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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:00 AM   #1
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Apple Fined $1.2 Million in Italy Over Warranty Disclosure Issues






Reuters reports that Apple has been fined the equivalent of $1.2 million in Italy over issues related to warranty disclosures.

According to the report, Italy's antitrust regulators ruled that Apple has not been providing adequate disclosures about the two free years of product warranty assistance required under Italian law, while also pushing customers to purchase AppleCare extended warranties without disclosing that many of the benefits overlap the standard warranty.
Quote:
The authority said Apple Sales International, Apple Italia and Apple Retail Italia did not properly inform customers that they were entitled to two years of free assistance under Italian law. Three Apple spokesmen contacted by Reuters weren't immediately available for comment.

Information provided about an extra guarantee scheme, the "AppleCare Protection Plan," encouraged customers to buy the service without clearly explaining that it overlapped with the free assistance required by law, the competition authority said.
News of Italian regulators' inquiries into Apple's warranty offering surfaced in late May. Word on any fines levied on Apple was said to be set to follow by late August, but the agency apparently took some additional time to examine the issue before reaching a decision.

Article Link: Apple Fined $1.2 Million in Italy Over Warranty Disclosure Issues
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:06 AM   #2
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This is not just happening in Italy, but EU wide. There is a standard 2-year warrenty for all pc/laptops ect here.

The fine is 100% correct and could be higher.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:07 AM   #3
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1.2 million?! Apple is finished!
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:14 AM   #4
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persanally, i fully agree.
1 year is too little and making people spend even more $ for safety aside those $$$ for products is totally wrong.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:15 AM   #5
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1.2 million?! Apple is finished!
For better or worse, Tim Cook could find $1.2 million between the cushions of the couch in the executive lounge.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by iekozz View Post
This is not just happening in Italy, but EU wide. There is a standard 2-year warrenty for all pc/laptops ect here.

The fine is 100% correct and could be higher.
This extended warranty business is very profitable. Same happens with cars, electro-domestic appliances, etc.
Most extended warranties overlap the standard warranty instead of adding to it. That's definitely not fair.
This is not only Apple's problem; it's happening almost everywhere.

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For better or worse, Tim Cook could find $1.2 million between the cushions of the couch in the executive lounge.
LOL...

Yeah, it's just pocket change, no need to break the Piggy Bank.

Now, imagine $1.2M in quarters!!!
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:18 AM   #7
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As a legal requirement here in the UK i never expect companies to have to advertise the 2 year warranty because everybody in the country should already know about it.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by iekozz View Post
This is not just happening in Italy, but EU wide. There is a standard 2-year warrenty for all pc/laptops ect here.

The fine is 100% correct and could be higher.
Slow down, cowboy. In the UK, the product has to last "a reasonable time", which depends on the product. And after more than six months (if the manufacturer didn't give you a years warranty) you have to _prove_ that the fault was present when you bought the product.

Now if you have a problem with an Apple product bought at an Apple Store, chances are quite good that you will get it fixed for free. With other stores, they can put up a fight (as will Apple, depending on the situation, and maybe depending on how much of a jerk the customer is). They can just ask you to prove that the fault was present when you bought the product. Which means finding someone who is competent with that kind of product, checking it, and writing a report for you. Obviously that means a customer was lost forever, but if the seller doesn't care, things are difficult. If the fault was present, the seller can then argue that the product _did_ last a reasonable time. Admittedly if an MBP broke down after 23 months I wouldn't say it lasted a reasonable amount of time, but for a cheap laptop that could be argued. And of course _if_ the seller argues, whether they are right or wrong, it makes it harder for you to get your rights.

I am sure Apple will now tell you before you buy AppleCare that you may have rights beyond your warranty, depending on the exact situation. You can then decide whether you want to take your chances or not. And remember that AppleCare also gives you one year free support, and will cover your device in situations where it is not covered by the law.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:21 AM   #9
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The EU is collapsing, and this is what they spend their time with?
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:23 AM   #10
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Given that the dollar/euro exchange rate is prone to fluctuate, it would be more accurate to quote the fine in the terms in which is was levied (ca. €900,000 I think I read on the BBC)
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SPUY767 View Post
The EU is collapsing, and this is what they spend their time with?
This is nothing to do with the EU. It is about the enforcement of laws created by the EU in Italy as it is the responsibility of all member states to implement EU law.

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Originally Posted by Truffy View Post
Given that the dollar/euro exchange rate is prone to fluctuate, it would be more accurate to quote the fine in the terms in which is was levied (ca. €900,000 I think I read on the BBC)
Agreed. I think it is insulting that the author thinks his audience does not know how much €900,000 is.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:26 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
Slow down, cowboy. In the UK, the product has to last "a reasonable time", which depends on the product. And after more than six months (if the manufacturer didn't give you a years warranty) you have to _prove_ that the fault was present when you bought the product.

Now if you have a problem with an Apple product bought at an Apple Store, chances are quite good that you will get it fixed for free. With other stores, they can put up a fight (as will Apple, depending on the situation, and maybe depending on how much of a jerk the customer is). They can just ask you to prove that the fault was present when you bought the product. Which means finding someone who is competent with that kind of product, checking it, and writing a report for you. Obviously that means a customer was lost forever, but if the seller doesn't care, things are difficult.

I am sure Apple will now tell you before you buy AppleCare that you may have rights beyond your warranty, depending on the exact situation. You can then decide whether you want to take your chances or not. And remember that AppleCare also gives you one year free support, and will cover your device in situations where it is not covered by the law.


