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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 29 August, 2014

Australian watchdog forces Apple to extend warranties

The company was said to have misled a number of customers about its obligation to replace or repair faulty devices.

The Apple Store in Sydney, Australia
The Apple Store in Sydney, Australia
Image: Apple

APPLE HAS BEEN forced to extend its warranties in Australia after claims that it misled a number of consumers about their rights.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the country’s consumer watchdog, was concerned that Apple misled consumers about its obligation to replace or repair faulty iPhones, iPads, iPods, Macbooks and iMacs.

Apple staff were said to be “misapplying” the company’s policies, including its 14-day return policies and its 12 month limited manufacturer’s warranty, and directing consumers with faulty non-Apple manufactured products purchased from Apple to the manufacturer.

Australian consumers were told they were only entitled to what Apple wanted to offer them when products failed, instead of what they should have been entitled to under Australia’s consumer laws.

Apple has promised to reassess all claims about faulty products purchased over the past two years and inform consumers about what they’re entitled to.

It has also promised to retrain staff and provide a webpage that highlights the difference in coverage between its manufacturer’s warranty and coverage provided under Australian law.

The ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said that the undertaking Apple had agreed to is a reminder to businesses that they cannot replace rights enshrined in consumer law.

This undertaking serves as an important reminder to businesses that while voluntary or express warranties can provide services in addition to the consumer guarantee rights of the ACL, they cannot replace or remove those ACL guarantee rights.

Sims also said the customer guarantees do not have a time limit and apply for the “amount of time that it is reasonable to expect given the cost and quality of the item or any representations made about the item.”

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