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 …

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  1. LarsG
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        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".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. Guillermo Lo Coco
            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.

        2. Robert E A Harvey
          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?

          1. toadwarrior

            Re: @LDS You would

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

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @LDS You would

              "toadwarrior":

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

            2. Anonymous Coward
              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.

      2. AdamWill

        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...

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. AdamWill

            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...

            1. Robert E A Harvey
              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.

              1. AdamWill

                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.

          2. Ascylto
            Big Brother

            Re: You would

            Don't like it up you do you?

          3. ukgnome
            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                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.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  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.

                  1. ukgnome

                    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.

                    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

                      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.

                2. AdamWill

                  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.

          4. Velv Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: You would

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

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. AdamWill
            FAIL

            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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.

            2. toadwarrior

              Re: @AdamWill

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

            3. ukgnome
              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.

              1. AdamWill

                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.

            4. This post has been deleted by its author

            5. Anonymous Coward
              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.

            6. Anonymous Coward
              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?

            7. Anonymous Coward
              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?

            8. Anonymous Dutch Coward
              Coat

              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?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AdamWill

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

        4. Anonymous Coward
          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?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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.

            1. Blitterbug
              Happy

              Re: correcting pernsickety details

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

        5. Archibald Trumpetbeetle
          Thumb Up

          Re: You would

          Top pedantry

        6. Anonymous Dutch Coward
          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...

    2. LarsG
      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.

  2. LDS Silver badge

    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.

    1. David Webb

      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.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      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.

      1. multipharious

        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.

      2. dz-015

        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.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          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.

          1. dz-015

            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.

  3. This Side Up
    Coat

    Easy solution

    Never mind the fine, just buy Italy.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. This Side Up
      Joke

      Re: Easy solution

      ... and then call it iTaly.

  4. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Thank you Italy

    Good to hear someone is prepared to take a stand.

    Have they also addressed the power cord issue previously reported by El Reg at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/10/apple_magsafe_replacement/ ?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Thank you Italy

      Empty coffers wouldn't have anything to do with it?

  5. Michael Jennings

    I've had good service from Apple.

    I have had both a Magsafe power supply replaced for free, and a motherboard replacement for free, both on a laptop that was theoretically out of warranty. Apple doesn't treat its customers badly - it generally treats them well.

    However, Apple are control freaks. They don't like anyone else - such as the Italian government - telling them what they can, can't, or should do. They like to decide for themselves.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've had good service from Apple.

      Hardly a glowing endorsement!

      "I've suffered two separate faults" but Apple are good??

      Slackle just need to pay up or get out. They obey the laws of the land, simple as that.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought Apple already complied with EU law

    http://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/

    But AppleCare still has some advantages over the legally required warranty. So why can't they sell it? Must be some Italian insurer mafia involved in this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I thought Apple already complied with EU law

      oh, Apple know about the law - they've written several pages about it..and a nice comparison page (they try to state their care protection program gives you better cover)..but they really dont care for the law at all with respect to consumer rights. Try taking your Apple kit with defects to the store with no Apple 3 year cover care program and see how far you get. I expect my laptop to last for years - my non Apple ones do (and did) and my linksys router has survived twice as long as any Apple Airport Express...

      anonymous for this post because right now, getting a US company upset is getting your name on the do not travel lists and I'm sure they've love to void any care I currently hold on their kit :-(

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I thought Apple already complied with EU law

        Cool story bro

      2. Ivan Headache
        Thumb Down

        Re: I thought Apple already complied with EU law

        "Try taking your Apple kit with defects to the store with no Apple 3 year cover care program and see how far you get"

        Done that, more than once. No problems, repairs get done, even got a new Mac desktop as a replacement for a machine that was well out of warranty.

        There's an awful lot of hearsay (and complete fabrication) gets posted whenever an Apple story appears.

        Mosty (I assume) from peaople who have never ever used the service they are so 'knowledgeable' about.

