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back to article Belgian judge mulled BANNING APPLE (actually, its website) in Euro warranty row

A judge in Belgium, who asked ISPs to banish Apple from the Euro nation's internet over a dispute with the firm's warranty terms, is now weighing up other sanctions, it's reported. According to Dutch-language newspaper De Morgen, an investigative magistrate wrote to broadband providers in the country asking them to block …

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I don't see how this is confusing. Apple comply with the letter of EU law, and offer a paid support which offers a better warranty than the EU law requires. Before the EU law came in, Apple offered a free full 1 year warranty which was considerably better than that which is required by the EU - not many companies include the terms "defects present at or after manufacture"

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Apple covering you breaking your iphone for 1 year still does not count as offering the minimum warranty that EU law requires (2 years).

So instead of straight up stating that their products have a 2 years warranty (and still make it "1 year if you break it" if they want), they instead went the sleazy way of saying "if you ask about the 2 years warranty, sure, we'll honor it". Basically hoping they still get to con people into buying new kit because the Apple warranty is over, unless the customer mentions the 2 years thing. Sleazy is sleazy.

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Directive 1999/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council

Pascal, directive 1999/44/EC requires the seller, not the producer, to offer the two-year warranty in the EU. Apple is responsible for the second year only if they sold the product to the consumer. According to Article 9 of the directive, it is the responsibility of the EU member states “to encourage, where appropriate, professional organisations to inform consumers of their rights”. Article 6.3 allows consumers to request a written copy of the seller’s guarantee, so that they can discover what is or isn’t covered by it.

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Anonymous Coward

> Apple covering you breaking your iphone for 1 year still does not count as offering the minimum warranty that EU law requires (2 years).

In the UK the Sale of Goods Act takes precedence - although the Apple site implies that EU warranty terms apply here they do not.

In UK (not Scotland) you are covered for 6 years against most component failures - Apple honour this quietly with most hardware - eg swapping a dead MK1 Pad is £69 (battery cost) though they try really hard to sell you a discounted newer model and you won't find this info on their site.

.....that's assuming you bought direct from Apple - otherwise the retailer has the obligation.

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FAIL

Apple covering you breaking your iphone for 1 year...

Do they offer that on the charge/data leads? Which seem to have been made of cheese and only seems last about 4 to 6 months. This isn't just my experience with the son, but several friends and also explains the Apple$tore has over 800 fanbois giving it a score of 1.

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FAIL

MBP '15 2011 - Fails after 2..3 years

In the long and sorry tale about MacBookPro 2011 Graphics/Motherboard failures

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4766577

2011 MacBook Pro and Discrete Graphics Card^H^H^Hhip

Apple is clearly not honoring the 6 Year for manufactoring defects rules in the UK. Trying to get a repair refunded under Section 75 Consumer credit act from the CCard company is frought with delay and missdirection.

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How can you not see that owners are confused?

Apple go out of their way to suggest that manufacturing defects must be discovered and reported almost immediately. This is a blatant example of distorting the meaning of the consumer protection laws. Sure the devotees will state that, according to the law, after 6 months the owner may need to prove that the fault is the result of manufacturing. In 99.9% of cases it is obvious that a solid state device that has not been subjected to abuse should not fail, and if it has then it must be the result of a poorly manufactured component.

Apple also go to great lengths to scare the customer into thinking that customers of other brands have to go back to the store rather than dealing with the manufacturer. I had to get my phone reflashed last week. I walked into a Nokia service agent. I wasn't asked for proof of purchase or told to go back to EE. To date

I can understand why someone might love Apple products but it is staggering that any rational person could defend their stance with regard to consumer rights.

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> I can understand why someone might love Apple products but it is staggering that any rational person could defend their stance with regard to consumer rights.

Apple are like Ikea: they have some good products, but, unfortunately, the only way to get those products is to buy them from utter, utter bastards.

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@Pascal

It clearly stated on their website, linked from the article, that they DO give a 2 year warranty in line with the EU. That page also clearly states the extra benefits of buying the Apple warranty. As I said, before the EU law changed, the Apple warranty was only one year but offered exceptionally good terms which no other company I'm aware of offered with the possible exception of Zippo.

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Re: Apple covering you breaking your iphone for 1 year...

Yes they do, take your broken cables to an Apple store and they will swap them for you. Personally I've had iPod cables for up to 10 years and not one of the 10 or so has broken so perhaps you need to teach your son and his friends how to look after their possessions better.

