm.. Either looks like their going on an anti-smoking campaign, they just want to save on the workload/expenses and this is one way, or they've gotten complaints from workers and they decided to start this.

... or they shouldn't, as any other company shouldn't, have to clean/repair a computer that has been fkd by the users own incompetence and dirty habits. Is it really so hard to comprehend?

I sell you a computer, you clog it up to the point it overheats, that will cost you.

As for those smokers who are replying by saying stuff like 'I smoke and don't understand how smoking can clog up fans and sinks' - you don't smoke like these people do. I had to do lots of work in peoples houses a few years back. I was disgusted at the way some people lived and smoked. Living literally in their own stink and faeces, cat ****, piss, dirt, everywhere. Walls thick in smoke residue. There are people out there who just don't redecorate at all. EVER. In some houses we had no choice but to wear surgical gloves in fear of getting a skin diseases (it had happened to a colleague). At some houses the front door would open and the stench would make us choke. And yes, these sick people had PCs.

It used to make me cringe when I'd get asked "Would you like a cup of tea my love?"

Yeah, and a dose of something nasty if you've got it.
Landy_Ed 24th November 2009, 08:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ad7
this is bullshit, we cant all control who smokes in our houses, or where our computer may be. Dust has a similar effect and stinks just as much... If its in the warranty I bet apple sales would be less, lets leave smokers alone... how about we target alcohol now it does way more harm to others than the user.

okay step back, take a deep breath, now look at your post and tell me does any of that make any real sense??

Quite a lot actually, let's not assume the poster of that comment is the head of the household (or even a responsible adult). If it ain't your place to control who smokes, or indeed where your electronic goods are sited, it's not your fault. Domestic dust is, as much as anything else, also a lot of dead skin shed by everyone along with hair & moisture from our sweat.

Spend a night in A&E at any hospital in the UK (and that's just the tip of the iceberg) and you'll get an inkling of how much harm alcohol, along with a lot of other non-smoked substances, are causing. I'm not saying we should or should not all smoke, or indeed consume alcohol (each to their own) but that seems to be the kind of stance Apple are making. Apple are not refusing to honour warranties, as I read the article, they are refusing to handle the unit altogether.
SNIPERMikeUK 24th November 2009, 10:29 Quote
I think smokers should be shown what they have done to their computers, maybe they would quit?
Ph4ZeD 24th November 2009, 11:17 Quote
Well MikeUK, every smoker these days knows the health impact on them and people around them. If they don't care about their own health, then I doubt they care about pieces of equipment. I think its a disgusting habit and its even more disgusting when you see parents smoking around children.
cybergenics 24th November 2009, 12:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fodder
Whilst nicotine itself is very poisonous, it would be present in incredibly small amounts in the residue. .

Yeah and nicotine isn't particularly toxic or poisonous anyway. Its tar and other crap in the smokes that harms you. Some studies tried to show it increased the risk of blood clots by increasing plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 but they are not conclusive.
cybergenics 24th November 2009, 12:15 Quote
Smoking residue probably makes fans and things sticky so they dust gathers on them too.
PureSilver 24th November 2009, 13:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybergenics
Yeah and nicotine isn't particularly toxic or poisonous anyway. Its tar and other crap in the smokes that harms you. Some studies tried to show it increased the risk of blood clots by increasing plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 but they are not conclusive.

I hate to nit-pick (ah, who'm I kidding, I f***ing love nitpicking) but nicotine is actually one of the most lethal chemicals you're likely to encounter on a day-to-day basis. I think the LD50 is around 50mg, so anywhere between 50-60mg could kill an adult human.

Obviously yes, it's the carcinogens, not the nicotine, in the smoke that kill smokers (you could not smoke cigarettes fast enough to contract nicotine poisoning, though you could OD on patches), and nicotine is not yet recognised as a carcinogen (having no mutagenic properties).
leslie 24th November 2009, 15:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysol
i smoke and have never seen a build up of any reside in my machine. to me it just seems like whiny cry babies not wanting to work on something because it looked dirty. it would be like telling a fat person that they won't work on thier machine under suspicion that they were eating cake around it...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybergenics
Smoking residue probably makes fans and things sticky so they dust gathers on them too.

Which is exactly what happens.

I recently worked on a computer that had 2mm to 6mm of oily, stinky, gunk coating any surface that generated heat or moved. You could smell the computer from more than 2 meters away.

