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back to article Apple faces Italian shutdown over warranty skulduggery

Apple is facing a shutdown of its Italian operations by competition authorities over repeated flouting of that country's consumer-protection laws. Italian law states that consumer electronics devices must be sold with a two-year free warranty, and that the seller has an obligation to inform buyers of this fact. Apple is accused …

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Stop

You would

Think that they had learned their lesson the last time round, but with that much money in the bank there is very little they can't buy themselves out of.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You would

The law of the land in which you operate takes precedence over the laws where you are based.

Unless of course you are the USA and affiliates who appear to think the world should tow their line.

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LDS
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Re: You would

I've already read some US-based people writing that extended warranties are bad, communist, stifle innovation, make device more expensive etc. etc. Of course some companies would like 60s warranties so they can deliver devices that breaks as soon as you leave the shop (or finished to unwrap the package) - without of course lowering the price. And frankly when I need a device, I prefer one that is designed to work at least two years, and not less, even if they sell me an "extension".

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Re: You would

You toe a line, you don't tow it.

Top tip: when deploying metaphors, make sure you understand what the metaphor actually is first. If only people went with that, we'd see far fewer lines towed and free reigns...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You would

And I've read that American products are often so crap that it would be financial suicide for any one to offer a warranty longer than 5 minutes.

But there again, I've always tried to avoid buying from third world countries, no matter how rich they are.

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Pint

Re: You would

hahahaha,

Do you know why they love EU Cars ? Because no one want a GM.

When I hear Ford i think in the first Compaq all-in-one desktop pc full of propietary components and connectors. You cant even change the powersupply. hehe (of couse, the CRT came in the same plastic, so was unchangable), anything that fail=drop the pc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You would

Pedantic, but dpmpleasemblame the spell checker, still I like your self righteous attitude so you get an up vote from me.

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Anonymous Coward

@AdamWill

Hmm I reckon you're a real bundle of fun at parties, bet you light up the room with your command of English, it must impress all around you.

All Hail the master of the metaphor.

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Re: You would

It's a username. It can't have spaces in it. Also, that's not a metaphor, it's simply a description...

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Re: @AdamWill

This isn't a party, it's a comment thread. We are attempting to exchange ideas via the medium of written communication. It helps enormously if you use the language correctly when doing this.

Note that metaphors are known to be among the most difficult thing for non-native speakers of any language to handle; using them erroneously makes it even harder for others to read your posts, which isn't very polite.

Another example that bugs the hell out of me - 'the proof is in the pudding'. It isn't. That's a corruption of 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating' - which may be a bit longer to type or say, but actually makes sense; if you've never encountered the metaphor before, you can read the words and understand the concept. If you've never heard the metaphor before and come across 'the proof is in the pudding', you can't, because those words put together that way are silly. The only way you can possibly understand them is if someone else explains, or from context.

So sure, laugh at the pedant, but correct use of language is not difficult and is important if you actually want to communicate your ideas accurately to others. Which, hey, is the point of this whole exercise. If you're not going to bother you may as well not type a comment at all. That'll leave you more time to spend at parties.

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Facepalm

@LDS Re: You would

>...extended warranties are bad, communist, stifle innovation...

There really is a shitstorm of stupid going on over there, isn't there?

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Coat

@AdamWill Re: You would

>It can't have spaces in it.

Mine must be defective then, it has 3.

Just sayin. I don't think the rest of this argument is worthwhile. But facts is facts, and that one isn't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AdamWill

If you are going to be a bully then I'd like to know what is the connection between Apple and puddings? Sure there is such a thing as an apple pudding, but apples are surely more custardly -er- customarily linked to pies. This article is more about pies than puddings: Apple are eating all of the pies, but if you'd like an equally appropriate metaphor involving slices then I can oblige.

Anonymous: This is meant as a playful comment. Put the KNIVES away and get out your SPOONS.

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Re: @AdamWill

You're right, it's not a party but you're still acting like a knob over an insignificant thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You would @AdamWill

Am I the only person in the world who gets irritated by people who try to correct the way I speak?

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Re: @LDS You would

If you're European you can't really talk. Things aren't exactly peachy over here at the moment.

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Holmes

An opportunity

Italy see this as an opportunity to pay off the countries debts, as they see that Apple has more ready cashnthatnthe entire Italien GDP.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You would @AdamWill

Who are all you people? Do you not read the register? This is the home of pedantry and correcting pernsickety details. AdamWill is continuing a long and useful tradition, I would like to encourage more of this.

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Happy

Re: correcting pernsickety details

Right on, brother. Except... that last comma in your diatribe should have been a semicolon...

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Big Brother

Re: You would

Don't like it up you do you?

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Headmaster

Re: You would

When the origin of toe the line is not clear either is acceptable. Unless you can prove provenance for the original use of the phrase.

In modern parlance both are used, although in all likelihood toe is the original.

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Coat

Re: You would

What's a tire iron? Is it an iron that's sleepy having smoothed too many shirts?

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Headmaster

Re: @AdamWill

'the proof of the pudding is in the eating'

Actually it's the prove of the pudding is in the eating - a common mistake. When the puddings were made they were left to prove, but not in the bakers yeast way. The ingredients would be left to ferment, hence the prove. If you got this part of the process wrong then the pudding would be somewhat poisonous.

The pudding in question is not even a tasty pudding

THE OED describes the mediaeval pudding as 'the stomach or one of the entrails of a pig, sheep, or other animal, stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, suet, oatmeal, seasoning, etc., and boiled'.

To add even more pedantry, we work in IT which happily abbreviates, and the proof is in the pudding is an accepted abbreviation.

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Thumb Up

Re: You would

Top pedantry

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AdamWill

Adam, let me highly recommend a book "Bad thoughts: A guide to clear thinking" by Jamie Whyte . You'll love it. Seriously. It's on one of my favourite books full of tips for the ultra-pedant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AdamWill

Another example that bugs the hell out of me - 'the proof is in the pudding'. It isn't....

"bugs the hell out of me"?

Interesting, your criticise a phase in common usage, yet precede it with another that make no sense what so ever. Do you really have little creatures that remove "hell" from inside your body? Or should you accept the English language is organic, with words and phrases changing over time?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AdamWill

Mmm, being an ignorant sack of crap is so sexy, can I have your babies?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @LDS You would

"toadwarrior":

You are presumably American. You can't punctuate. Have another day.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AdamWill

Correct use of language? On a "technical" site? Have you experienced the quality of most computer software? What did you expect if they can not even manage their, supposedly, native language?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @LDS You would

But in comparison, for most people, they are still rather good. Even in good times, being "the man in the street" in USA is not the best position. In bad times, even the Mexicans think about going home.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You would

Nonsense, "tow" is never used except in ignorance; "toe" the line is clear, if you know what a toe is and about forming a straight rank with the aid of a line or toeing up to the starting line for a race. Of course, if you are not an English speaker, you may be forgiven.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You would

I may be wrong but, on a canal if you tow the line, it is what happens when you enter a tunnel and the horse in uncoupled whilst you "leg it". The (tow) line then is trailed along the boat.

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Anonymous Coward

@ukgnome

You are wrong. And based on your previous form on these forums, I declare you have precisely no right to contribute to a discussion about proper use of English.

AdamWill: applause to you sir.

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Re: @AC 12:48

An etymologist you are not!

If you had of been you would know that English is, and always has been a progressive language. Precisely the reason why LOL is in the OED and CED.

However, I have a passing interest in etymology and the thanks to the blog.inkyfool.com can further my education.

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Joke

Re: You would

Of course you can tow a line. Just a line will probably work, but a line with a boat or ship attached is generally considered more fashionable...

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Re: @AdamWill

Yes, all well and good, agreed and so on, but perhaps the AC who wrote the unfortunate towing post is one of the very non-native speakers of which you write. Bit of a chicken and egg situation then, isn't it?

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Re: @AdamWill You would

Oh hey, I guess you're right. Either I registered mine at a time when they couldn't, or I just assumed they couldn't have spaces because on most sites they can't.

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Re: @AdamWill

It might be accepted by you. It ain't by me. ;) Seriously - I don't consider something that completely loses the sense of the original to be an acceptable abbreviation. 'The proof is in the eating' would at least make sense. 'The proof is in the pudding' completely changes the meaning.

I've always seen it as 'the proof', in the sense of 'test'. 'The prove' is an interesting option though. I'll have to go look it up somewhere. Thanks for the pointer.

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Re: You would

It's certainly possible to 'tow a line' in a nautical sense, sure. But that's not where the 'toe the line' metaphor comes from; a previous commenter explained that. If you picture a ship or boat or whatever 'towing a line', there's no way that can match up with what the metaphor 'toe the line' is actually used to mean. So in fact, writing 'tow the line' is even _more_ confusing than the 'pudding' case - because there is a plausible meaning to those words, but either literally or metaphorically, it doesn't match the intent of the writer.

English, eh.

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Re: @AC 12:48

"If you had of been"

Doesn't actually make sense.

"If you had've been" is only slightly less stupid.

"If you had been" is probably a lot better, but I will leave it to the pedants amongst us.

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LDS
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It's not the Italian law only - it's an EU directive

Which other EU members already approved. Apple, and other IT companies like Dell, HP and others, are actively trying to ignore that, while trying to sell their extended warranties. And it looks that is a US companies issue. For example Japanese companies have no problem with the two-year consumer warranty.

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Re: It's not the Italian law only - it's an EU directive

It's a "face" thing for the lovely Japanese companies. Over in Japan the warranty by law is 1 year, but if a company offers (as standard) a longer warranty it's considered to be because the products they are selling are of higher quality and less likely to break down (and therefore need a warranty claim).

In the UK the warranty is "up to" 6 years, if you buy something that you expect to last 10+ years (a fridge, a sofa) then the sale of goods act gives you 6 years warranty (no matter what the company says) but if you buy something cheap and tacky (like an iDevice) you'll probably only get 1 year warranty as you'd expect it to fall apart in time for the next minor iteration of the device.

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Re: It's not the Italian law only - it's an EU directive

Apple quite happily recognise that there is 2 years warranty, or at least they do in the UK. However, they follow (in the UK) the letter of the law precisely. Within the first 6 months, any defects in a device are automatically considered to be due to manufacturing faults, and the onus is on the manufacturer to show otherwise. After that point however, the onus is on the consumer to show that a manufacturing defect caused the failure.

Don't forget that a statutory warranty is not a guarantee. The statutory warranty covers manufacturing flaws, where as extended guarantees like AppleCare cover a lot more cases.

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Re: It's not the Italian law only - it's an EU directive

This comes from the cultural expectation that if something fails due to a design defect then it is simply covered. It extends over software as well, and at least in some countries the customer can sue for excessive additional labor expenses caused by said design defects.

Perfect example would be a software product that is full of shoddy internationalization problems that drags out the implementation by 6 months more than expected. The customer may return the product and sue for the lost internal project labor costs, sales impact, and lower productivity. This tends to keep vendors and customers on a more cooperative tack, or stings like the dickens when an American vendor gets popped in the ass the first time after a true clusterf%&k of an implementation where the customer rips and replaces.

While I am talking about expensive products above (iPhones and perhaps Enterprise software or hardware) the same customer expectation applies all the way down to things like pencils. I find nothing wrong with this level of consumer protection. You sell shit, you replace it...so don't sell shit. There.

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Re: It's not the Italian law only - it's an EU directive

"Apple quite happily recognise that there is 2 years warranty, or at least they do in the UK"

What are you basing this statement on? When the buttons on my iPhone broke after less than 18 months, all I was told by various Apple Store employees was that, because Apple's warranty period had expired, I would have to pay them a lot of money to have the problem dealt with. None of the Apple employees I spoke to appeared to have a clue about the EU warranty laws or the Sale of Goods Act.

I paid a third party £50 to repair my iPhone then kicked up such a fuss with Apple that they ended up giving me £150 of Apple Store vouchers to shut me up. I strongly advise anyone else in a similar position not to just take it in the arse but to kick up a massive fuss and not to back down. If everyone did this then it would stop being easy for Apple to shaft everyone and they might start obeying consumer law for a change.

We're far too willing to accept shit customer service in the UK. It's time this attitude changed, in my opinion.

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Re: It's not the Italian law only - it's an EU directive

Right, that is them following the letter of the law. There is a 2 year warranty, but after 6 months it is your responsibility to show that the defect was caused by Apple, and not by your use/misuse of the device. Usually, this is impossible to do.

I understand your anger, but it seems like you don't fully understand your statutory rights. This consumer website explains much more clearly than I can about your rights:

http://whatconsumer.co.uk/returning-damaged-or-faulty-goods/

http://whatconsumer.co.uk/how-long-should-it-last/

One of the best ways to avoid issues with a phone you will use on a contract is to buy it from the network. It is very hard for a retailer to sell you a subsidized phone on a 24 month contract and claim that the devices lifetime is less than 2 years, and gives you a local company to hassle over warranty.

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Re: It's not the Italian law only - it's an EU directive

"it is your responsibility to show that the defect was caused by Apple, and not by your use/misuse of the device. Usually, this is impossible to do"

It's not impossible at all. If the retailer is being particularly stubborn then you can get a repair engineer to give his opinion to back up your side of the argument, which is what I did.

"it seems like you don't fully understand your statutory rights"

I understand my rights perfectly.

"One of the best ways to avoid issues with a phone you will use on a contract is to buy it from the network"

And how does that help with your first point where the onus is on you after six months to prove that the problem was a manufacturer defect and not your own damage? Having a two year contract makes no difference to that whatsoever. You seem to be confusing two different issues. I also think it's staggeringly unlikely anyway that a company will offer as its defence that their product has an expected lifetime of less than two years, so getting tied into a contract just for that is totally absurd.

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Coat

Easy solution

Never mind the fine, just buy Italy.

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