March 28, 2012
Apple Agrees To Offer Refunds To iPad Customers In Australia
Some angry Australians who have purchased Apple´s newest iPad are very upset they cannot take advantage of the touted 4G technology and 4G speeds.
Now, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking action and asking Apple to offer refunds to Australian consumers and remove the “4G” branding from their tablets.
While Apple will continue to fight to maintain the “4G” branding, they have agreed with the ACCC and will begin to issue refunds to those Australian customers seeking one.
Why are the Australians having difficulty connecting to the 4G network?
Australia´s only 4G-capable telecommunications company, Telstra, operates their 4G network at the 1,800 megahertz frequency. The new iPad, however, uses the 700 and 2,100 megahertz frequencies.
Released in the Land Down Under on March 16, 2012, many customers have purchased the new tablet assuming they´d be able to take advantage of Telstra´s super-fast 4G LTE network. As reports came in to the contrary, the ACCC began to take notice. On Tuesday the ACCC announced plans to make an application to the Federal Court of Melbourne for orders against Apple Pty Limited and Apple Inc for allegedly misleading Australian customers. According to the ACCC, “Apple´s recent promotion of the new 'iPad with WiFi + 4G' is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product 'iPad with WiFi + 4G' can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case.”
In addition to seeking refunds to misled customers, the ACCC is also hoping for courts to make Apple remove the title “4G” from their branding and devices sold in Australia.
Apple announced they would issue refunds to any customers seeking one, though they do not expect many customers to do so. According to the Telegraph, Paul Anastassiou, counsel for Apple said in court in Melbourne the company is confident very few people would apply for a refund.
The ACCC also wants Apple to place corrective stickers on their boxes explaining the incompatibility. Anastassiou said Apple was not prepared to do this, but would instead email customers to clarify the new iPad is not compatible with Telstra´s 4G network.
Anastassiou also said Apple would post notices at the point of sale to this effect.
As to whether or not Apple has promoted the new iPad as working with Telstra´s networks, Anastassiou said, “at no point in any promotional material “¦ said at any time” did Apple say the iPad worked on Telstra´s network.
Apple´s website now claims the iPad´s 4G capabilities to be available in Canada and the US only. Australia isn´t the only nation being left out of the 4G fun: Asian-Pacific and European markets have yet to roll out networks to offer the high speeds 4G has to offer to their customers.
Despite the lack of 4G in many nations, Apple has sold more than 3 million of the new iPad in less than a month, the best release to date.