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

Dr McKay Avatar
104 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.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iGrip Avatar
104 months ago
When is Apple going to learn that screwing over its customers is bad business?
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bazinga!! Avatar
104 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.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
126351 Avatar
104 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...
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dr McKay Avatar
104 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.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BillyBobBongo Avatar
104 months ago
I completely disagree.

Image (https://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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
scott forstall original iphone

Epic Games 'Attempting to Locate' Former iOS Chief Scott Forstall to Testify in Ongoing Legal Battle with Apple

Tuesday February 23, 2021 4:22 am PST by
As part of its ongoing legal battle, Epic Games is now seeking testimony from Apple's former iOS software chief, Scott Forstall. Forstall left Apple in 2013, in what was widely reported at the time to have been a forced exit, largely because of the botched early launch of Apple Maps. Since then, Forstall has kept a very low profile and has only made a few media appearances in the past few...