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European Consumer Groups Criticize Apple's Warranties

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Worldwide, all Apple hardware comes with a one-year warranty. On most products, that warranty can be extended to 2 or 3 years with AppleCare. However, in the European Union, the law requires manufacturers cover goods for two years.

Consumer groups in 11 countries -- comparable to Consumer Reports in the United States -- have sent a letters to national regulators asking for action against Apple regarding its warranty practices, reports Bloomberg.
"Consumers should not be misled and confused as to fundamental EU consumer rights because a company wants to sell their commercial warranty services," Monique Goyens, director general of the European Consumer Organization, said in the statement. Goyens, who said consumers in the EU are entitled to a guarantee of at least two years, added the case is "even more important" as it concerns a market leader, whose practices have a "wide impact."
Late last year, Apple was fined $1.2 million by Italian regulators over allegations that the company hadn't adequately disclosed the standard two-year warranty that is required by Italian law. Apple added disclosures to its Italian online store to address the court's concerns, but those have since been taken down. The appeal is due to be decided in Rome tomorrow.

Article Link: European Consumer Groups Criticize Apple's Warranties
 

paul4339

macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
1,407
666
In the US, they have the 1st year warranty built into the price of the product, and the 2nd/3rd year covered via AppleCare, right?

Can't they just build of the first two years of warranty into the price of the product in the EU? and have the 3rd year covered via AppleCare at a reduced cost?

.
 
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striker33

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2010
1,098
2
You are covered by the distance selling regulations anyway in the UK. Even if my iPad develops a fault 3 years down the line, I could still dispute it under the regulations.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,267
In the US, they have the 1st year warranty built into the price of the product, and the 2nd/3rd year covered via AppleCare, right?

Can't they just build of the first two years of warranty into the price of the product in the EU? and have the 3rd year covered via AppleCare at a reduced cost?

.

No other computer company in the EU, that I know of, offer more than a standard 1 year manufacturer's warranty on their computers. I'm not sure if the EU policy stated in this article extends to computing, but if it does, it's not just Apple 'in the wrong'.

Of course, I'm just speaking from experience; but from what I've encountered, Apple have the best customer service by an absolute mile, and people seem to use any excuse to criticise them.
 
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Ciclismo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2010
824
64
Germany
In the US, they have the 1st year warranty built into the price of the product, and the 2nd/3rd year covered via AppleCare, right?

Can't they just build of the first two years of warranty into the price of the product in the EU? and have the 3rd year covered via AppleCare at a reduced cost?

.

The longer warranty is already factored into the price. The base iPad costs €399, which at the current exchange rate is around $530USD. Even the higher VAT can't completely account for the $130 difference.
 
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androiphone

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2009
1,000
1
of all the laws the UK adopts from the EU I genuinely would want this one, although I admit with the Sales of Goods Act it sort of mitigates the problem.
 
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goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,831
2,643
long island NY
The longer warranty is already factored into the price. The base iPad costs €399, which at the current exchange rate is around $530USD. Even the higher VAT can't completely account for the $130 difference.

That's a 30$ difference, not a 130$ difference.
 
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Saladinos

macrumors 68000
Feb 26, 2008
1,845
0
Absolutely right to go after this. This has been EU law for some time, and I've used it to get repairs for free under warranty.

They typically give you a bit of fuss about it at the store, but after checking they'll find you're right.
 
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baryon

macrumors 68040
Oct 3, 2009
3,575
1,634
I agree, when I brought my faulty MBP to the Apple Store less than 2 years after purchase, I was told I'd have to pay about £600 to replace the motherboard. I told them that there is a law that says that computer manufacturers should have a 2-year warranty (or is it 3?), and they didn't seem to care at all, so I'm stuck with a faulty computer ever since...
 
Comment

androiphone

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2009
1,000
1
You are covered by the distance selling regulations anyway in the UK. Even if my iPad develops a fault 3 years down the line, I could still dispute it under the regulations.

you mean Sales of Goods Act, the Distance Selling Regulations protects you from unsatisfactory products for 14 days when you buy something online or by telephone.