        1. xyz
          Thumb Down

          Re: I thought Apple already complied with EU law

          This story is exactly the reason I refuse to buy anything from this bunch of sharks. Bought stuff, taken it back when it broke, told to eff off or pay to repair it. They're just dodgy second hand car salemen in a shop instead of a car lot.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I thought Apple already complied with EU law

            Must have been your attitude, just as in your email. I managed to damage the motherboard by crass stupidity, on a white macbook. It still worked but the USB did not. They replaced it for nothing, just outside the guarantee period, even though I explained how I had done it. Then, just this year, the machine now four years old, I spotted a crack in the plastic around the screen: free replacement of the plastic part.

            Perhaps it is your pleasant manner; I expect you get similar service wherever you go.

            1. dssf
              Meh

              Re: I thought Apple already complied with EU law

              No surprises wrt your experience. Maybe you just got lucky, or their favoritism database singled you out. As much money as apple charges, and given the fiendish, fierce demand for their shiny (cute, but overpriced) objects, it is no wonder they can afford to occasionally give awsy replacement devices, parts, and free service. But, that may also be just to bolster their case when they claim they are doing more.

              What Italy and countries like Italy need to do and should have done if they have not is to require the covered consumer to first register their defect with the Italian equivalent of a consumer protection agency, then send in the repair request on behalf of the consumer. (Or, even better, silently monitor apple for flagrant, willful disregard of the repair/replace request, and then tack on contempt charges when cunsimers are blown off, given the runaround, etc.) Then, bill or direct apple to repair or replace post haste when it is a company brazenly flauting the consumer protection, warranty, and sales laws.

              However, i am in no way saying replace or repair for free something older than 4 years or something visibly abused to hell and back. Apple laptops and phones do look and feel well-built, but that is not an excuse to tell the local government fo effoh. Part of the problem, though, is that there obviously are Italians willing to buy the coverage instead of playing toe-to-to with apple and threatening them. But, to do so if known by name might mean being sold a device from "the quirky lot". Maybe apple can afford to punish or annoy a small number of irritating customers since their screams would just be dull background noise most of the time.

              It would be interesting if the Italian givernment were to publish a List of Compliant Merchants and Non-Clompliant Miscreants and then detail their conduct with no provisions for pre-trial or pre-fine protections when the CP portal reveals blatant violation of CP law and regulations. But, then, that ould only generate a visit by a usdos official, and threats of no preferential access to usdod or other treatment. Or, boycots or tariff action...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I thought Apple already complied with EU law

          I smell bullshit

          I can't think of a single company who would willingly give you a brand new machine for something well out of warranty. Especially from a company who make you pay £179 for a replacement refurbished iphone if it's as much as 1 day out of warranty. At best they would offer to take a look at it for you for free and tell you how much it would be to repair or offer you a discount on a new machine.

          1. Ivan Headache

            I smell bullshit

            In that case it's your own.

            Have the paperwork here and the bottom line says £0.00

      3. David Cantrell
        Go

        Re: I thought Apple already complied with EU law

        "Try taking your Apple kit with defects to the store with no Apple 3 year cover care program and see how far you get"

        I did. I took an iPhone, that was out of its guarantee period, and without Applecare, to the shop because the battery was knackered. They replaced it for free. A bit later, I took a five year old laptop which was, again, out of its guarantee period and without Applecare, to the shop because it was randomly freezing up. They fixed the loose connection that was causing it, for what I consider to be a nominal fee.

        Apple's customer service is excellent, because they want you to buy another expensive shiny thing in the future.

      4. dz-015

        Re: I thought Apple already complied with EU law

        "Try taking your Apple kit with defects to the store with no Apple 3 year cover care program and see how far you get"

        You're absolutely right. I got nowhere. My iPhone's buttons broke and I was told I'd have to pay a lot to get it dealt with. It wasn't even 18 months old. Dreadful customer service and a blatant disregard for UK consumer rights by Apple.

