Has anyone use the UK's Consumer Law?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MBP*, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. MBP* macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2014
    I'm nearing the end of my standard warranty on my rMBP 13" which I bought second hand last year around this time. No problems so far.


    I came across the UKs law on this which states that manufacturers should be liable for up to 6 years and contribute to the expense of the product should it need repair. I called up the sales team and they told me to email the Customer Relations if I wanted more information and how this would actually work. She was adamant though that I needed AppleCare to have a free replacement or repair on my product.

    I want to know if anyone in the UK has successfully got their laptop repaired through the above law with Apple. I suppose the only advantage, if the law does work (sceptical), is the saving of the headache I'm sure Apple would give me if I go down this route, and the fact I could get it fixed anywhere, globally.

    *I can also get the AppleCare at the discounted educational rate.

    What do you guys think?
  2. McScooby macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2005
    The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
    Only issue you may have is it's the seller of the product that's responsible, so if you bought off ebay private listing / private seller you're out of luck I believe or so Apple retail informed me with an iPhone (to go back to mobile provider) or laptop I had issues with.
  3. MBP* thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2014
    I have the invoice, if that makes any difference. But why does that make a difference?

    I know its safer to purchase the AC and be done with any headache, but its also money I could save if nothing actually goes wrong.
  4. Ap0ks macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    Your consumer rights are with the seller of the item not the manufacturer, so if something goes wrong you'll need to deal with them instead of going direct to Apple.

    Also after 6 months the onus is on you to prove that the defect/issue was there at the time of delivery, you need to be aware that the law is there to provide general protection against defective/un-fit goods and not to act as an insurance policy. AppleCare or third-party warranty cover will protect you against other possible scenarios that the consumer law wouldn't.

    All warranties and insurance are the same, people would rather not pay for something that may never happen, but you need to consider your circumstances and how much of an impact not having that safety net will make.
  5. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    There are some flaws with your argument:

    1. Apple has no legal responsibility to you unless you bought the laptop from them.
    2. Your legal recourse is with the person you bought it from. If you bought it from a shop second hand you usually have the same rights as normal. If you bought it from a person in a private sale you have very few rights, unless it was misdescribed.
    3. If you do go back to the seller, since it's more than 6 months old, you will need to prove (via an independent report normally) that the product was faulty at the point of purchase and the fault hasn't developed since.

    If your laptop is over a year old, you can't add AppleCare either. it has to be added within the first year.

    If you can get Applecare at the edu rate (it's not normally available after purchase but covent garden added mine after the fact for me no problem when I showed them my ID card), is it worth having £50, vs having to argue/fight/pay your way through if something does break in 2 years?
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    People saying that the seller is liable are wrong. Apple are liable for an Apple product under EU consumer law.

    The consumer law only applies if there is a manufacturing defect and Apple issue a repair program, like the Radeon GPU failures on the 2011 MacBook Pros. This is not an extended warranty. Apple are correct when they say you need AppleCare to have a free repair or replacement.

    As of the time of writing, there are no known/common issues with the 13" rMBP, so you would not be able to get it repaired.

    You can only apply AppleCare if it's within the 1st year of warranty. If it's out of warranty, you can't buy AppleCare for it. You can verify your warranty status here, and whether or not you can buy AppleCare. Though if it's been bought second-hand a year ago, it's almost certainly outside of its warranty.

    TL;DR: if your computer fails, you'll have to pay.
  7. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    I had my 2011 MacBook Pro repaired by the seller (also an Apple approved repairer) for free a few months back - but that was a known fault (the infamous MacBook Pro GPU solder failure) and covered under a specific Apple repair programme. That was fairly painless - I had to push a little bit to convince them that it was covered, since Apple's online serial number database doesn't seem to go back to 2011 but it was all sorted amicably (and they were kind enough not to notice that I'd been inside and replaced the DVD with a HD caddy). If they had been awkward then I daresay I could have waved the Sale of Goods act at them. I don't think I'd have got very far with a 4+ year old computer that had an unsupported modification if it hadn't been clearly suffering from a known manufacturing defect - but then, that wouldn't be covered by AppleCare either.

    The thing to remember about any extended warranty for electronics (like AppleCare) is that most manufacturing faults either show up during the first few months or much later as the computer starts to get old (the "bathtub curve") - so charging punters extra to cover years 2 and 3 when they're least likely to go wrong is something of a license to print money. Really, the ruddy things ought to be banned, especially as they inevitably push up the cost of out-of-warranty repairs. Certainly, if you habitually bought extended warranties for all your purchases then unless you're very unlucky you'll probably waste money c.f. just paying to fix whatever breaks. OTOH, your MacBook is possibly your single most expensive bit of kit, and most 'repairs' consist of replacing large chunks of it.

    Looks to me like the major advantage of AppleCare is that you can deal directly with Apple rather than the seller. I'd base your decision on the reputability of the seller and whether they do their own service, and how convenient it would be to take it back to them.
  8. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Citation needed, methinks. Otherwise I really don't think that's true - although the existence of a repair program would certainly make your case a slam-dunk, the magic words in the law are are "The goods must be of satisfactory quality" - a high-end laptop that wears out, for whatever reason, without abuse, after one year of normal use is not "of satisfactory quality". Your laptop could have a one-off manufacturing flaw, which would certainly be covered by the law.

