Apple Forced to Change Refund Policy Under Australian Consumer Law

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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

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87 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
87 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
87 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
87 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
87 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
87 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)

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