        Based on my own experiences I find it extremely hard to believe the people in this thread who've said they got stuff replaced for free, just like that. It really does sound like bullshit to me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I thought Apple already complied with EU law

      They CAN sell it, they just have to ensure the punter realises there is a 2 year EU mandated warranty already in place, which makes the Apple one largely pointless.

    3. Avatar of They
      Thumb Up

      Re: I thought Apple already complied with EU law

      I think it is something to do with selling it to people who don't REALISE they are already covered and don't need it. (Like the UK's PPI malarky) And the wording of the selling so as to try and push a product that in most cases might not be needed.

      "Want to protect against manufacturing problems for two years, pay this for 2 years cover." but not actually stating whilst selling said policy.

      "This is an additional cost to the standard two years 'legal cover against manufacturing problems' that the Italian membership of the EU grants you for free."

      Obviously my Italian isn't that great so I used English (where applicable)

      1. SYNTAX__ERROR
        Happy

        My Story of AppleCare

        Generally I don't like Apple but I do use a MacBook for work. I spilled coffee on it and was told £700+ for repair. However due to some internal mix-up they gave me the wrong story and had me go down to the shop unnecessarily. That wasted my time and made me feel quite messed about - so in the end they gave me a brand new model for nothing.

        So my verdict on AppleCare (based on this experience only) is doubleplusgood.

  7. Jeebus

    Apple breaking the law, an EU directive and the iTards think the mafia is having a hand in it. Just about sums up the whole culture.

    What do you mean you're Iranian?, out you go.

  8. Phil the Geek

    Apple repair costs

    Where I used to work one of our directors had a total LCD failure on his MacBook Air. It was just over a year old and Apple quoted £480 for the repair. I thought it was going to be expensive, but not THAT expensive.

    He didn't particularly like the Apple so he bought a nice new Dell instead and kept the change:-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple repair costs

      That £480 laptop probably wasn't in the same criteria as an MB Air and Dell wouldn't be any better than when faced with an out of warranty repair.

      Last time a guy at work wanted to fix a broken hinge on his Dell laptop it cost over £120 and took two weeks.

    2. Ivan Headache

      Re: Apple repair costs

      If he had stood for his rights, most likely the screen would have been replaced without charge.

    3. Dana W
      WTF?

      Re: Apple repair costs

      My last Dell laptop went back SEVEN times before they lemon'ed it out. I am on my THIRD Macbook Pro, I've averaged three years a piece on them, and sold them for about 1/2 the cost of their replacements. Out of three machines, I have had one bad power switch, Apple fixed it overnight. The average turn around time on the Dell repair was 2-3 WEEKS.

      I'd rather have a Laptop I can trust and skip "pocketing the change"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile, over at Dell Italia...

    Dell only mentions 1 year standard hardware warranty everywhere including their website in Italy - "1 anno de supporto hardware on-site entro un giorno lavorativo") , with a 1 year Premium option for €24,99 (whatever that is) or a 3 year option for €129,99.

    No mention of the EU warranty.

    I guess the Italians are planning to close down Dell next?

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, over at Dell Italia...

      On-site support is a genuine extra.

      At least if they honour the deal. I've had mixed experiences with Dell, but the most recent (and the only one this century) was so horrendous it'll be the last.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, over at Dell Italia...

      The Dell Italian warranty is here: http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/emea/topics/footer/terms?c=it&l=it&s=gen. There's a lot of legalese, but while their "basic commercial warranty" says one year, they also say they can't override any law protecting the consumer. Of course I guess they will try to deceive the less informed one.

      On-site support is not covered by "D.Lgs. n. 206 del 6.9.2005", the Italian law also known as "Codice del Consumo" (Consumer Law), Dell is free to sell it as long as it comply with the law - it could mean you have to send it to repair at your own expenses, but they have to repair it. It also protects only non-professional customers, devices bought for professional use has only one year compulsory warranty.

      It is true Apple is not alone (I had the same issue with HP), but the Italian Authority can't start on its own, someone has to ask for it. I was about to start the process with HP, but then I found how to enter the printer "secret" maintenance menu and resolved the problem myself - guess that was what they would have done for €140 (while trying to sell me a new printer...)