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LDS
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Re: Directive 1999/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council

If you buy directly from Apple or at an Apple store is Apple selling you the goods - so it's Apple that has to offer the two year warranty. And it can't try to deceive customers trying to sell them what is already a customer's right.

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LDS
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Re: @Pascal

"Before the EU law changed"?? How many iPad, iPhones and iPos did Apple sell before 2005???

When Apple started to sell its fruity goods and opened its stores the EU directive and its adoption by member states were already effective. *Apple* changed somehow its terms when it was forced to do so by European courts.

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LDS
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""defects present at or after manufacture" - *after manufacture* doesn't mean "after sale". It just mean that if your iDevice suffer a damage in its travel and storage from China to the Apple Store selling it to you, it is covered by the warranty - as everything else I know.

Moreover, the EU directive is much better, because it says:

1. The seller must deliver goods to the consumer which are in conformity with the contract of sale.

2. Consumer goods are presumed to be in conformity with the contract if they:

(a) comply with the description given by the seller and possess the qualities of the goods which the seller has held out to the consumer as a sample or model;

(b) are fit for any particular purpose for which the consumer requires them and which he made known to the seller at the time of conclusion of the contract and which the seller has accepted;

(c) are fit for the purposes for which goods of the same type are normally used;

(d) show the quality and performance which are normal in goods of the same type and which the consumer can reasonably expect, given the nature of the goods and taking into account any public statements on the specific characteristics of the goods made about them by the seller, the producer or his representative, particularly in advertising or on labelling.

Thereby, much more than "defects present at or after manufacture".

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Re: Directive 1999/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council

LDS, how does the first sentence in your reply to me differ from the second sentence in my reply to Pascal? I completely agree that Apple (or anyone else) should not participate in any misrepresentation. This Apple page summarizes the differences between the EU seller’s warranty, the Apple producer’s warranty, and the optional AppleCare Protection Plan.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MBP '15 2011 - Fails after 2..3 years

>Apple is clearly not honoring the 6 Year for manufactoring defects rules in the UK.

Take it to a store - speak to the manager, ask then to ring their boss. If they still refuse to repair or replace ask for the explanation in writing. After that your costs will also be covered and they will settle before it gets to court.

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Linux

Warrent a warranty.

This can only boost Android sales. ;)

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10 years, 100,000 miles??

Oh, sorry that is for vehicles which DO break down.

One should note that for the most part electronics are pretty good and not having failures incidental to the making. Yes, they do get abused and fail from that, but for the most part if the product is designed well, it works pretty well from year 1-5 (until they obsolete it with new software that won't run on older machines).

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Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??

Except for the batteries - by the end of year 5, the run time is probably less than 50% of the original figure. For sealed units (APPLE and some android vendors) this limits the life of the kit. For the better value android phones with replaceable batteries (e.g. my THL W8S) a life expectancy of 10+ years is achievable.

If the judge wanted to punish Apple - require them to provide and fit replacement batteries for no more than 20% of the original purchase price of the kit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??

"Except for the batteries - by the end of year 5, the run time is probably less than 50% of the original figure."

Batteries aren't all equal. Just because your Dell laptop from 2003 had a dead battery after 2 years doesn't mean an iPhone will. Apple says their current batteries will retain 80% capacity after 1000 charges, i.e., you could completely charge and discharge one of their products every day for 2.73 years and it'd still work fine. And I see no indication that this isn't the case. My mom has an original iPad that was bought when it first went on sale in 2010 and uses it for maybe couple hours per day and it shows no noticeable decline in charge capacity. I have a MacBook from around then too, and according to the its diagnostic hardware/software, it still has 88% of its original charge capacity after hundreds of charge cycles.

Apple sealing its batteries is a non-issue except to people with no personal experience in the matter who just assume that it is.

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Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??

We have one user here, he goes through his iPhones very quickly. He had 4 3GS', followed by a 4, which was swapped out 3 times in a year, then a 4s, which was swapped out twice, his 2nd 5 died, but the 5s was just about to be launched...

Biggest problems are Blutetooth packing in or the batteries dying within a couple of months.

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Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??

By the end of year 5 the charge cycle count for an iPhone will be about 1800 if like most smartphones it is charged every day. If even apple admit that the capacity will be down to 80% after 1000 cycles then a remaining capacity of 50% after 1800 cycles is perfectly plausible.

A properly designed phone should have a lifespan (excluding accidents) of 10+ years - however Apple would much prefer the phone to become unusable shortly after the warranty expires.

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Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??

Presumably you're trying to troll? Everyone by now knows that Apple offer a battery replacement services for all their devices:

https://www.apple.com/uk/batteries/replacements.html

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Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??

Replacement Apple battery £55 - and loses all data on the phone (the user has to back it up and restore it himself - or pay for someone else to do it).

Replacement THL W8S battery £12.49 - all data on the phone is preserved as it is a user swappable battery.

(IPhone battery 5.45Wh - W8S battery 7.4Wh)

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Apple's shitty batteries.

> Just because your Dell laptop from 2003 had a dead battery after 2 years doesn't mean an iPhone will. Apple says their current batteries will retain 80% capacity after 1000 charges, i.e., you could completely charge and discharge one of their products every day for 2.73 years and it'd still work fine.

Oh, that's what they say, is it?

My wife's Macbook's battery went from holding about 2.5hr of charge to holding zero charge in the space of a couple of weeks. And I mean literally zero. When combined with Apple's Magsafe adapter, which is designed to unplug easily, what that gives you is a laptop which, if its cable is nudged slightly, instantly dies.

On the other hand, using an ancient work HP laptop with an utterly abused battery, the thing is so crap it only lasts a couple of minutes, i.e., enough time for you to move it to a different room without turning it off.

Now, what Apple actually told me was that their batteries go completely dead instead of just mostly dead by design, because they're better. Really.

And, of course, if you completely charge and discharge one of their products every day for 2.73 years and it doesn't work fine, they -- if you fight long and hard enough to get them to even admit the battery is faulty, which I did, and, my God, that was a slog -- will simply say that it's outside its warranty period and that you therefore need to buy a new battery for 100-odd quid. So, to have any hope of holding them to their published standard, you need to completely charge and discharge one of their products twice a day. Knowing this may be why they don't bother meeting the standard.

This is one of many reasons why I, who was a loyal Apple customer for about fifteen years, will never buy their shit again.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??

"We have one user here, he goes through his iPhones very quickly. He had 4 3GS', followed by a 4, which was swapped out 3 times in a year ...

Biggest problems are Blutetooth packing in or the batteries dying within a couple of months."

As much as you might hate Apple, isn't it fairly obvious that they don't sell phones that break in a couple months unless they are somehow mistreated? Tell your friend to stop microwaving his iPhones, or whatever he's doing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple's shitty batteries.

"My wife's Macbook's battery went from holding about 2.5hr of charge to holding zero charge in the space of a couple of weeks. And I mean literally zero."

If it's literally zero, it sounds like something actually broke, rather than simply wore out. Sorry to hear it, but sometimes stuff breaks. I would investigate how hard it is to replace the battery. One of the first things I did before buying my MacBook Air with its sealed battery is to see how hard it would be to replace the battery. Turns out it's actually really very easy.

"And, of course, if you completely charge and discharge one of their products every day for 2.73 years and it doesn't work fine, they -- if you fight long and hard enough to get them to even admit the battery is faulty, which I did, and, my God, that was a slog"

Of course it was a slog. Depending on where you are, them making such an admission might have legal implications, like they might have to fix it for free, or it might be used as evidence in a lawsuit, etc. These days no big company is just going to admit to a flawed/faulty product like that.

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Re: Apple's shitty batteries.

Going suddenly to zero is not that uncommon. It sounds like a failsafe has tripped. Multi-cell lithium packs are stuffed with protection circuits, they have to be, and some of those will never recover. Pressure valves on the cells are definitely one-way, main fuse usually too.

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Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??

Somehow mistreated? No, they aren't mistreated, but they are used as phones, which the iPhone (and most Android phones) don't seem to like.

He talks for 3 - 4 hours a day on the phone, the battery and bluetooth don't seem to be able to cope with that sort of workload.

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Re: Apple's shitty batteries.

> These days no big company is just going to admit to a flawed/faulty product like that.

Nonsense. I deal with big tech firms all the time who are completely quibble-free.

> It sounds like a failsafe has tripped. Multi-cell lithium packs are stuffed with protection circuits, they have to be, and some of those will never recover. Pressure valves on the cells are definitely one-way, main fuse usually too.