It was disgusting!
I did as little as I could inside, padded the bill a bit, and got it out of the shop as soon as possible.
TimB 24th November 2009, 18:21 Quote
The real sticking point (no pun intended) for Apple if they get sued will be their past policy or any inconsistent policy they have now. Have they repaired smoke-filled computers in the past under the same Warranty Terms, or are they still repairing some smoker-filled computers now while refusing others?

If they are doing either, then they need to update the warranty terms to specifically mention smoking voiding the warranty now, since it didnt in the past under the same terms.
Star*Dagger 24th November 2009, 23:23 Quote
If your computer stinks from smoking around it and has sticky innards you should NOT get service. Some poor sod will have to clean that mess, go work out, quit smoking and lead a healthier life.
Blarte 27th November 2009, 10:00 Quote
so sick of lazy people making excuses NOT to do a job they are paid for and large companies using health and safety as a easy get out clause.

As for you above .... fiddling a bill and not doing your job thoroughly, you should be ashamed.
RichCreedy 27th November 2009, 12:03 Quote
Blarte, you have obviously never seen inside a smokers computer, they are extremely dirty, smelly, and quite frankly you need a hazchem suit to work on them.

maybe the mag could get access to some details about the composition of the tar in smokers machines, maybe get a heavy smokers machine and have the gunk inside tested.
specofdust 27th November 2009, 12:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
Blarte, you have obviously never seen inside a smokers computer, they are extremely dirty, smelly, and quite frankly you need a hazchem suit to work on them.

Dude, man the **** up. You need a "hazchem" suit because there's some smelly gunk in the computer? Christ. There are men in India who manually unblock sewers with their arms and legs for a pittance - now those guys need hazmat suits. You need balls.
AshT 27th November 2009, 14:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by specofdust
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
Blarte, you have obviously never seen inside a smokers computer, they are extremely dirty, smelly, and quite frankly you need a hazchem suit to work on them.

Dude, man the **** up. You need a "hazchem" suit because there's some smelly gunk in the computer? Christ. There are men in India who manually unblock sewers with their arms and legs for a pittance - now those guys need hazmat suits. You need balls.

Yo internet hardman, you need to leave school before you use so many asterisks.

Rich was exaggerating, obviously, and you failed to see his point.

ex⋅ag⋅ger⋅ate
–verb (used with object)
1. to magnify beyond the limits of truth; overstate; represent disproportionately: to exaggerate the difficulties of a situation.
specofdust 27th November 2009, 16:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AshT
Yo internet hardman, you need to leave school before you use so many asterisks.

Rich was exaggerating, obviously, and you failed to see his point.

ex⋅ag⋅ger⋅ate
–verb (used with object)
1. to magnify beyond the limits of truth; overstate; represent disproportionately: to exaggerate the difficulties of a situation.

specofdust would like to thank you for your correspondence and assures you that any comments or feedback will be taken on board and incorporated into future decisions on publications.
RichCreedy 27th November 2009, 20:26 Quote
Lol, yes I was exaggerating, but these machnes are horrible. And its not just nicotene, there is arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, to name but a few of the nasties in the brown sticky gunk.
leslie 27th November 2009, 20:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blarte
so sick of lazy people making excuses NOT to do a job they are paid for and large companies using health and safety as a easy get out clause.

As for you above .... fiddling a bill and not doing your job thoroughly, you should be ashamed.

I didn't fiddle with the bill, it was a legitimate bill, and yes I fixed the machine.

I am/was NOT being paid to clean it, I do that as a bonus. Not only that, but no amount of air blown through there is going to clean out the PSU. Take your computer to a shop and see if they blow it out for a software issue. The only way to properly clean this machine was to tear EVERYTHING apart, as in heatsink, psu cover, DVD housing and all. It had permeated everything. I'm not spending 3 hours pulling apart and cleaning every square mm of a computer for nothing. Especially if they are only going to take it and repeat the same thing again. I only opened it to pull the drive to image it easier before I started.


While you may think it was wrong, you seriously have no idea how bad it really was. I have smelled old ladies with way too much perfume who gave off less scent than this did. I have only seen machines like this on internet tech horror stories.


My customers always get their money worth even if I pad a bill a bit.
Teelzebub 29th November 2009, 20:51 Quote
I can only say 3 things
1 I'm glad I dont smoke
2 I'm glad I dont buy Apple
3 I'm glad I repair and clean all my computers myself
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