Warranty of MacBook Air without AppleCare in EU

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by colicab, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. colicab macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2011

    I live in Belgium but since we're still using medievil AZERTY keyboards here, I want to buy mine in the Netherlands who use QWERTY.

    My question: if I buy a MacBook Air in the Netherlands without AppleCare (I'm still on the fence to get it or not) can I get repaired in Belgium?
    So basically: is the one year limited warranty applied to the entire EU?

    Maybe a stupid question, but I contacted some stores in the Netherlands and I can't get a unanimous answer on this topic.

    So if someone has an idea, thanks.
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Apple warranty is valid in any country Apple products are sold with the exception of the iPhone (it means you can only seek warranty support for an iPhone in the country of origin); everything else is fair game.
  3. Zjef macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    Why do you need to buy a Apple product in the Netherlands?

    For a QWERTY keyboard, just order any Apple the product with an International English or US keyboard. Check out the apple store in Dutch or French and look for the configuration options of the device you wish to buy.

    Especially in Flanders, most retailers have QWERTY configurations in store. But you have to ask, because it is not default.

    BTW, AZERTY is not ancient it is an optimized lay-out for the French language as QWERTZ is for German.

    Regarding the Apple Care and warranty, there is an European directive for it. Basically (any lawyer that can help?) you can buy anything in the Union without difference regarding warranty and things like that when crossing an internal border.
    This makes it save to buy from Apple, in that EU country with the least taxes on electronic devices (the price Apple get is the same accross the Union, the taxes deviate per country). I’m not sure for today’s situation, but in the past I believe Spain was the cheapest ;-)
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    At least with Apple, there is no problem since Apple's warranty is universal.

    The problem with buying from another country (even in EU) is that the warranty is often provided by the seller (or the seller is responsible for fixing it). Hence you would have to send it to that specific shop to get it fixed under warranty. This doesn't apply to Apple products but if you are buying for example separate components (CPUs, GPUs etc), then it's like this in most cases. Most brands don't have as big chain of authorized resellers like Apple does. I found this out when I was thinking of ordering parts for my PC from Germany, but decided against it due to this.
  5. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    AZERTY is a newer layout than QWERTY, and they're both over a century old, but whatever...

    Yes, if you buy an Apple product you can get it fixed in any country that sells that particular model (for instance you can't buy an iPhone 4S in Germany and get it fixed in Belgium before Apple starts selling it in Belgium). Buy after that first year, you have an additional year of warranty thanks to the EU. But then I think you have to go back to the place where you bought it - not sure though...

    But! You can buy the MBP with QWERTY here in Belgium, so there's no need to worry about it ;)
  6. colicab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2011
    Thanks for all the replies. Good to hear the warranty applies to the entire Union for MacBooks.

    For the AZERTY comment: I guess I just prefer the QWERTY layout, no harm intended ;)

    All the shops in my neighborhood who sell Apple products don't have QWERTY MacBook Airs in stock at any time. They have to order them specifically. Actually, for the moment all these sellers seem to be out of 13" MBAs 128GB altogether.

    That's why I want to buy it in the Netherlands (guilty, I'm a little impatient to order a QWERTY from Apple Store and wait two weeks). Plus taxes are a little lower there so I'll get a small discount on top of that... :eek:
  7. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011

    1.278,99 € TVA incl.
    Expédition : 3 jours
    Livraison gratuite

    Intel Core i5 bicœur à 1,7 GHz
    4 Go 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    128 Go de stockage flash
    Clavier (Anglais International) & Guide de l'utilisateur (Anglais)

    Three days, not two weeks ;)
  8. colicab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2011
    Hi hafr,

    I was at first optimistic about the 3 days notice but when I was at the finalize step to buy the MBA on the Apple Store, the deliver date was 24/10. Don't know why it stated 3 days at the home page I just can't wait that long :)
  9. colicab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2011
    Just bought my MBA in the Netherlands :D

    Thanks again for all the info you guys
  10. gyorpb macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2011
    Especially in the EU, and the warranty is always provided by the seller; after all, the (implicit) sales contract is between buyer and seller. Now, I'm sure Apple will honour your warranty when you contact them directly, but officially, warranty service must be provided by the seller.

