I’m going to raise something interesting here, but at first you might think I’m nuts. I think Apple should profile their customers, and give some of them ProCare for free.
Take a deep breath, I haven’t lost it.
ProCare provides some Apple-centric users powerful tools at the Apple Store. It used to also include One to One, but that’s now an additional $99, on top of the $99 in ProCare.
Let’s say for the moment that I have five Macs in my family, and ProCare covers all five (technically if you have six to ten Apple wants you to purchase a second ProCare membership).
Let’s say that per year, I have two warranty claims. With the usage of my systems, that’s extremely conservative. I know these systems inside and out, I like many others advocate changes to Apple products frequently. And, I like many others becomes bored to death answering tech support’s questions. When my Mac breaks, it’s really broken… and I can usually point out exactly what part is broken.
I realize 99% of customers aren’t like this. But, at the same time, Apple needs to realize 1% of customers are.
So, to those customers, I think it would make a lot of sense for Apple to offer things like QuickDrop express drop-off on Mac repairs. When I fill out a QuickDrop form, I practically give Apple the part number to order, and that takes the waiting at the Apple Store out of the deal. I save Apple time, shipping costs, and most importantly… money. But, I’m not going to pay for ProCare for the privilege of doing all of that.
So, instead I sit on hold with Apple, wasting more money than the cost of a ProCare membership in a year… as the billable hours for Apple Experts, shipping costs for individual overnight parcels, and troubleshooting costs pile up.
An even better middle ground would be for a ProCare Lite membership. Something that would only cost $25/year, and let me just take advantage of QuickDrops. I’m not interested in the rest of ProCare, I have no need for the Genius Bar to defrag my hard drive and run the AppleCare Service Diagnostic suite.
Though, it would be nice if they posted the extended Apple Service Diagnostic discs online for eveyone… again, that would cut troubleshooting costs for IT professionals, and Apple. However, Apple didn’t listen to my last suggestion on that one.
Bottom line: Apple should profile those customers that could save the company money by being able to diagnose and request warranty repairs on their own. They started this with the original iMac G5… they need to pick up the pace.