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Apple Still Facing Criticism Over Warranty Issues in Europe as Lawsuits Spread to More Countries

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Following multiple fines in Italy over what regulators have called inadequate disclosure of consumer warranty rights, Apple is facing continued scrutiny in the broader European Union, with Dow Jones Business News reporting that Apple is now facing lawsuits from consumer associations in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and Portugal.

Apple was taken to task today in a speech by EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, who had previously encouraged member countries to follow Italy's lead in examining Apple's practices.
"This case and the responses I received since I sent my letter have highlighted rather clearly just why the Commission cannot sit on the side-lines on enforcement issues," she said. "The approaches to enforcement in these types of cases turn out to be very diversified and inconsistent at a national level. In at least 21 EU Member States Apple is not informing consumers correctly about the legal warranty rights they have. This is simply not good enough."
Concerns over Apple's actions relate to its promotion of AppleCare as an extended warranty program on top of the standard one-year warranty Apple offers on its products. EU consumer laws require two years of protection, and the company has been accused of not sharing that information with customers while trying to sell them AppleCare coverage.

Apple does, however, note on its website that there are a number of differences between the protection required by EU consumer laws and Apple's own standard and AppleCare warranty packages, differences that it no doubt believes still make AppleCare a worthwhile purchase for many customers.

Apple's continued difficulties in Europe come just as the company has quietly adjusted its practices in Australia to comply with consumer protection laws in that country requiring coverage for a "reasonable" time from the date of purchase.

Article Link: Apple Still Facing Criticism Over Warranty Issues in Europe as Lawsuits Spread to More Countries
 

iGrip

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2010
1,626
0
When is Apple going to learn that screwing over its customers is bad business?
 
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Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,701
885
I'm sorry, but they do comply with European law. However, is the EU expecting them to tell people about their rights when they purchase? Surely it's your own responsibility to know your own rights.

Do they inform you about food hygiene requirements when you go to a restaurant? Or alcohol licensing terms when you buy a pint? Do car dealers inform you about the highway code when you buy a car?

By the same logic, if you're fined for playing golf in a park, or not picking up dog crap - you can't use the excuse "there were no signs" - you're expected to know.
 
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Dr McKay

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2010
3,425
46
Kirkland
I'm sorry, but they do comply with European law. However, is the EU expecting them to tell people about their rights when they purchase? Surely it's your own responsibility to know your own rights.

Do they inform you about food hygiene requirements when you go to a restaurant? Or alcohol licensing terms when you buy a pint? Do car dealers inform you about the highway code when you buy a car?

No. but they will be expected to stop misleading customers into purchasing something they don't need. Those comparisons don't really compare.
 
Comment

Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,701
885
No. but they will be expected to stop misleading customers into purchasing something they don't need. Those comparisons don't really compare.

How exactly?

So they're supposed to say "if this breaks down, you have a 2 year warranty with the seller, but you need to prove there was an inherent fault if it breaks after 6 months" when you buy something.

Where have you EVER heard that said? It's the law, not a service. You should know the law in your own country.
 
Comment

furi0usbee

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2008
1,781
1,264
I love Apple, as most on here do, but I really think that for the price of my $2k+ MacBook Pro (retina), I ought to get at least 2 years coverage. Then, simply offer me a $99.00 option for a third year. I know I'd personally take that, and probably everyone would. So they could possibly keep their profits on the warranties if everyone paid out the $99.00 vs the $349 or whatever it is for two additional years. What I would prefer even more would be a $500/year trade-in plan. After you buy your first new machine, $500.00/year and you can trade in your model for the latest model. Now I'd love that!
 
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Carniphage

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
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Sheffield, England
Apple Care is a pretty good deal. I walked home with a brand new 30" monitor, 3 years after I bought the first one.

But Apple do misrepresent it when selling products. Particularly in the stores. They often claim that without Apple care, a one-year warranty is all you can expect.

This is simply not true - and does not match EU law.

Apple have attempted to send-out a unified message about the benefits of Apple Care across all of its international stores. But the benefit is not unified.

The benefit in the US is much greater than in Europe, because of the 'States' weaker consumer protection.
 
Comment

bazinga!!

