back to article Apple fined $1.2m for flouting Italian warranty law

An Italian regulator has fined Apple €900,000 ($1.17m) for trying to sell a two-year extended warranty when customers were entitled to such a thing for free under Italian law. Apple offered a one-year warranty, with an option to extend that cover under an AppleCare Protection Plan, but Italian law says that all goods have to …

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Naughty Naughty

Naughty naughty Apple.

I'm sure there will be more of this soon in the EU.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Anonymous Coward

NOT CONTENT WITH.....

Selling overpriced good it is now OFFICIAL.

APPLE RIPS THEIR CUSTOMERS OFF

Probably just a clerical error until they can patent 'guarantees'

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Anonymous Coward

Isn't this covered by EU Law

Will this open the floodgates of litigation throughout the EU?

I see a price rise on the horizon, to make up the losses.

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Anonymous Coward

You people (or is it the same person) get far too excited over this.

You didn't need to buy AppleCare, and Apple doesn't push it at POS - unlike Currys et all over here.

How's that ripping off anyone?

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Thumb Down

Re: Isn't this covered by EU Law

>I see a price rise on the horizon, to make up the losses.

Wouldn't making a product that is reliable enough not to fail in its first two years be the correct thing to do?

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Since Apple are famed for their build quality one might suggest this issue is already addressed.

But don't let facts get in the way of a good troll eh?

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Anonymous Coward

@How's that ripping anyone off?

Read the article.

They were OBLIGED BY LAW to tell the customer of the statutory two year warranty in Italy.

They didn't do it. End of story.

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@Gordon 10

I made a genuine comment. I don't doubt the quality of Apple products nor their after sales service, my family have a number of iPods including a 1st generation one which is currently in the process of being replaced due to the battery issue. However, only offering a one year warranty does not instill consumer confidence in Apple products.

But if your looking for trolls then consider this. Build quality just means it's nice and shiny to hold and fondle, it is not a reflection of the quality of the inner workings.

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FAIL

didn't need Apple Care...

because Apple should have been providing the second year anyway!

That is the point of the fine. Apple gave a 1 year warranty and refused to give the statutory 2nd year, unless people paid extra for Apple Care.

Still, it works the other way as well. Leatherman offered a "lifetime guarantee", but Germany said that they couldn't do that, as it didn't specify a period. They changed it to 25 years and said that after that, they would still replace it anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Get your facts right

Apple IS and was already giving Italian users a second year of warranty FOR FREE

What they haven't done is inform customers of this at point of sale, not that unusual when did a seller ever make it a point of mentioning the warranty?

The problem here was Apple was also selling their Appleacare product which includes the extra warranty BUT it also includes premium extras like advance replacement and full telephone support.

Italian regulators though this could still mislead buyers into thinking they needed to buy Applecare.

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Actually...

They already do mate.

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Anonymous Coward

They already offered the two year warranty, what they didn't do was inform the customer. That's what they're being fined for.

Of course that doesn't fit with what the freetards and fandroids want to hear.

They want to hear 'rip off' so they can rustle up some indignant rage and bask in their own self satisfied smugness

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@Metavisor

"What they haven't done is inform customers of this at point of sale, not that unusual when did a seller ever make it a point of mentioning the warranty?"

It's extremely unusual not to do it when it's a legal requirement in the country you are selling it in.

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Trollface

RTFM

"An Italian regulator has fined Apple €900,000 ($1.17m) for trying to sell a two-year extended warranty when customers were entitled to such a thing for free under Italian law"

In other news crApple have patented the iYear*(c)(tm), all crApple products now come with 2 iYears warranty.

* 1 iYear = 6 calendar months

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Stop

No company can do this... That's the reason why there is a warranty... In other words that there is a reasonable expectation that the product properly maintained should be expected to last at least 2 years. If the device fails then it's fixed or replaced for free. I would expect the same from a Rolex or a Ford or a low end DVD player.

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Stop

@ Chris W

"Build quality just means it's nice and shiny to hold and fondle, it is not a reflection of the quality of the inner workings."

It most certainly does also refer to the quality of its workings to me!

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@Metavisor

Previous articles have stated the Apple has in fact attempted to worm out of warranty service within Italy because people didn't buy the "extended service"!

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LDS
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Get **your** facts right.

