October 1, 2012
Apple Warranty Ads Result In EU Woes
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Last December, Italy´s competition and marketing authority, the AMCG, fined Apple 900,000 Euros ($1.13 million) for not informing their Italian customers of their right to a free, two-year warranty, as well as rights to free technical assistance. As it turns out, Italy and other members of the European Union have a law that insists companies offer a free, two-year warranty that covers their products. Apple offers a free, one-year warranty on their products and offers AppleCare for protection for an additional two years.
Italy and other countries are bothered by Apple´s insistence to continue selling an extra warranty package when citizens are entitled to a similar warranty for free.
The iPhone and Mac maker appealed Italy´s fine in January, but this was denied in May. The AMCG then threatened to shutter the doors to any Italian Apple store for 30 days if they didn´t pay up.
Now, the EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding is checking up with the other EU member countries to see if Apple is informing its customers about this free, two-year warranty or if they are still opting to offer their own, 2- or 3-year AppleCare plan instead.
“Apple prominently advertised that its products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty but failed to clearly indicate the consumers´ automatic and free-of-cost entitlement to a minimum two-year guarantee under EU law,” wrote Reding to the other states in the letter, according to Bloomberg.
A London-based spokesperson for Apple declined to offer a comment to Bloomberg, instead pointing the reporters to the EU statutory warranty page on their Web site.
Here, Apple explains the difference between the EU statutory warranty, the Apple one-year limited warranty and AppleCare.
For instance, the EU warranty covers a device against any damages to the product when it is delivered to the customer. Apple´s one-year warranty covers the product for damages which my be incurred for one full year after the product is delivered to the customer.
Apple also lists a few more sites where curious parties can find out more about the EU statutory warranty and the difference between the two.
Though this has been going on for at least a year, Italy´s threat to close stores has been the most aggressive threat yet.
Elsewhere in the EU, a Portuguese consumer group also threatened to sue Apple for “deceiving” its customers about extended warranties.
DECO, the Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection said the AppleCare warranty offers “nothing” additional to customers that isn´t included with the standard, 2-year protection plan offered to customers for free.
“The Portuguese Community law and gives a two-year guarantee for the movable, but Apple does not recognize this reality. After several attempts to enforce these rights, without success, decided to proceed with a lawsuit popular, “ said secretary general of DECO Joao Morgado, according to a translated statement on 9to5Mac.com.