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2012
100
2
Belgium
I'm sorry, but they do comply with European law. However, is the EU expecting them to tell people about their rights when they purchase? Surely it's your own responsibility to know your own rights.

Do they inform you about food hygiene requirements when you go to a restaurant? Or alcohol licensing terms when you buy a pint? Do car dealers inform you about the highway code when you buy a car?

By the same logic, if you're fined for playing golf in a park, or not picking up dog crap - you can't use the excuse "there were no signs" - you're expected to know.

What a bunch of BS! FACT is that Apple tried to let consumers believe that the legal warranty only counts for 1 year, and tried to persuade consumers to buy Apple Care during the period that you're still under legal warranty. That's called screwing people over.
 
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bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,419
2,683
Buffalo, NY
No. but they will be expected to stop misleading customers into purchasing something they don't need. Those comparisons don't really compare.

I completely disagree.



In reality, EU Consumers don't get a warranty at all. It's more like a lemon law. If they buy defective merchandise, but don't find out until a year later, they can get it fixed. For example, the first time a consumer uses the headphone jack, a year after they purchased the phone, it doesn't work.

The Apple warranty allows you to get a repair if the 200th time the headphone jack doesn't play sound. The defect wasn't present at the time the product was purchased, but came about later.

Lawyers just love to sue Apple because Apple has money, that's all there is to this.
 
Comment

ugahairydawgs

macrumors 68030
Jun 10, 2010
2,772
1,806
So the moral of the story is that the EU wants Apple to hand hold customers through warranty regulation when someone is trying to make a purchase?

How about this EU.....how about you tell your own citizens to be better versed on their own rights instead of trying to regulate industry to do it for you.
 
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iGrip

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2010
1,626
0
I'm sorry, but they do comply with European law. However, is the EU expecting them to tell people about their rights when they purchase? Surely it's your own responsibility to know your own rights.

Do they inform you about food hygiene requirements when you go to a restaurant? Or alcohol licensing terms when you buy a pint? Do car dealers inform you about the highway code when you buy a car?

By the same logic, if you're fined for playing golf in a park, or not picking up dog crap - you can't use the excuse "there were no signs" - you're expected to know.

More like the local mob telling a businessman that he can pay them $500 a week for protection by/from the neighborhood protection committee.

ISTM that like Apple, they never inform the victim of their rights either.
 
Comment

Sayer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2002
981
0
Austin, TX
I completely disagree.

...

The Apple warranty allows you to get a repair if the 200th time the headphone jack doesn't play sound. The defect wasn't present at the time the product was purchased, but came about later.

Lawyers just love to sue Apple because Apple has money, that's all there is to this.

Yup. And no one is forced to buy AppleCare anyway. Unless its a laptop or maybe an iPhone or iPod Touch I would skip it entirely.

Apple is not tricking anyone into getting AppleCare by having it selected by default on the Apple store website with some weird double-negative label checkbox that is checked by default but that really means no I don't want it.

If people in the EU need to be handheld to buy an extended warranty it certainly explains why they are having so many financial problems over there.
 
Comment

oliversl

macrumors 65816
Jun 29, 2007
1,476
359
This seems to be a non-issue, but should Apple do? Make the customer sign a paper that says they have received the warranty information form the Genius? BTW, nasdaq has an ugly site
 
Comment

Carniphage

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,878
0
Sheffield, England
Apple is not tricking anyone into getting AppleCare by having it selected by default on the Apple store website with some weird double-negative label checkbox that is checked by default but that really means no I don't want it.

Apple is tricking people if they lie about the benefit of a product.

Apple store staff claim that Apple Care offers two additional years of cover, when in truth it is only one.

It's like a crooked car dealer telling you one mileage when in fact its another.
 
Comment

silvetti

macrumors 6502a
Nov 24, 2011
938
365
Poland
I completely disagree.

Image

In reality, EU Consumers don't get a warranty at all. It's more like a lemon law. If they buy defective merchandise, but don't find out until a year later, they can get it fixed. For example, the first time a consumer uses the headphone jack, a year after they purchased the phone, it doesn't work.

The Apple warranty allows you to get a repair if the 200th time the headphone jack doesn't play sound. The defect wasn't present at the time the product was purchased, but came about later.