----------

I agree, when I brought my faulty MBP to the Apple Store less than 2 years after purchase, I was told I'd have to pay about £600 to replace the motherboard. I told them that there is a law that says that computer manufacturers should have a 2-year warranty (or is it 3?), and they didn't seem to care at all, so I'm stuck with a faulty computer ever since...

I'm guessing you're in the UK, in that case we have never adopted the '2 year warranty' law, you should have used the Sales of Goods Act which states a product should last a satisfactory amount of time and you are protected for (within reason) 6 years. I would say a laptop computer should last longer than 2 years so you should have been covered.
 
Comment

Glideslope

macrumors 604
Dec 7, 2007
6,567
3,692
A quiet place in NY.
No other computer company in the EU, that I know of, offer more than a standard 1 year manufacturer's warranty on their computers. I'm not sure if the EU policy stated in this article extends to computing, but if it does, it's not just Apple 'in the wrong'.

Of course, I'm just speaking from experience; but from what I've encountered, Apple have the best customer service by an absolute mile, and people seem to use any excuse to criticise them.

Apple is no longer a Computer Co.

They are Apple Inc. :apple:
 
Comment

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,632
815
Los Angeles, CA
No other computer company in the EU, that I know of, offer more than a standard 1 year manufacturer's warranty on their computers. I'm not sure if the EU policy stated in this article extends to computing, but if it does, it's not just Apple 'in the wrong'.

It's my understanding that the laws aren't really a difference in warranty per se but more of an extension to the notion of a lemon law. They only require the company to refund or replace the item if it was defective at the time of sale, and it is up to the customer to prove this is the case. If it was fine at time of purchase and breaks down due to use etc that is not covered outside of the warranty. Whereas with Apple CAre they don't care when it happened, only whether it was due to damage such as exposure to a sizable amount of water or being dropped hard enough to break the screen or enclosure. If that issue is off the table, they look first at software issue and if that doesn't solve the problem, they replace it.
 
Comment

duffmanth

macrumors member
Mar 26, 2011
71
1
All Apple products should come with a 3 year warranty standard for the prices they charge.
 
Comment

baryon

macrumors 68040
Oct 3, 2009
3,575
1,634
I'm guessing you're in the UK, in that case we have never adopted the '2 year warranty' law, you should have used the Sales of Goods Act which states a product should last a satisfactory amount of time and you are protected for (within reason) 6 years. I would say a laptop computer should last longer than 2 years so you should have been covered.

That's even better, but then how do you get Apple to respect the Sales of Goods Act? They generally turn you away after your 1-year warranty expires, saying that you'll have to pay for the repairs. What can you do?
 
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ucmj22

macrumors member
May 27, 2011
35
0
europe sounds like a bunch of pansies. And we wonder why everything cost more in europe. The government acts like they are doing you a favor by making a company give ridiculous warranties for "free" but what they dont tell you is that the company is just going to include it in the price of the product, making you pay more, and creating more tax revenue to the government.

Nothing is free.
 
Comment

babyj

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2006
586
8
That's even better, but then how do you get Apple to respect the Sales of Goods Act? They generally turn you away after your 1-year warranty expires, saying that you'll have to pay for the repairs. What can you do?

You can call Trading Standards. The other option is a small court claim, which isn't as scary as it sounds and there are plenty of websites to get advice from. Chances are Apple wouldn't even respond to the court claim and would lose by default or would settle before hand.

The issue at dispute in the UK is how long the warranty should be, as all the law says is words to the effect of a suitable length of time for the product. But given the price of Apple products and that they are high end I really don't think arguing a two year warranty is that difficult.

Though another good option is to buy Apple products from John Lewis as they give a two year warranty on all computers.
 
Comment

iStudentUK

macrumors 65816
Mar 8, 2009
1,439
4
London
I'm guessing you're in the UK, in that case we have never adopted the '2 year warranty' law, you should have used the Sales of Goods Act which states a product should last a satisfactory amount of time and you are protected for (within reason) 6 years. I would say a laptop computer should last longer than 2 years so you should have been covered.

