Apple Forced to Change Refund Policy Under Australian Consumer Law

by

applecare_boxApple is being forced to change its refund policy to fit under Australian consumer law after it was found to be lying to consumers about what they were entitled to by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Apple and its suppliers told Australian consumers they were only entitled to what Apple wanted to offer them when products failed, rather than what they should have been entitled to under Australia's new consumer laws.

Under Australian consumer protection law, Apple is required to provide either a full refund or replacement for products with "major failure" and to offer free repairs, refunds or replacements for products with "minor faults". Apple is also responsible for non-Apple products sold in Australian Apple Stores. Apple's warranty practices and AppleCare packages must offer services in addition to Australian consumer law, rather than replacing them.

Instead, the ACCC found that Apple was telling Australian consumers they were only entitled to a full refund if the product was returned within two weeks rather than the two years under Australian law. Apple was also apparently telling consumers they could only get a full refund or replacement on products within a year of purchase, rather than two years. Finally, Apple was saying it was not responsible for non-Apple products it sold and only offered store credit rather than full refunds or replacements.

In response, Apple will start reassessing all claims about faulty products purchased over the past two years starting on January 6, and will provide customers with new warranty benefits once reviewed. The older claims will take 90 days to review, with the ACCC potentially taking further action if Apple does not follow through. In addition, Apple will publish a note on its website detailing Australian consumer rights, stock ACCC consumer rights brochures in its retail stores, and retrain staff and resellers.

Apple has run into trouble with its warranty practices in the past. In March, Apple adjusted its warranty policies to fit under Australian consumer law as well. Apple has also faced fines over AppleCare practices in Italy and lawsuits from other countries in the European Union.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
90 months ago

This is just another ridiculous example of people wanting something for free. Sad to see so many people agree with this.


I presume you're being ironic. Or just trolling.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago

This is just another ridiculous example of people wanting something for free. Sad to see so many people agree with this.

Seriously? for free?

As a screwed 2008 MacbookPro NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT debacle customer, with my computer failing just one month after they unilaterally closed the repair program in 2012, bricking a 42 month old computer - for which I paid very good money for - because of their incompetence and greed... I agree. I wish more governments would have the balls to truly represent their citizens interests, instead of boosting consumption.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago

IMO any new computer or tablet should last at least 5 years without fault so warranties should reflect this. Its good to see Apple is being 'forced' to change its policy but when I get my iMac just under a year ago I opted for the extended warranty even though under Australian law it's most likely covered for 3 years anyway.


If you don't mind computer prices rising 10-15% to account for the longer warranty, sure ;)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago
IMO any new computer or tablet should last at least 5 years without fault so warranties should reflect this. Its good to see Apple is being 'forced' to change its policy but when I get my iMac just under a year ago I opted for the extended warranty even though under Australian law it's most likely covered for 3 years anyway.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago

This is just another ridiculous example of people wanting something for free. Sad to see so many people agree with this.


For free no?
I paid good money a product that should last for a reasonably expected life span. For computers and electronics it's been established that should be a minimum two years. ie. most reasonable people expect a computer to last that long before battery, hard drive, screen backlight might be an issue. This is what Australian Law covers and gives consumers confidence buying a product. Apple want to sell here that is our law.

Not to mention they mark up to cover local compliance. So it's not free at all.

If I purchase overseas then it would be for free or I'd be unreasonable to expect coverage beyond standard warranty.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago
If you want to sell products in a given country then you need to abide by the laws there, or choose not to sell your products there. Simple.

Apple were caught out trying to flout the rules and have been reprimanded by the authorities and rightly so.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

'A New iOS Update is Now Available' Popping Up Repeatedly in iOS 14 Beta [Fixed: New Beta Available]

Thursday October 29, 2020 6:11 pm PDT by
Many users running iOS 14 beta are reporting that they are seeing a dialog box pop up repeatedly asking them to update from the latest iOS 14 beta. Threads in our forums, Reddit, and Twitter are reporting the issue. The dialog has been appearing for a few days now, but as of tonight has started appearing more frequently, every time an iPhone is unlocked. There's been further discussion in...

Apple Seeds New iOS 14.2 Versions Which Stops 'New iOS Update Available' Alerts

Friday October 30, 2020 1:09 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded "Release Candidate" versions of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to developers and public beta testers, 10 days after seeding the fourth betas and a month and a half after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. iOS and iPadOS 14.2 can be downloaded by developers through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper developer profile has been...

Apple One is Now Available: Save Money by Bundling Apple Music, iCloud Storage, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and More

Friday October 30, 2020 7:47 am PDT by
Apple One bundles are now available in the United States and over 100 other countries, allowing customers to subscribe to multiple Apple services through a single plan, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, and more. To sign up for Apple One on an iPhone: Open Settings App Tap on Your Name at the top Tap on Subscriptions Tap on Apple One The prompt for Apple One...

Black Friday Spotlight: Best Buy Kicks Off a Month of Apple Deals and More

Friday October 30, 2020 10:02 am PDT by
We've begun tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....

Apple Launches AirPods Pro Service Program for Crackling/Static Problems and ANC Issues

Friday October 30, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of a new service program for AirPods Pro sound issues, which is designed to address AirPods Pro units experiencing static or crackling sounds or problems with Active Noise Cancellation. Faulty AirPods exhibit the following problems, according to Apple:Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone ...

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'More Exciting Things' in Store For This Year

Thursday October 29, 2020 2:20 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2020 (third calendar quarter), Cook said that while he doesn't want to give too much away, "this year has a few more exciting things in store." Cook is likely speaking about the Apple Silicon Macs, as Apple has previously said the first Apple Silicon Mac will be coming before the end of 2020. There are rumors of a third fall event ...

Hands-On Comparison: iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro

Friday October 30, 2020 2:29 pm PDT by
For those still trying to make a decision between an iPhone 12 or an iPhone 12 Pro, we picked up both models and in our latest YouTube video, did a hands-on comparison between them. Our video highlights the similarities and the differences so you can which one is the best fit for you and whether the iPhone 12 Pro is worth an extra $200. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...

Apple One Service Bundles Set to Launch Tomorrow, Fitness+ Coming This Quarter

Thursday October 29, 2020 1:39 pm PDT by
Apple in September announced Apple One, a new series of services bundles that will let Apple device customers purchase several services together in one package instead of separately, saving money for those who use multiple Apple service products. Ahead of Apple's earnings call, Apple CFO Luca Maestri told Bloomberg that Apple One is set to launch on Friday, October 30. Apple One Bundle...

PSA: Apple One Premier Bundle Only Available in US, UK, Canada, and Australia

Friday October 30, 2020 2:39 am PDT by
Apple's new Apple One series of services bundles launches on Friday in over 100 countries and regions, but the top Premier tier will be limited to the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. The limited rollout of the $29.95 Premier tier is down to the fact that Apple News+ is currently only available in the above countries. Apple News+ is exclusive to the Premier tier,...

Apple Says Record 2020 Mac Sales Attributed Primarily to MacBook Pro

Friday October 30, 2020 12:24 pm PDT by
Apple on Thursday reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of the 2020 fiscal year, including Mac revenue of $9 billion, a new quarterly record. Apple ended the year with annual Mac revenue of $28.6 billion, an all-time high. In its annual Form 10-K report [PDF], filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today, Apple said increased Mac sales in fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal ...