Got a tip for us? Share it...

New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Consumer Group Targets Apple's AppleCare Practices in Belgium

Apple is once again being targeted for its AppleCare policies in Europe, this time by Belgian consumer group Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats.

The organization filed a complaint against Apple yesterday with the Commercial Court of Brussels (via TechCrunch), claiming that the Cupertino-based company has not followed local consumer protection laws and has withheld information from consumers.

While electronics in the United States typically come with a one year warranty, the same products are also subject to a mandated two year coverage policy in European Union member states, although there are substantial differences between warranty coverage issued by Apple and the longer consumer protection coverage issued under EU directives.

According to the organization, Apple has failed to adequately disclose the details of the law to consumers, instead choosing to push its AppleCare Protection Plan extended warranty.

Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats was originally one of 10 European organizations that teamed up to reprimand Apple for its AppleCare practices, but the consumer group decided to move on with an official suit because Apple has "remained deaf" to demands.

Apple faced a similar lawsuit in Italy, which was resolved just last month. Apple was forced to pay more than $1.4 million in fines, in addition to modifying its website and ceasing the sale of AppleCare in Italian Apple Stores.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

22 months ago
Interesting how people here back up the big corporation (apple) over the people

Oh wait this is macrumours
Rating: 39 Votes
22 months ago
"No, I am Belgian." Hercule Poirot
Rating: 11 Votes
22 months ago

Are European consumers generally uninformed misfits? I don't live in Europe and even I know about the 2 year warranty. Just another frivolous suit to line the pockets of lawyers.


Wether it's due to lack of knowledge, or something else, I've overheard several Apple store staff give away misleading information. Personally, I had a staff member and their manager (I requested confirmation) inform me that the UK Higher Education warranty scheme (which offers 3yr hardware warranty & 1yr telephone support free) doesn't exist. In fact, it does - you just have to order over the phone or online.
Rating: 10 Votes
22 months ago

Wether it's due to lack of knowledge, or something else, I've overheard several Apple store staff give away misleading information. Personally, I had a staff member and their manager (I requested confirmation) inform me that the UK Higher Education warranty scheme (which offers 3yr hardware warranty & 1yr telephone support free) doesn't exist. In fact, it does - you just have to order over the phone or online.


I often experienced apple staff (including apple geniuses) misleading customers in their stores. I actually think this is good and customers should be made clear what they purchase before they purchase so they can perform an educated decision. I don't think businesses should exploit the naivety of their customers.
Rating: 10 Votes
22 months ago
next stop, Greece

they insist of having a 1-year warranty in Greece while EU demands a 2-year stretch.

yes, Greece is still in the EU. For now.
Rating: 9 Votes
22 months ago
No matter how much I love Apple products, I don't understand why we're forced to accept the AppStore policies if we use the AppStore, but however Apple isn't forced to adhere to law in every country they operate.

I think this shouldn't be a matter of consumer groups claims, but simply that if you bought an Apple product in Europe and it fails during the second year, you should go to Apple and ask for the (mandatory by law) 2-year warranty. If they don't accept, then sue them.

I don't understand why selling on a country doesn't imply you accept that country law, while using the AppStore implies you accept the AppStore policies. Just absurd.
Rating: 8 Votes
22 months ago

Are European consumers generally uninformed misfits? I don't live in Europe and even I know about the 2 year warranty. Just another frivolous suit to line the pockets of lawyers.


We all know in the UK - it couldn't be made any more clear. Just a bunch of tools trying to make money.

The issue is Apple advertises it as "you need our applecare otherwise after 1 year you wont have any warranty". They could make it a bit more clear that it's on top of the EU warranty.

That being said, nobody really has a clue what the EU warranty covers and what it doesn't. The idiots in Brussels dont really care about actually following through with anything unless it makes them money.
Rating: 6 Votes
22 months ago
Well, this is kinda of the same as driving over the speed limit. I might do it once in a while, but If I get caught, then I'll handle the consequences.

So, if any company is found to be non conforming to local law, then they should be sued and comply to the verdict.

That said, those being this might be money grabbing, but still, just comply with local law. If you don't, then learn to live with the consequences.
Rating: 4 Votes
22 months ago

Oh goodness, how dare apple not tell customers about the 2-year warranty which only covers *ORIGINAL* defects. Therefore covering nothing.

After the first year of AppleCare, Apple has no obligation to service a machine. (unless the customer can prove that the computer shipped with said defect)

Apple also has no customer service obligation to supporting machines for customers who do not pay for the support

EDIT: in response to Radio:

several reasons:

1. Somebody has to pay for everything. The 'people' never get anything for free

2. If apple is forced to go beyond the EU regulation for customers, it devalues the AppleCare others purchased

3. Haven't europeans figured out what happens when they try to give everyone everything? They wind up like Greece. Somebody pays for everything. Whether they agree to it or not


Problem is, Apples Warranties are the among the shortest around while their profit margin is the highest. So it sound like you are already paying for something that you are not getting.

Longer warranties also make it in the interest of manufacturers to make their products to a higher quality so they don't have failures.

In New Zealand we have "The Consumer Guarantees Act" which has all sorts of implications, one is it must be "durable", i.e. have a reasonable expectation of life, for computers this can be up to 5 years. I had a new motherboard fitted in a MacBook that was 2 1/2 years old for free under a claim. Retailers still try and sell extended warranties here, and some will even blatantly lie and tell you the CGA is the same as the warranty.
Rating: 4 Votes
22 months ago

[...]
After 6 months, Apple is obligated to repair any defect that you can prove was there at the point of purchase (i.e. is an inherent fault). For the most part, this is incredibly difficult, and is such a long winded process it's not worth the effort.

I live in Europe, and if a component of a product fails during the first two years, and such failure cannot be explained by normal wear, it's covered by the 2year warranty.

If a battery fails, it's covered. If a display fails, it's covered, if anything that it's expected to last more than 2 years fails, it's covered.

You don't need to prove it was defective at purchase point, because if it lasts less than its expected lifetime, it's logical to imply that it was defective at purchase point.

I'm talking not as a lawyer (I'm not a lawyer), but as my experience as consumer.

Also, I must say I've used the 2year warranty very little times in my lifetime. I believe less than 5 times, because all products last more than two years before failure, at least from my experience.
Rating: 4 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]