The problem is the UK did adopted the law, it's just the EU law in question doesn't create an obligation on sellers to provide a two year warranty. The EU law says is that consumers cannot be limited for bringing a claim for a defective product for two years, that isn't the same as saying any consumer goods should last for 2 years. The existing Sale of Goods Act 1979 gave people that ability here, and the limitation period was already 6 years.

Directive 1999/44/EC (link to English language PDF) is the one that has caused all the problems- people incorrectly interpret it. Apple's one year warranty is in addition to statutory rights like the directive above. Plus it's the seller not the manufacturer that the law applies to.

I agree with the criticism to an extent- Apple (and other sellers) should make it clearer that extended warranties are sometimes not necessary and there is often still recourse for consumers without them. Moreover, they should make their staff aware of the statutory consumer protection laws so you don't have to threaten to start legal proceedings to get something done!
 
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ironpony

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2011
139
68
md
Car manufacturers offer more than 1 year on the computer in their vehicles.
And we bailed them out. except for my Ford :)

I honestly believe each Apple employee is given some leeway (spelling?) as to warranty repairs or replacement.

I have had good luck.
 
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lhotka

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2008
212
0
And people wonder why Apple products cost more in the EU than just exchange rates and VAT would require.

Additional warranty coverage isn't free.
 
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babyj

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2006
586
8
I agree with the criticism to an extent- Apple (and other sellers) should make it clearer that extended warranties are sometimes not necessary and there is often still recourse for consumers without them. Moreover, they should make their staff aware of the statutory consumer protection laws so you don't have to threaten to start legal proceedings to get something done!

Their staff know the law, it's all part of the game they play. Returns cost money and they'll push things as much as they can to avoid them, how far they'll go depends on the retailer.

I've read of plenty of people challenging Apple over not providing a two year warranty and I don't remember a single one that didn't end in Apple giving in or losing. Though Apple always say they're doing it as a gesture of goodwill rather than the law.
 
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wschutz

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2007
292
90
Their staff know the law, it's all part of the game they play. Returns cost money and they'll push things as much as they can to avoid them, how far they'll go depends on the retailer.

I've read of plenty of people challenging Apple over not providing a two year warranty and I don't remember a single one that didn't end in Apple giving in or losing. Though Apple always say they're doing it as a gesture of goodwill rather than the law.

Whatever the reason Apple is doing this... it has been for quite a long time.
Apple should advertise its product with the corresponding warranty time (two years, of which the first 6 months are considered for the manufacturer to prove, and the rest for the customer; if Apple wants to extend those 6 months to 12 like it is doing now... fine... but the remaining 12 should be advertised), because selling AppleCare as an extension of 2 years is not entirely true, it is for the third year, but for the second, there is no need for any AppleCare, although as I said, it is the customer the one who has to prove that the product is faulty, and maybe the cost of the expert who signs that is much more than AppleCare or the repair itself; but still...

Apple should abide by the laws of the EU if it wants to sell within EU. There is no difference between Apple and the local furniture manufacturer when it comes to selling products in the EU ;)
I hope Apple not only gets to modify the terms of the warranty (which regardless of what they say now, anyone with an invoice issued within the EU can take advantage of this law) but also gets fined (if it was fined in Italy for a 1.2m $... the EU fine could be quite on the side of two high digits :D)
 
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daxomni

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2009
453
0
europe sounds like a bunch of pansies.
So in your view the people who stick up for their own rights are the "pansies?" Who are the tough guys in your mind? The folks who keep their humble mouths shut and meekly accept whatever they just happen to be given? Sounds like some screwy logic you have there pal.
 
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babyj

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2006
586
8
So Europe will pay more for their Apple electronics. That's life.

Not going to happen. There are a number of reasons why Apple keep their prices pretty much in line across the globe. If there are additional costs such as this it will just be worked in to a higher price for everyone.

Don't get why so many outside the EU think this is a bad thing. Apple charge a premium for their products, expecting them to last more than 12 months isn't asking much. If it does become a problem Apple always have the option of increasing the quality of their product to match the price tag.

The EU warranty law protects the consumers, it's everyone outside the EU that is getting shafted by Apple's 12 month warranty.
 
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