The Gotcha to Watch For When Buying AppleCare in an Apple Retail Store

There are several different ways to an purchase AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) for a Mac or Display or AppleCare+ for an iPhone or other iOS device. One of those methods will result in the agreement not showing up in your list of AppleCare Agreements. However, there is an easy fix.


Apple provides a page for each customer with an Apple ID to see a list of products covered by Applecare. When you go to the support page linked here, click on "View." (See screen shot below.)

However, there's one particular AppleCare purchase scenario where your coverage may not be listed on that page, even though the coverage is in force.

Let's look at the options.

1. If you purchase your Apple Mac or iOS device online and add AppleCare at that time, everything will be fine.

2. If you buy an AppleCare product online or the boxed product in a store:

... you'll be sent a registration package, and everything will be fine.

AppleCare Support Page. Select "View" to login with Apple ID and see all your agreements.

3. However, if you walk into an Apple retail store and buy APP or AppleCare+ directly from a salesperson, resulting a sales receipt with the AppleCare Agreement Number and item serial number, your item won't show up in the online list of AppleCare Agreements. Coverage, however, will still be in force. That happens even if you're careful to state your Apple ID at the point of purchase.

The way it was explained to me is that a glitch in Apple's system doesn't tie store purchases with just a paper receipt back to your Apple ID in a way the results in it being properly listed when you login to the page that shows the agreements on file.

The Fix

There's nothing you can do by yourself to make the agreement, purchased this way, show up in the online list. However, you can contact Apple by phone and without much trouble, ask the agent to add your item to the list. When this happened to me, a very, very helpful and courteous AppleCare Administration representative took the IMEI of my iPhone 6 and the AppleCare+ Agreement Number. In about 30 minutes, my iPhone was added to the list. The representative even called me back to let me know it was confirmed as visible. This was painless, first-class customer service.

I don't think this is a big issue, because Apple's system will still recognize and honor your AppleCare Agreement Number. But if you, like me, prefer to have a complete listing, perhaps to print out for handy reference, and want to avoid having to call Apple, it's a good idea to purchase AppleCare with options #1 or #2 above.