    AppleCare (as opposed to AppleCare+) only covers manufacturing defects (http://www.apple.com/legal/sales-support/applecare/appmacuk.html) so you still potentially need to prove that it wasn't accidental damage. Maybe Apple will be more reasonable to deal with than certain resellers I could mention, but there's no guarantee.
  9. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Well you can have it covered under consumer law if you can prove that this is a manufacturing defect and a widespread issue. As such you won't have much luck unless there's a repair program in place, though there are exceptions to the rule, such as the MacBook Pro chargers splitting - often these things can be covered under consumer law if there's a fire/safety hazard, for instance.

    But it's more important for the OP to be aware that the consumer law is not an extended warranty, and in almost all scenarios it will be very difficult to get the laptop repaired unless it's a widespread issue. If the Logic Board fails 2 years down the line, it's extremely hard to prove that was a manufacturing defect because computer components will fail (that's why you should always get AppleCare), unless the issue is documented enough to validate an argument that this is a common issue.
  10. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    I had a close to 2yo iPhone replaced by the Apple Store in Glasgow after it stopped working and simply displayed a boot error message. No AppleCare so was well outside Apple's standard warranty.

    The first offer from the Apple Genius was a replacement for £287 but then I questioned why this wasn't covered by the UK Consumer Rights Law and very quickly I was offered a free replacement there and then.

    If you've bought it from Apple, worth a shot!
  11. Powerbook_Fanatic macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2015
    Mix of information in the above replies, most of it accurate but a quick reminder :-

    The so called EU consumer rights in UK WERE covered by The Sale Of Goods Act but that was replaced on the 1st of October by The Consumer Rights Act for all items sold after that date.

    BOTH of these require you to take any claim to the ORIGINAL RETAILER.

    One of the more interesting things in the new CRA is that after one failed repair you are entitled to ask for a price reduction or refund.

    Also be aware you will most likely need to be the original purchaser of the item, have purchased it in a private (not business) capacity and have a proof of purchase.

    In my experience Apple are VERY helpful if you meet the correct criteria
  12. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    No. You're completely and utterly wrong.
  13. Ap0ks macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    You're just confusing issues with your inaccurate accusations, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that you may make a claim against the retailer from which you purchased the goods/service. Since the OP stated it was a second-hand purchase it most likely won't be Apple.

    Again not true, if you buy a rMBP from a non-Apple store and the keyboard stops working on day 45 of having it, you're well within your right to take it back to the shop and ask for a free repair or replacement. However since it's within 6 months of ownership if the shop can prove that the problem isn't due to a defect (i.e. a drink spill) then they are within their right to refuse free repair or replacement.
  14. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    Just a heads up - since this came up for me recently. Any purchases made before this month are still covered by the SOGA, instead of the CRA.

    There's a few subtle differences.
  15. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    This is a very accurate representation of the situation. In addition the Sale of good act was replaced by the "Consumer rights act" on the 1st October 2015 for all sales after 1st Ocrober.
  16. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Totally wrong. First, you don't have any consumer statutory rights against the manufacturer at all. You have consumer statutory rights against the _seller_. Now most manufacturers will voluntarily provide a manufacturer's warranty, but there is absolutely no legal requirement. (Obviously the absence of a warranty would influence your buying decision).

    Second, "up to" means "up to" which means "after six years you lose all rights that you _might_ have". The six years is the limit where you lose your rights. Products must in the UK last for a reasonable time, which is for a computer usually two years. If you computer stops working after five years, 11 months and 30 days, you can take it to the seller and complain, and the seller will tell you "almost six years working means the computer was of much more than satisfactory quality, go away". If your computer breaks on day one, and you have absolute 100% evidence that it was the stores fault, and you take it to the store after six years and one day, the store will say "sorry for that, but you are too late. You should have complained earlier. Go away".
  17. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    No, you don't have to prove that its a "widespread issue". A one-off manufacturing defect in your computer is absolutely covered. True, if its a "widespread issue" proving your case just got easier and if Apple have a repair program for the fault the law is irrelevant.

    Sure, when I took my 4.5 year-old, modified MBP (which also had, "flying lessons" last year, oops) in for repair, I'd have probably been out of luck if it hadn't very obviously been the known GPU fault, but AppleCare wouldn't have helped me there, either, and I *could* have waved the law (with the web page about the GPU fault attached) at the seller if they'd been awkward... but an 18-month old laptop that dies with no sign of a struggle would be a strong contender for "not of satisfactory quality".

    Of course, Apple sell a ton of computers, and gross manufacturing flaws will usually show up quickly, so if your Mac croaks after a year and a day, if its not abuse (e.g. a colleague left his MacBook running on a bed, the duvet blocked the airflow and it cooked itself) there's a strong probability that it is a widespread issue.
  18. iGeek2014 macrumors 68000

    Jun 29, 2014
    === Nowheresville ===
    In September 2014 my mid-2011 iMac 21.5" developed a fault with the LCD panel (just shy of owning it three years).

