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Apple Still Facing Criticism Over Warranty Issues in Europe as Lawsuits Spread to More Countries

applecare_boxFollowing multiple fines in Italy over what regulators have called inadequate disclosure of consumer warranty rights, Apple is facing continued scrutiny in the broader European Union, with Dow Jones Business News reporting that Apple is now facing lawsuits from consumer associations in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and Portugal.

Apple was taken to task today in a speech by EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, who had previously encouraged member countries to follow Italy's lead in examining Apple's practices.
"This case and the responses I received since I sent my letter have highlighted rather clearly just why the Commission cannot sit on the side-lines on enforcement issues," she said. "The approaches to enforcement in these types of cases turn out to be very diversified and inconsistent at a national level. In at least 21 EU Member States Apple is not informing consumers correctly about the legal warranty rights they have. This is simply not good enough."
Concerns over Apple's actions relate to its promotion of AppleCare as an extended warranty program on top of the standard one-year warranty Apple offers on its products. EU consumer laws require two years of protection, and the company has been accused of not sharing that information with customers while trying to sell them AppleCare coverage.

Apple does, however, note on its website that there are a number of differences between the protection required by EU consumer laws and Apple's own standard and AppleCare warranty packages, differences that it no doubt believes still make AppleCare a worthwhile purchase for many customers.

Apple's continued difficulties in Europe come just as the company has quietly adjusted its practices in Australia to comply with consumer protection laws in that country requiring coverage for a "reasonable" time from the date of purchase.

Top Rated Comments

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22 months ago

I'm sorry, but they do comply with European law. However, is the EU expecting them to tell people about their rights when they purchase? Surely it's your own responsibility to know your own rights.

Do they inform you about food hygiene requirements when you go to a restaurant? Or alcohol licensing terms when you buy a pint? Do car dealers inform you about the highway code when you buy a car?


No. but they will be expected to stop misleading customers into purchasing something they don't need. Those comparisons don't really compare.
Rating: 30 Votes
22 months ago
When is Apple going to learn that screwing over its customers is bad business?
Rating: 28 Votes
22 months ago

I'm sorry, but they do comply with European law. However, is the EU expecting them to tell people about their rights when they purchase? Surely it's your own responsibility to know your own rights.

Do they inform you about food hygiene requirements when you go to a restaurant? Or alcohol licensing terms when you buy a pint? Do car dealers inform you about the highway code when you buy a car?

By the same logic, if you're fined for playing golf in a park, or not picking up dog crap - you can't use the excuse "there were no signs" - you're expected to know.


What a bunch of BS! FACT is that Apple tried to let consumers believe that the legal warranty only counts for 1 year, and tried to persuade consumers to buy Apple Care during the period that you're still under legal warranty. That's called screwing people over.
Rating: 25 Votes
22 months ago

If people in the EU need to be handheld to buy an extended warranty it certainly explains why they are having so many financial problems over there.


Classy. We'll ignore the role your lot played in it with your greed and inability to understand basic economics.

But carry on with the jingoistic bullcrap...
Rating: 13 Votes
22 months ago

ur saying no one needs applecare?


It's how aggressively they push Extended Apple care and tell people the warranty is 12 months.
Rating: 12 Votes
22 months ago

I completely disagree.

Image (http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/03/apple_warranty_coverage_chart_eu.jpg)

In reality, EU Consumers don't get a warranty at all. It's more like a lemon law. If they buy defective merchandise, but don't find out until a year later, they can get it fixed. For example, the first time a consumer uses the headphone jack, a year after they purchased the phone, it doesn't work.

The Apple warranty allows you to get a repair if the 200th time the headphone jack doesn't play sound. The defect wasn't present at the time the product was purchased, but came about later.

Lawyers just love to sue Apple because Apple has money, that's all there is to this.


This is simply wrong. If my headphone jack breaks after the year period is over I state in my complaint that the product is quite simply 'not fit for purpose'. A product should be able to be used as intended for a reasonable period of time. If Apple object I bring in the Office of Fair Trade (UK example). I can assure you I will get my product replaced or repaired under my two year warranty.

Please note I don't have to get some lawyer involved to get this done. My country offers me protection for such occurrences.
Rating: 11 Votes
22 months ago

No. but they will be expected to stop misleading customers into purchasing something they don't need. Those comparisons don't really compare.


I completely disagree.



In reality, EU Consumers don't get a warranty at all. It's more like a lemon law. If they buy defective merchandise, but don't find out until a year later, they can get it fixed. For example, the first time a consumer uses the headphone jack, a year after they purchased the phone, it doesn't work.

The Apple warranty allows you to get a repair if the 200th time the headphone jack doesn't play sound. The defect wasn't present at the time the product was purchased, but came about later.

Lawyers just love to sue Apple because Apple has money, that's all there is to this.
Rating: 10 Votes
22 months ago


Lawyers just love to sue Apple because Apple has money, that's all there is to this.


No they love to sue Apple because Apple constantly tries to pass off the the poor customer protection services in the US in the EU.

Your buried chart may offer more detail but Apple UK are still trying to gloss over the warranty details.

http://www.apple.com/support/products/mac.html

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/APPLECAREMBP-102583/applecare-protection-plan-for-macbook-pro

Notice how they use the exact same simplified graphic for both and how in the UK version it does not reflect the warranty situation at all?

And in the case of iPhone Apple UK are basically trying to sell you the warranty coverage you get for free.

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MC265ZM/A/app-for-iphone?fnode=4e

Nowhere on that page does it say that the second year is covered by the store.
Rating: 10 Votes
22 months ago
Apple Care is a pretty good deal. I walked home with a brand new 30" monitor, 3 years after I bought the first one.

But Apple do misrepresent it when selling products. Particularly in the stores. They often claim that without Apple care, a one-year warranty is all you can expect.

This is simply not true - and does not match EU law.

Apple have attempted to send-out a unified message about the benefits of Apple Care across all of its international stores. But the benefit is not unified.

The benefit in the US is much greater than in Europe, because of the 'States' weaker consumer protection.
Rating: 9 Votes
22 months ago

So if I ran my business in the EU, I'd have to offer an additional warranty past one year of the manufacturer just because I am selling it? How can small businesses survive this requirement? I would never open a business in the EU for any products subject to this law.

Only large businesses can afford to offer such warranty and this screws over small businesses.

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No, they don't and who is to say what their margins should be?


I wouldn't purchase any product of your company anyway if you are not confident enough in your product to at least give out a 2 year warranty...

And that's the whole point why consumers are upset about Apple (besides Apple purposefully screwing them over, with not correctly stating what warranty they have): Apple wants us to believe they sell premium products and ask a lot of money for it. I would at least expect them to proudly announce their products are so superior that they'll have a 2 year warranty everywhere, yet Apple just maximizes margins by screwing customers over...it's becoming harder and harder to support Apple
Rating: 9 Votes

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