This is not ture. you do not have to prove anything just like the Magnum-Moss Warranty Act for vehicles. its upto them to prove it was not the products fault. Also a problem does not have to be present when you bought the product at all. i have sold electronics for over 25 years and this has never been the case. there would be uproar if it was.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:27 AM   #13
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Typical italian ********tism.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by kurosov View Post
As a legal requirement here in the UK i never expect companies to have to advertise the 2 year warranty because everybody in the country should already know about it.
I recently move to UK and I couldn't believe that everywhere they were saying about 1 year warranty. I even had a strong arguement with a Game store manager when I bought my PS3, cause I knew that all electronic devices, including PS3 should have 2 years warranty base on EU law. I 'm studying Computing and in a lecture about Data Protection Law we cover cases where the EU law overlaps UK law and the EU should be consider to be the valid one. I think people should be informed about this and ask for their extra year instead of having to "buy" it, like Dell, PCWorld and other electronics giants in the UK marketplace wants.

As for the Italy case:
This is pathetic in my opinion, not the action, but the reason behind it. The only reason Italy does it NOW is cause they are in deep troubles with their own economy and trying to farm money out of everywhere before they end-up like Greece. As a Cypriot, I know that Greece government is doing the same, suddenly remember all those consumers' rights and decided to fine companies.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:32 AM   #15
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It's a shame the fine wasn't higher, like when McLaren had to pay a fine back in 2009 for illegally obtaining plans for Ferrari's following year F1 car. McLaren was fined $100 million.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:33 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Athonline View Post
I recently move to UK and I couldn't believe that everywhere they were saying about 1 year warranty. I even had a strong arguement with a Game store manager when I bought my PS3, cause I knew that all electronic devices, including PS3 should have 2 years warranty base on EU law. I 'm studying Computing and in a lecture about Data Protection Law we cover cases where the EU law overlaps UK law and the EU should be consider to be the valid one. I think people should be informed about this and ask for their extra year instead of having to "buy" it, like Dell, PCWorld and other electronics giants in the UK marketplace wants.
In the UK we don't have just the 2 year warranty. For items like washing machines they are expected to work fault free for the expected lifetime of the machine. Meaning you are protected from faults on such things for 5-10 years in some cases. The amount of TV shows and consumer rights articles/pamphlets around explaining these rights is excessive enough.

Store managers are just morons who get promoted because they make a better lackey than the rest of the staff, Assert your rights and there is little they can do. I usually bring a dictaphone and start recording a conversation if it gets heated on their side.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Angryipadguy View Post
This is not ture. you do not have to prove anything just like the Magnum-Moss Warranty Act for vehicles. its upto them to prove it was not the products fault. Also a problem does not have to be present when you bought the product at all. i have sold electronics for over 25 years and this has never been the case. there would be uproar if it was.
You are wrong. First, Magnum-Moss doesn't really apply because of the 3000 miles of water between USA and Europe. Second, within the first six months the seller has to prove that that the problem wasn't caused by a fault that was present when the product was sold; after six months it is up to the customer. Of course "fault" and "problem" is not the same: If the manufacturer of a car forgets to protect against rust, that is a "fault" that is present the day you buy the car. The "problem" that your car falls apart happens years later, but is due to the "fault" that was there on day one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kurosov View Post
In the UK we don't have just the 2 year warranty. For items like washing machines they are expected to work fault free for the expected lifetime of the machine. Meaning you are protected from faults on such things for 5-10 years in some cases. The amount of TV shows and consumer rights articles/pamphlets around explaining these rights is excessive enough.
You are _never_ protected for more than six years. Six years is the point in time where the seller can completely ignore whatever you are saying, unless you have a contract that says otherwise. And I have never seen _any_ article / pamphlet that says "you have two years warranty"; and I'd challenge you to show it. All we have in the UK is the rather vague rule that a device must last for a _reasonable_ amount of time, and that it is the seller's responsibility. I'd also like to see a clear statement somewhere that says it becomes the manufacturer's responsibility if the seller goes out of business; I can't find that anywhere so it might not be the case.

And good to see the voting system at work. Do these people think that voting me down gets the UK laws changed?

Last edited by gnasher729; Dec 27, 2011 at 10:32 AM.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:35 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by iekozz View Post
This is not just happening in Italy, but EU wide. There is a standard 2-year warrenty for all pc/laptops ect here.

The fine is 100% correct and could be higher.
Yup... It helps that Italy is broke, and they need any pocket change they can find... What does Italy do with the money now?
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by SPUY767 View Post
The EU is collapsing, and this is what they spend their time with?
Especially Italy, plus some others (Spain, Greece etc.) are broke, so a quick 1.2 million from Apple probably pays for some politician perks:-)
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:37 AM   #20
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It's a shame the fine wasn't higher, like when McLaren had to pay a fine back in 2009 for illegally obtaining plans for Ferrari's following year F1 car. McLaren was fined $100 million.
Why do you care so much? What is your take from this fine?
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:41 AM   #21
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The EU is collapsing, and this is what they spend their time with?
It is?
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:53 AM   #22
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Why do you care so much? What is your take from this fine?
It's just thrilling to see a true example from one of the countries with the higher litigation per inhabitants ratio. Great stuff from Italy, as always.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:55 AM   #23
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re original article

not to worry - aapl is developing the i-espresso machine which will sell hundreds of million worldwide
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:55 AM   #24
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 09:57 AM   #25
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In practice the warranty on products is usually related to how much noise you make in the store. I went into an Orange store with a fried to return his faulty Android phone. Because it was purchased as pay as you go they were saying a 6 month warranty. He was about to leave and I said he should kick up a fuss. He got a replacement shipped out next day.
I think if network operators are trying to get people on 18 and 24 month contracts then it's pretty hard for them to argue the product (handset) is designed to last any less to e than that.
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