Lawyers just love to sue Apple because Apple has money, that's all there is to this.

You are absolutely right. I am an EU citizen and have informed myself of the law.

First year is provided by manufacturer, second year by the STORE you bought it in. If you bought it thru Apple Online or physical store (not reseller!) you can contact Apple as well.

Also as you said second year warranty is only valid for defects that were already present and to be honest it depends on shop to shop if you will be able to have it replaced/fixed under warranty on the second year.

If you are buying an expensive laptop Applecare is VERY useful! If you are buying an iPhone, not so much.

----------

Apple is tricking people if they lie about the benefit of a product.

Apple store staff claim that Apple Care offers two additional years of cover, when in truth it is only one.

It's like a crooked car dealer telling you one mileage when in fact its another.

What are you talking about ?

You do not have 2 year manufacturer warranty.

You have 1 year manufacturer and 1 extra year from the seller (store).

----------

Yup. And no one is forced to buy AppleCare anyway. Unless its a laptop or maybe an iPhone or iPod Touch I would skip it entirely.

Apple is not tricking anyone into getting AppleCare by having it selected by default on the Apple store website with some weird double-negative label checkbox that is checked by default but that really means no I don't want it.

If people in the EU need to be handheld to buy an extended warranty it certainly explains why they are having so many financial problems over there.

Dude, really ?

You must not read the news about the debt of your country LOL
 
Comment

MarkHarrisonUK

macrumors newbie
Jan 17, 2009
15
0
I'm sorry, but they do comply with European law.

No, they've been fined precisely because they DIDN'T comply with (Italian) law.

That's why they've just had to pay a series of fines in Italy.

However, is the EU expecting them to tell people about their rights when they purchase? Surely it's your own responsibility to know your own rights.

Nope. That's not what European law says.

There are gaping differences in the rights and responsibilities of retailers, both in physical stores and 'distance selling' (which includes the Internet as well as call centres / catalogue sales etc), between Europe and the USA.

If you want the law to change, lobby for it... vote for a different set of politicians who are campaigning on a platform of reducing company obligations... in the UK this is actually part of the Conservative election platform, and they are the biggest party in the coalition government at the moment.

(Though, compared to US Democrats or Republicans, even the Conservatives are raging socialists)
 
Comment

BillyBobBongo

macrumors 68030
Jun 21, 2007
2,522
1,101
On The Interweb Thingy!
I completely disagree.

Image

In reality, EU Consumers don't get a warranty at all. It's more like a lemon law. If they buy defective merchandise, but don't find out until a year later, they can get it fixed. For example, the first time a consumer uses the headphone jack, a year after they purchased the phone, it doesn't work.

The Apple warranty allows you to get a repair if the 200th time the headphone jack doesn't play sound. The defect wasn't present at the time the product was purchased, but came about later.

Lawyers just love to sue Apple because Apple has money, that's all there is to this.

This is simply wrong. If my headphone jack breaks after the year period is over I state in my complaint that the product is quite simply 'not fit for purpose'. A product should be able to be used as intended for a reasonable period of time. If Apple object I bring in the Office of Fair Trade (UK example). I can assure you I will get my product replaced or repaired under my two year warranty.

Please note I don't have to get some lawyer involved to get this done. My country offers me protection for such occurrences.
 
Comment

126351

Guest
Sep 17, 2007
175
0
If people in the EU need to be handheld to buy an extended warranty it certainly explains why they are having so many financial problems over there.

Classy. We'll ignore the role your lot played in it with your greed and inability to understand basic economics.

But carry on with the jingoistic bullcrap...
 
Comment

silvetti

macrumors 6502a
Nov 24, 2011
938
365
Poland
Please go read:
http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/ecc/consumer_topics/buying_goods_services_en.htm

"The 2-year guarantee is an EU-wide minimum, and the laws in some EU countries may offer you longer limitation periods.

[!] In some countries, once the first 6 months of the two-year guarantee period have passed, you may need to prove that the product was faulty or not as advertised when you received it, if the seller contests this. In some countries, there are also deadlines for contacting the seller after discovering the defect."

This is the important part that shops use to get away with it. You need to prove that it was faulty when you BOUGHT it.
 
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