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Boston attorney discusses strategies for dealing with Apple

Posted by Elena del Valle on December 2, 2011

Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn’t Want You To Know

Buying and Owning a Mac book cover

Photos: Jonathan Zschau

A couple of years ago Jonathan Zschau, a Mac lover and Boston-based attorney, had problems with his Mac. After going back and forth with Apple and preparing thoroughly to protect his rights as a consumer, he discovered the technology company was willing to replace his Mac with a new model since his original model was no longer available.

Over time he wrote down his thoughts for interacting successfully with Apple and eventually there were so many pages he decided to gather them into Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn’t Want You To Know (Jonathan Zschau and Cultomedia, $9.99) a 77-page softcover book published this year.

“For me, personally, the biggest challenge was writing a book that wouldn’t become obsolete in a week. The topic of Apple Inc. and Macs in general really lends itself to the blogosphere. Cult of Mac (, obviously, is a great Apple-centric news site, which often posts hundreds of articles a week. Apple news changes fast and writing something that the average reader would find helpful both today as well as six months from now was a challenge,” the author said by email when asked about the biggest challenge he faced when writing the book.

“It’s easy to post a blog article about a particular defect in a certain line of Macs, but that’s not going to be very helpful to a reader with a defective iPad 3 a year from now. Therefore, I had to put a lot of time explaining my thought process instead of giving dated examples. My book focuses on identifying the proverbial forks in the road — where the reader should consider performing his or her own research over the Internet (i.e. Google searches, etc.) — rather than detailing a list of answers to particular questions about particular Macs. After all, all of that’s already available on the Internet.”

Jonathan Zschau, author, Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn’t Want You To Know

Jonathan Zschau, author, Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn’t Want You To Know

In the book, he discusses what he believes are the most common issues a Mac owner may face such as tips on when and where to buy a Mac, hardware issues, identifying defects, dealing with customer service, choosing the right Mac, understanding your rights as a consumer, taking advantage of Apple policies, as well as recycling, donating or getting rid of your unit safely. He suggests bargain hunters consider refurbished or clearance items.

“I have assisted friends and family in the selection of refurbished Macs and I do own a refurbished iPod and iPhone. I do recommend considering refurbished Macs when price is significant consideration. All refurbished Macs go through extensive quality control processes and are functionally new machines,” Zschau said via email when asked if he has personally purchased refurbished Macs.

“Apple does offer great deals on refurbished products and these products all come with precisely the same warranty coverage and AppleCare eligibility as new products and, therefore, if something were to break your Mac will be covered in precisely the same way as a new Mac. The only downside is that refurbished Macs are usually not the latest and greatest, they might be last year’s model. If you’re considering a refurbished Mac, you should take some time to research how the refurbished model compares to other versions currently on sale or expected to go on sale soon.”

Since becoming an attorney in 2008, Zschau has practiced litigation, eDiscovery and litigation support, business transactions, corporate governance, and consumer protection law.

Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn’t Want You To Know

Click to buy Buying and Owning a Mac