Thank you, that sounds like a reasonable explanation -- and utterly unlike the explanation Apple gave at the time. What their Geniuses said was that their batteries are specially designed in such a way that they last with near-max capacity for longer, and a side-effect of that superior engineering is that when they die, they utterly die. Even if that's true (hmm), it still shows an insane preference for catastrophic failure over graceful failure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??

"Somehow mistreated? No, they aren't mistreated, but they are used as phones, which the iPhone (and most Android phones) don't seem to like."

You seem awfully confident that your friend isn't mistreating his phones, not sure why, but okay. At the same time, I have personal experience that contradicts the idea that iPhones will stop working after a few months when used on battery power with Bluetooth enabled--I had an iPhone 4 up until very recently which I connected to my car stereo via Bluetooth for my daily commute, i.e., exercising the battery and Bluetooth for at least an hour per day for approx. 3 years, and at the end of those 3 years, everything about the phone was still going strong. I have a number of friends and family members with similar stories, i.e., iPhones lasting 3+ years with no problems with the battery or anything else. A good friend of mine who is kind of clumsy recently upgraded from a ~4 year old iPhone 3GS with a cracked case and a cracked screen but it was still usable and the battery still held a good charge.

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Silver badge

Re: 10 years, 100,000 miles??

My 3GS is still going strong, my wife uses it, but she talks for maybe an hour a week on it.

Likewise, your example put less than a quarter of the strain on the iPhone that this user makes. An hour of listening to music over Bluetooth is nowhere near equivalent to 4 hours telelphoning with a BT headset every day.

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Re: Apple's shitty batteries.

"their batteries are specially designed in such a way that they last with near-max capacity for longer, and a side-effect of that superior engineering is that when they die, they utterly die. "

Wow. What a load of spin.

Apple does not have very much control over the batteries. There are just a handful of companies producing the lithium cells, and Apple is not among them. They select the suitable cells, have some input on packaging and the interface board (which contains protection circuitry) and that's pretty much it. No magic recipes of their own. And ye cannae change the laws of physics, no sir.

As lithium cells in the packs are not individually charged, sooner or later there will be a disbalance between them (nothing mystical, age does not treat cells equally) and charge current starts to destroy the weakest cells. That's where the protection should kick in. To prevent cells from overheating and catching fire.

It is possible to play with the variables - increased values of allowed disbalance would extend the lifetime a bit - but it might be risky.

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Simple

Fine them $1M a minute until their web site complies.

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Re: Simple

Oooh no.....got a better idea, $1 per hit until it complies. This gives a direct link between their guilt and the fine.

Just hope that nobody would consider click-storming the site if that was the penalty though

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despite what the law supposedly says it is up to the user to prove defect was present at manufacture and then get the retailer to repair or replace. This is almost impossible to do with scumbag retailers such as Vodafone who charge £150 to "repair" a latent defect on a 13month old iPhone

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Anonymous Coward

Re: apples the real criminal here

iPhones aren't repaired by the retailer, they are exchanged for apple replacements just like in an apple store. Go to an apple store and mention the 2 year eu consumer law, they will do the deed as they should. However, bought it else where then you are likely stuck, as they won't honour the same with other retailers. INFACT if you book in your phone with the retailer before your 1 year warranty ends, and it takes them until after the warranty is up to issue the replacement (which I've heard of happening as plenty of people wait until they can't wait any longer to report a fault, and most shops don't have the ability to test and replace them onsite) then the retailer is going to end up paying. Now take into consideration that the exchange costs go up to the £250ish mark, and the SLIM margin made on selling an apple product. The deals a pretty horid one for the retailer. It's no wonder vodafone charged you, if you had of paid the 500 quid odd rrp, just sending it away and paying for the swap to be done would have likely ment they made a good sized loss on the original sale. Even on a contract, I don't know how true it was but I read in a magazine that if a consumer rang customer services for tech support more than twice (think this was on a 3G so must have been O2) then the network actually lost its margin of profit.

Apple should just get with the program, join the other manufactures and offer a 2 year warranty. Even if it's only for repairs not exchanges

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Anonymous Coward

Apple follows the law here in (non-Belgian EU country)

The wife's Apple laptop hinge borked after about 13 months of use. I took the machine to the local Apple shop and they had the entire screen replaced for free. The work order stated this was being done under the EU's 2 year warranty rule. IIRC the guy behind the desk instructed me to put that in, but could be wrong about that.

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