Article 133 of the Italian Consumer Code states explictly "The offeror shall ensure that the guarantee states at least: [..,] in plain intelligible language the contents of the guarantee and the essential particulars necessary for making claims under the guarantee, **including the duration** and territorial scope of the guarantee and the name and address of the guarantor."

(http://www.consumatori.it/images/stories/documenti/Codice%20del%20consumo%20english%20version.pdf).

Despite this Apple 1) didn't inform the customer as the law requires 2) tried to not comply with the law (people opening this case did because Apple tried not to comply, not because they weren't given the proper informations only). It was done not only at its "point of sales", but also on its web stores where full warranty informations must be given to the buyer as reported here: http://www.agcm.it/stampa/news/5829-sanzioni-per-complessivi-900mila-euro-al-gruppo-apple-per-pratiche-commerciali-scorrette.html

And, sorry, most shops I buy from usually tells me the warranty length when I buy something, especially something expensive. Apple should train its employee better and design its site to comply with local laws.

I do not know if you're an Apple employee or not, but you're trying to tell a different story. Get the facts right, please.

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Anonymous Coward

APPLE FANBOIS WILL

Have a field day with their down voting here, it must hurt being caught with their trousers down!

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Gimp

Not really

Apple fanbois - and indeed many others - will have a field-day downvoting comments with all the intellectual content of the average Youtube video comment. Here, have a downvote from me.

Apple was caught bang to rights here, but the reasons are weird. Either it simply thought it would ignore the law, which seems unlikely somehow once warned, or it scrambled and failed to produce a coherent Italy-based plan in time.

One of the problems, I suspect is that Applecare is global - I can buy in one country and then get Applecare anywhere else, just by quoting the serial number. So if the ruling applies to all Italy-bought items presumably their warranty will need to be extended globally for that item, or Apple can decide that the warranty extension only applies to Italy-bought items being serviced in Italy. You could see how this might get a bit knotty.

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Re: Not really

>Either it simply thought it would ignore the law, which seems unlikely

Apple have lawyers that can find patent infringers hidden under stones in the junlges of darkest Peru on a very dark night so I cannot buy into the idea that they are unaware of consumer law in any country they have stores.

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Anonymous Coward

Fandroids will be

getting over excited at the chance to knock apple. This story clearly shows they're irrational hatred is right

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Facepalm

irrational?

Irrational implies there is nothing to hate. As most people on here will say, the problems aren't with the products it's with the way the company does business, customer lock-in, blaming customers for design flaws, vague catch-all patents, private security forces that invade peoples homes, refusal to work well with other companies, claiming they invented everything ever, the list goes on and on

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LDS
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When I bought a Citizen watch a few weeks ago, I was given two warranty cards. One lasting two year valid only in Europe, and a one year only "Worldwide warranty" valid abroad.

Now if Citizen can manage it this way, I guess the mighty Apple could manage it as well.

The real issue is I've read already US articles stating that "long warranties" are bad for customers because they "increase prices". Now I believe that the costs of building better products are better shared among the whole customer base instead of the costs of reparing or replace a defective product out of warranty for the unlucky ones when a company knows it can deliver products that just need to last a shorter time. Probably those writing those articles then buys German cars instead of US ones because "their quality is better" even if they are much more expensive.

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Anonymous Coward

Unlikely?

>It's easy to accuse Cupertino of American arrogance in failing to respect local laws, but that seems unlikely

Why unlikely? This would be far less than the arrogance shown after a US airforce pilot went on a joy ride killing 20 civilians near Cavalese.

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Mushroom

too easy to blame....

its too easy to blame the pilot for going on a "joy ride" but in the incident you refer to, there was a whole host of things in play that caused that accident. Out of date maps not showing the cables in the first place was one of them. If more modern maps were made available, the planes would not have even been in that vale.

Politically, it was better to blame the pilots than the whole USAF as that would at the time have got the USAF kicked out of Italy if they had actually told the whole truth....

nuke? well it is the USAF we are yapping about

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Anonymous Coward

Re: too easy to blame

>Politically, it was better to blame the pilots than the whole USAF as that would at the time have got the USAF kicked out of Italy if they had actually told the whole truth....

Not telling the whole truth is the sort of arrogance that has landed Apple in trouble but unlike the Apple case neither the pilot nor navigator were punished directly for their actions.

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g e
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No refund order from the court?

It's likely that Crapple did something along the lines of...

How much Applecare profit can we make vs how much we're likely to be fined? More?

Great. Do it.

Hopefully people will be able to demand refunds for mis-sold cover.

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and for damages to the people they mis-sold that coverage to.. provide and additional 2 years coverage for free!

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Mushroom

If you lived in an area where .....

various NATO air forces practice you would know that the dangerous time is when the USAF boys are around. They dropped a bomb on a war-time airfield building on the perimeter of the main NATO low-level bombing practice range a couple of miles away from here. Mercifully it was a practice bomb loaded mainly with concrete rather than high-explosive. A couple of farm-workers were working in the the other half of the same building. Public statement from the home base of the said USAF plane made much of the fact that it was "an uninhabited area." It's also a well-known fact that when any of their USAF boys get into trouble in terms of criminal charges they're removed from the country post-haste so that they aren't held to account. They don't do themselves any favours in terms of public relations. But then they reckon they're dealing with untermenschen anyway, I suppose.

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Anonymous Coward

Italy

Isn"t this the same country who's also trying to arrest the Google executives ovr a YouTube video?

If only they channeled all this legal energy into sorting their government's corruption.

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Anonymous Coward

They broke the law

and we all know that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

They either didn't know (ignorance) or didn't care (arrogance).

Either way, it's unacceptable.

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Anonymous Coward

Like when Google broke Italian law?

Was that ignorance or arrogance?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/06/google_italian_privacy_conviction_youtube/

So you think Italy should jail the executives as they want? Either way it's unacceptable, right?

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FAIL

@Like when Google broke Italian law?

Yes, that's exactly what I think. They broke the law. It's no good crying afterwards that they didn't know it was illegal. They SHOULD have known.

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Why not

The US did it with people who ran Gambling sites

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FAIL

@ AC

Maybe they should have had one of those 1000's of lawyers they employ inform them of the laws they were breaking.. on wait.. they were to busy looking for patent violations!

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Happy

@Alex Rose

"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money"! Senator Everett Dirksen (attrib)

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Facepalm

Small typo in the article

"...an American corporation SCAMMING ITS CUSTOMERS certainly makes an easy target ..."

Fixed.

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Apple Care

Apple UK just replaced the case, including keyboard and trackpad of my four and a half year-old MacBook, for free. Last year they gave me a new battery for it.

They replaced the motherboard of my son's G5 iMac a couple of years ago, also for no charge.

I am a content customer.

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Anonymous Coward

Same here

Got my 4 years old MBP back from (free) repair due to the old NVIDIA chipset issue, but Apple found the disk was also borderline so they replaced it for free as well (after calling me to ask if that was OK and if I had backups). Took 4 days and only because they didn't have the old motherboard in stock.

Shame the fandroid/anti-Apple trolls (*coff* LarsG) who post here would rather be more content with HTC and others level of service, i.e. nightmare. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/18/htc_failed_support/

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They recently replaced my 11.5 month old Mac Mini Core 2 Duo machine with a brand new (top of the range) Core i5 model and a 12 month warranty because they almost imperceptibly damaged the case of the one I'd put in for repair.

I was bloody thrilled with that.

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SADLY.....

I don't work for Apple and it cost me to repair my out of warranty MB.

I suppose though it is only right for Apple fanbois to accuse me of trolling, when I am just refering to FACTS, incidentally I have a 4s which is issued not out of choice. I find the phone as good as any other but object to Corporations the use billy boy tactics.

As to the article, Apple had time and could have mitigated things but chose not to for some reason. They have kept a strange silence over it.

So sitting in my living room typing this on my 4s I have the smile of smug satisfaction on my fact.

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SADLY.....

I don't work for Apple and it cost me to repair my out of warranty MB.

I suppose though it is only right for Apple fanbois to accuse me of trolling, when I am just refering to FACTS, incidentally I have a 4s which is issued not out of choice. I find the phone as good as any other but object to Corporations the use billy boy tactics.

As to the article, Apple had time and could have mitigated things but chose not to for some reason. They have kept a strange silence over it.

So sitting in my living room typing this on my 4s I have the smile of smug satisfaction on my face.

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Anonymous Coward

@LarsG

You? With a 4S?

Pic or it didn't happen

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