back to article Euro bigwig turns heat on 'unacceptable' Apple warranties

Apple's warranty ads are again under the spotlight after a European Commission big cheese blasted them as "unacceptable". In December, the Cupertino goliath was fined €900,000 by an Italian regulator for trying to flog two-year Apple Care extended cover when under Italian, and indeed EU law, customers are entitled to it as …

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Anonymous Coward

Hopefully they'll probe all companies not just Apple, as most tech companies only state 1 year warranty in their marketing and also offer extended warranties.

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All Product Providers

As well as tech companies, they need to investigate this across all retailers where the law applies - I think if you asked the average consumer what the warranty period was, they'd say a year.

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But what's covered?

EU regs only apply to defects present when the customer takes delivery. The law says that retailers must sell goods that are 'as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality'. If a defect is detected when, or in a reasonable period of time after, the sale is made, then buyers can demand a full refund. However, the rules get fuzzier when faults develop over time and a buyer has to return goods after possessing them for a longer period. That's what they offer you the extra cover for!

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Meh

I can tell you that here in the UK they say nothing, and yes we have the same rights under EU Law as we do under UK Law.

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K
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So do we get 2 years in the UK?

I always thought we got 12 months warranty on electronic products...

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Stop

Re: So do we get 2 years in the UK?

Errr.... you're not the only one!

Is this some blindingly obvious law that nobody has actually been told about? Anyone know for sure?

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Meh

Re: So do we get 2 years in the UK?

Much as I'd like that kind of regulation here in the US, I can't help but wonder if the extended warranty might contribute towards the obvious price disparity. Anyone?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So do we get 2 years in the UK?

@Rich 2 - As I understand it, in short: Yes.

I believe it came in a few years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So do we get 2 years in the UK?

It's all about reasonable expectations of product life times but you can potentially be entitled to a full or partial refund for up to 6 years in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and 5 years in Scotland from the date of purchase if there is an inherent fault. That's from the retailer too, not the manufacturer.

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Meh

Try looking!

Not a fanboi at all, but it took me all of 30 seconds to find the following page (http://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/) that clarifies what the customer gets from the standard 2 year EU regulations, what Apple offer free for a year and what you can pay to extend to 2 or 3 years.

Whether this is clarified in store when a fanboi is forking out their hard-earned for their fondleslab or iThingie and pressured by the salesperson to take out the extra AppleCare I can;t comment on.

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Re: Try looking!

I don't think that really clarifies the situation - examples of potential defects would be nice, I'm not clear how defects to my sealed consumer electronic product would not be present before shipping. The only defect I can think of post shipping would be damage rather than defect...

Plus in the small print it states useful information, like that the UK may actually allow for longer than 2yrs.

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Re: Try looking!

Apple offers you the warranty. But, after the first year, you will have to prove that it is broken because of a manufacturing/design defect. At least 50€ and going to trial.

Also, my mother in law had a defective laptop battery. We knew it was defective not only because it got bigger and ceased to work: there was a recall in the US (not europe) and the S/N of the battery was included. Their reply? sue us. I would, but not my mother in law.. and she still likes the company!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Try looking!

@Aitor 1: "there was a recall in the US (not europe) and the S/N of the battery was included. Their reply? sue us."

I had the same problem, i.e. a battery outside warranty was expanding and was on a US recall list, and Apple swapped it immediately. Were you dealing directly with Apple or through a reseller? Resellers, especially outlets like PC World, can be a real pain even when a solution is open to them.

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Holmes

Re: Try looking!

Fixed it for you....

especially outlets like PC World, can be a real pain even when a solution is open to them.

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Re: Try looking!

Yes, but was that there before they were fined for taking the piss?

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not just apple

I've had several convos in the past with companies that seem to think the Sale Of Goods Act and the Supply of Goods are Services Act don't apply to them. No 1 year is not enough. Even if it's 2nd hand equipment, if you're a company selling it you cannot shirk your legal obligation to warranty everything you sell for a nicely worded "reasonable length of time." (Courts in England/Wales that's 6 years max, Scotland it's 5).

As a consumer North of the Rio Tweed I'm also sick of seeing "all disputes will be under jurisdiction of English courts"... no they effin won't, see the above noted laws - that contract clause in your T&Cs is entirely invalid - so stop wasting bits on the internet by putting it in there. There are only a limit number of 1s and 0s available on the internets, please stop needlessly wasting them.

I advise everyone to download a copy of each of these laws and read them - especially if you work in retail. I keep a copy on my phone for reference and I'm not opposed to quoting the law to dumb PC World managers.

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Not THAT would be an app I'd pay for...

Brilliant idea sir - someone needs to compile a set of consumer laws and rights into one smartphone app. You could add in a section on common corporate tactics that trample or try to get you to waive your rights and the appropriate response.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not THAT would be an app I'd pay for...

SAD FART as Mr Lewis named it - in paper form so you can complain when the device the app is on stops working

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/consumer-rights-wallet-print

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Why would you need a warranty more than a year?

They bring out a new model every year - why would you not be upgrading to the latest shiny?!

</sarcasm> <-- for those who missed it.

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Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended)

Consumers can expect that goods will be:

Of a satisfactory quality. Satisfactory quality means that the product should be of a quality that a reasonable person would expect from the goods taking into account any description, the intended purpose and the price that is paid.

http://www.ukecc.net/sub.asp?id=248

In the UK it's not 1 year or 2 years, If you spend £3,000 on a TV you (a reasonable person ;) would expect it to last longer than a £300 TV

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SOGA should be mandatory teaching in schools

Absolutely right, and an important section of the Sale of Goods Act is this:

14 Implied terms about quality or fitness.

(2B)For the purposes of this Act, the quality of goods includes their state and condition and the following (among others) are in appropriate cases aspects of the quality of goods—

(a)fitness for all the purposes for which goods of the kind in question are commonly supplied,

(b)appearance and finish,

(c)freedom from minor defects,

(d)safety, and

(e)durability.

Durability was the argument I made when I sued Apple for an iPad failure after 18 months of use. As far as I was concerned an iPad should reasonably work without failures for much longer than 18 months i.e. be durable. Apple Store rejected this, so did their phone support, my email never got a response.

Within a week of me submitting the small claims court action they were on the phone doing everything they could to "resolve this problem to my satisfaction". Old original iPad got replaced with a brand new top of the range 3rd gen one which promptly got eBayed for more than I demanded on the court claim.

Little guy 1 - Apple 0

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Re: SOGA should be mandatory teaching in schools

You were doing fine until the last paragraph, when you admitted to fraud, which makes you just as big a tosser as the companies that don't live up to contacts of sale.

Basically, this is the wrong site for you. Most of us are in the biz as well as being consumers.

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Re: SOGA should be mandatory teaching in schools

Fraud? What the hell are you talking about?

My faulty iPad was replaced (after me having to use the courts to get them to do anything about it) and I sold the replacement. How the hell is that fraud? Please explain.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SOGA should be mandatory teaching in schools

Interesting:

"a)fitness for all the purposes for which goods of the kind in question are commonly supplied,

(e)durability."

Can't see how something who's "purpose" is to be used outside can fail to endure rain AND be compliant.

Queue a lot of claims from people with once damp, now ex-phones. Please.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Correction

The article states that in the US Apple used to provide 90 day warranties. This is not true.

Apple provides 1 year warranties, and 90 days phone support. They always have.

In the UK on their computers, if you buy through their education store, you get 3 years warranty at no extra charge, but not phone support. Same if you buy it through John Lewis.

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