Okay, so there is a computer company out there who treats consumers like people. Wow.
After installing the latest security upgrade on my iBook G4 running OS X Tiger my file system got corrupted, so the machine would not boot.
I called Apple support, not really hoping for much since
a) the computer is 3+ years old and probably out of warranty;
b) it is not running the current operating system; and
c) I am not even the original owner!
I never was asked for any proof of purchase beyond the serial number of the computer while on the phone with support. After several attempts to resolve my problem over the phone failed, they made an appointment for me at the local Apple retail store.
There I fully expected to be turned around and sent on my merry way to rescue my own damn data, but no!--the guy at the "Genius Bar" diagnosed the problem fast and resolved it, so I could pick up my machine the next day with freshly-installed Tiger and all my data intact!
At no charge whatsoever.
I also have to say that I was not too scared for my data, mostly because before going to the Apple store I booted Fedora 8 off a live CD and was able to access my home directory from there. I did not have an external drive large enough to back up all of it beforehand, but at least I knew they would be able to if drastic measures like reformatting and repartitioning of the drive became necessary.
Last night I have installed some of the apps that weren't part of the standard OS package, and am pretty much a happy camper now.