    Was quoted £450 for getting it replaced (Apple Authorised Reseller). Used consumer law (I argued it should last much longer than that) and got it sorted free of charge (courtesy of Apple).
  19. MBP* thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Well, firstly, it looks like there is some debate as to whether the seller I bought my machine of is responsible, or the manufacturer, Apple.

    I bought my laptop a few months after it has been purchased so it is still within the warranty period until next month. I can view the status online and have done so successfully. I have the option to purchase AC if I'd like to online. I also have a copy of the invoice - that laptop was bought online and it has all of this information on the invoice.

    I am not any more closer in making a decision after this thread as there seem to be some confusion on what is covered and the ease of seeking a free of charge repair or replacement.

    I did think however, what if, instead of AC I pursue a type of insurance to protect not only my MBP, but also my other devices which may work the same price, or slightly more? The issue with these extended warranties is that you'd be purchasing for peace of mind, and if after those additional 2 years under cover nothing happens you would've 'wasted' the couple of hundred pounds it had cost. On the other hand, if you purchase a policy which covered more than one device, the there's a possibility you may use it.

    My concern with AC stems from my 'heavy' use with my MBP, or what I may consider heavy. I use it everyday for several hours. I occasionally take it with me when travelling, I discharge the battery regularly. I don't have enough experience with Apple to know whether my use will wear down the machine faster than if I used to a few times a week, for example. One of my biggest fears is the premature depletion of the battery. Come to think of it, it's times like this when I consider the expense and fragility of this laptop when I ask myself why I moved to Apple in the first place. Purchasing AC, regardless of how much cheaper it is for education, will still push me over the 1K mark for owning this machine.
  20. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    How many times do we need to say this - there is no debate. It's the seller, not the manufacturer, who is liable.
  21. McScooby macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2005
    The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
    I think you're seeking advice on the wrong question;

    Applecare covers you for ANYTHING, irrespective of amount used in next 2years - it's a gamble.
    Consumer Law, whether or not you want to believe it's the seller that you go to, unless it's Apple direct & even then, likely to be used as a one time card (in case of battery only if you don't exceed the 1000 cycles) it's a gamble.
    Insurance may cover you, you've got a premium (obviously) but pretty much guaranteed you'd have to jump through hoops to claim on it, so it's a gamble.

    Personally I'd be asking yourself, if you weren't covered, could you afford to bin it / sell for spares, if the answer is yes, then ride on Consumer Law and take your chance.

    nb. assuming the education price for Applecare is standard edu pricing, then I see why you're hesitant, but if you can get discounted Higher Edu discount, then Applecare is a no brainer.
  22. MBP* thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2014
    AC doesn't cover for anything. I have read somewhere that they will only change the battery, for example, if its X% depleted over its original charge, otherwise I would I have bought it there and then. I'm sure they have their own T&Cs too that will restrict its usage to a particular set of scenarios, but I expect most of which will covered.

    Well, quite possible in jumping through hoops, but that would be down to be in studying their T&Cs before signing up. I'm going to do some research on the insurances available, if it turns out but inferior then I'll have to get the AC.
  23. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011

    If during the Coverage Period, you submit a valid claim by notifying Apple that (i) a defect in materials and workmanship has arisen in the Covered Equipment, or (ii) the capacity of a covered battery to hold an electrical is less than eighty percent (80%) of its original specifications, Apple will either (a) repair the defect at no charge...

    You can see why Apple have been in trouble for pushing Applecare in EU/UK and are now really meticulous of reminding you about your consumer rights (c.f. the USA where your consumer rights seem to be 'if it fails after 90 days then you have the right to employ a lawyer') The added value of AppleCare, under UK law, seems to be the technical support, international support (may be relevant for laptops) and the (distinct) possibility that you'll find AppleCare easier than claiming your statutory rights from your local PC Warehouse (which can be harder than it should be).

    At educational rates, and given that you're buying a used (but still Applecare eligible) machine it might be worth considering. At full rate, from a reputable dealer... maybe not.
  24. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    AppleCare will cover a battery if it's failed before spec. For a current MBP, that would be if it reached <80% capacity within 3 years with less than 1000 cycles on the clock. YMMV will depend on how easy that is to claim. 79% with 950 cycles after 32 months will be hard. 60% with 300 cycles after a year will be easy.
  25. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Had a complete logic board failure on a 2013 13" MBP 54 weeks after purchase, which to me should be covered as that is a fault during manufacturing. LaptopsDirect spent 2 weeks just not answering questions and our attempts to get it replaced. I don't mean ignoring us, I mean wilfully replying to questions we weren't asking and trying to shut the conversation down which to me shows they knew they would have to replace it at their expense and did what they could to put us off. In the end we just went to Apple, paid the £280 and got it sorted for the next day.

    I've done it with other things with good retailers (John Lewis and Argos) and they accepted the responsibility.

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