Does UK law negate the need for AppleCare?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PT123, May 21, 2011.

  1. PT123 macrumors member

    May 19, 2011
    For what it's worth, I am a lawyer, although not a consumer one, and this has interested me for some time now...

    There have been numerous discussions on here about the merits of buying AppleCare and whether it is worth the hefty cost. Obviously, anyone who has had their machine break down within 3 years will say it is.

    But for those of you who buy your Mac stuff in the UK, you should consider a very neat UK law known as the Sale Of Goods Act. Without reciting the whole law, it states that items bought should continue to be in their original, working condition (I.e. What they were bought to do) for a reasonable lifespan - defined as 6 years in the UK or 5 in Scotland. If they arent, the manufacturer needs to repair or replace the item (their choice which one).

    The only get-out clause for manufacturers is for low-cost items that would struggle to live for six years anyway. But electronics are clear cut, not least ones as expensive as Apple's.

    This of course only applies to inherent faults with the product and not a accidental or user induced damage/wear and tear. However, isn't this what AppleCare covers too? Therefore, is it a waste of money?:eek:

    Would be interested to know if anyone here has actually exercised their right in the UK under this law (or other countries where there are similar laws). I for one will not be buying AppleCare when the UK government are guaranteeing my laptop for me. However, I will be taking out accidental damage insurance, now THAT can be worth it!
  2. PT123 thread starter macrumors member

    May 19, 2011
    Just had a look at that, a lot of misinformation in there though.

    Another key point for those who are a bit intimidated is that you don't have to prove there's smething wrong with the manufacturing of your laptop, Apple has to prove there ISN'T.
  3. fibrizo macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2009
    That's good to hear. I am curious as to what the application has been like in real life?
  4. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    Do a lot of Cars get repaired for free in the UK under this law?
  5. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    good question.
  6. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    We have similar laws here in Finland. The consumer protection bureau has defined that laptop should last at least 2 years (no price limits have been defined) so that the seller/manufacturer covers all costs. After that, the seller/manufacturer and buyer should divide the costs depending on how old it was. Three years is probably the sweet spot, after that the repairing costs can be pretty expensive as the manufacturer can claim that it is already so old.

    I have used this once with success. My around 16-month old PS3's optical drive decided to take off so the whole thing became useless. I contacted the importer (they handle the repairs too), attached a few documents from the bureau's site and explained why I should have a legal right to get it fixed for free. They simply replied me with the address where I should drop it off and two weeks after that, they told me to pick it up. Very simple and no fighting was required.

    I believe it would be the same if I dealt with Apple, especially as the bureau has clearly defined the minimum lifespan for a laptop. I bought AppleCare for my iMac but it was cheaper. I won't be buying one for my MBA, now that I know my rights better.
  7. PT123 thread starter macrumors member

    May 19, 2011
    Of course, if the problem with the car is due to a manufacturing error.
  8. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    The laws in my country (Denmark) are also great for consumers. Basically, you have 2 years in which your product is guaranteed to be functional (i.e. not have any manufacturing errors). During the first six months of your ownership, it is the manufacturer who has to prove that whatever issue you find is not due to a manufacturing defect, but due to abuse by the owner
    In addition, the law states that a company's warranty has to be at least as good as the general law, which is why there has been some controversy about whether Apple's warranty is, in fact, a warranty.
    Apple's 1 year limited warranty is, because of these laws, actually irrelevant in Denmark.

    This goes for all goods - not just computers.

    Is it really 5 years in the UK?
  9. PT123 thread starter macrumors member

    May 19, 2011
    SIX in the UK, five in Scotland.

    Looks like these laws are starting to seriously marginalise the need for Apple Care...
  10. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    AppleCare is definitely worth considering if one buys their computer from a reseller since any disputes over the Sales & Goods Act is with the retailer and the retailer only. For instance, if a hard-drive dies after 18 months, one can argue whether the S&G Act should cover this but this will be with the retailer (eg. Amazon, Currys, Comet, Argos et al) and Apple will be under no obligation to repair/replace the item.
  11. JTToft, May 22, 2011
    Last edited: May 22, 2011

    JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - Oh. Six years is a really long time. Impressive.
    And yes, the need for AppleCare is definitely decreasing. I don't plan on buying it. The advantage with AppleCare is that it is worldwide: You can buy your computer in the US, go on a business trip to Europe, and if something goes wrong you can walk into an Apple Store in Germany (or whatever country you are visiting) and have it replaced.

    - The same is the case in Denmark. The manufacturer has no obligations, except where the product was purchased directly from the manufacturer. Though I don't see how this would be a problem. If something goes wrong with the product, the reseller will just have to pay for the repairs/the replacement. Simple as that.
  12. PT123 thread starter macrumors member

    May 19, 2011
    Exactly. If your computer is defective, they have to do something about it. If you buy either from Apple online or in an Apple Store, then it is even simpler since the retailer and manufacturer are the same company, so no one can argue over who should be fixing it...

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