    As an aside, buying AppleCare is throwing money away, if you reside in the EU: EU consumer law grants you warranty for at least three years, because you may "reasonably expect" a computer to function properly for that long (and probably longer).
  11. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    It is not _quite_ as simple as that. First, this definitely applies to the seller only, so if you buy far away from home you have a problem. Second, Apple is quite good at trying to satisfy customers, other stores are not. In a different thread, someone working for a seller other than Apple told us that his store would avoid fixing problems for free after Apple's warranty runs out if at all possible, so be prepared for a fight. Third, this applies to defects that were already present when the item was bought new, and you may have to prove this somehow. And three years seems a long time.
  12. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    You don't have to prove that the defect was present when you got it, you just have to prove that you didn't cause it. Say your HDD fails you for no apparent reason, it will be switched out as long as it doesn't have huge dents on it, or anything else that might indicate that you busted it yourself (willingly or not).

    Basically, we don't have three years to find a hidden defect, we have the right to our stuff working for three years ;)

    And yes, there are tons of tips on how to break stuff (washing machines, fridges etc) making it look "natural" over here in Europe ;)
  13. colicab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2011
    I thought EU policy is you get two years warranty... or is it three?

    Little bit confused...
  14. gyorpb macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2011
    It depends on the product. You may expect a product to have a "reasonable lifespan". For a laptop computer, that is about three to five years. Three years or less, you can generally expect free repairs. Over that, perhaps partial reimbursement.

    Generally, you won't have to take people to court, because by now, most know about these laws and know they'll lose the fight, but many will still try to bully you by quoting one-year manufacturers' warranties and other scare tactics. Be adamant.

  15. colicab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2011
  16. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    Unfortunately the EU directive that all this stuff stems from is drafted in a strange way. What it actually says is that where an inherent defect becomes known to the buyer the buyer should not be prevented from seeking a remedy from the seller from two years after purchase. It applies to almost all consumer products.

    What this means is if you buy a Mac and you realise there is a problem after 18 months caused by an inherent defect you have until 24 months after buying it (at least, countries can make it longer) to go to court about it. It does NOT mean the Mac should automatically last 2 years.

    The confusion is as to what a "defect" is. Say a part on your Mac dies after 18 months due to a dodgy wire. The defect is the poorly fixed wire which was there from the start, the part not working is the manifestation of the defect. So you go to court and say fix it.

    In another example, say your pen which cost you pennies runs out of ink an hour after you buy it. The defect is not enough ink and the manifestation is it not working. You now have 2 years to go to court (not that you would!). If your own runs out of ink after 3 months there is no defect, as it did what you expected despite it stopping before the 2 years are up.

    The EU directive is more like a statute of limitations than a guarantee. Moreover, EU directives are not law, they simply instruct a country to enact a new law, so they can't be relied on in court, you have to find the law your government enacted.

    In the UK they amended the Sale of Goods Act 1979 to comply with the EU directive. The time limit here is 6 years, not 2. Again, that does not mean everything should automatically last for 6 years. Everything must be of "satisfactory quality" when sold. So going back to the dodgy wire on the Mac example, you could go to court the same day you purchased the Mac, it's just that you don't know about the problem until later on.

    Hope that make sense. Now for usual disclaimer- I am not a lawyer, this is for interest only.
  17. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    It's quite clear you're not a lawyer (or even studying law on more than an introductory level), considering you're comparing UK [case] law to EU directives [and the situation in the rest of the EU member nations].

    The UK is a bad of an example of what's happening in the union as Norway is to how an economy works...
  18. iStudentUK, Oct 14, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011

    iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    Actually I am studying law. Plus have an offer to train as a lawyer on completion.

    Read directive 1999/44/EC here which is usually the one that causes these problems. It does not provide we have "right to our stuff working for three years" as you stated. I didn't use case law at all, instead simple statutory interpretation gives you the answer.

    The second half of my response was meant to show how an EU directive is applied in member states as many people don't realise they cannot, usually, be used directly in member state courts. I used the UK as an example as that is the system I know, and how it varied an existing act to implement the directive. Each EU government may deal with consumer laws differently, but there is no EU wide law doing what you described.

    [I wrote my reply from memory and I thought the directive uses the word "defect" when it actually uses the word "conformity", so apologies for that.]

Share This Page