  10. WatAWorld

    I wish Canada had that sort of consumer protection law

    I wish Canada had that sort of consumer protection law. Italy may have a lot wrong, but they have consumer electronics warranties right.

  11. tkioz
    Pint

    When in Rome...

    Do what the bloody Romans (Italians) tell you to do!

    Seriously Apple and other international companies need to release that their "user agreements" are not above local law!

    Beer for Italy

  12. Don Jefe
    WTF?

    EU Warranty

    A two year warranty is insane: I want my (thing) to last FOREVER... Here in the States a one year warranty is golden and when that period is over we just buy another (thing) when it fails. Why in God's name would anyone expect their toys to last more than a year?

    1. tkioz
      Thumb Down

      Re: EU Warranty

      I've got products in my house from the 1960s that still work perfectly... Yet if I brought the same stuff today I'd be lucky to get 5 years out of them... let alone 5 decades.

      "Planned Obsolescence" is bollocks and companies need to be forced to start making stuff that will last again!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: EU Warranty

        Indeed, I have a car which was built in the mid-90's and is still going strong today, never let me down once. And guess what? It's not American.

        That said, it's certainly not Italian either.

        1. stanimir

          Re: EU Warranty

          it's certainly not Italian either.

          Yeah, Ferrari is totally badz.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: EU Warranty @stanimir

            Spoken like a man who has never owned a FIAT. or an Alfa Romeo for that matter. Oh lets not forget Lancia. And until they were bought by Audi, Lamborghini were not exactly the peak of reliability.

            So the moral is that if you want a reliable italian car, you have to spend over £250,000?

    2. stanimir

      Re: EU Warranty

      A two year warranty is insane

      You know, man, that's just your opinion. And if you prefer that you buy and use crap, well it's just your own opinion, again.

    3. snowlight
      Coat

      Re: EU Warranty

      Perhaps because some of us value our money and when we spend a significant amount of money on something we want it to last for a fairly long time.

      Mine's the one with three mp3 players in the pocket all of which are over seven years old and still going strong.

  13. etabeta
    FAIL

    Impossible 2-year warranty for Apple

    How can Apple give a 2-year warranty on their crappy products that have glued-in batteries? They just can't. Their products are made to be expendable, so you just go out and purchase a new one even if only the battery goes bad - and it WILL go bad after BEFORE 2 years. The consumers are to blame for filling Cupertino's wallets so much, not realizing that once problems arise with their expensive toys the only way out is buying a new one, unless you are in Italy!

    The solution is just not buy anything made by Apple. I hope they burn in hell also for their patent-troll antics, trying to keep their rival Samsung out of the stores with their BS lawsuits. If they have their stores shut down for a month they deserve it! I also suggest that their entire inventory be impounded, and that any distribution by all the carriers be banned for the same period.

    1. Edwin

      Re: Impossible 2-year warranty for Apple

      I suspect things like batteries are subject to the 'normal wear and tear' disclaimer, so not covered by the warranty anyway.

      I guess the big question is how 'serviceable' a product should be - maybe a battery shouldn't have to be consumer-replaceable, but perhaps it should cost less than x% of the new price to replace it...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    one eyed view of the world

    For a company as clever and innovative as it is, Apple sure do seem to lack basic wisdom when it comes to understanding markets outside the US.

    It is not about whether a product should/should not have a 1 or 2 year warranty, it is simply about complying with the laws of the country you are operating in.

    The 4G claim in Australia, as well as this claim, should not have needed to happen. Apple should have used local knowledge to understand the local laws/regulations. One of the excuses we're always given by foreign companies who attempt to charge us more for goods is "the cost of local staff and operations", so it is not like Apple didn't have the people already in place that could have seen these potential local problems brewing. Either the local Apple directors failed to do their job or the US directors chose to ignore concerns raised by their local counterparts.

    Apple is not stupid though by a long-shot, I suspect that most of these local problems (4g,Applecare and even Proview to a certain extent) have more to do with a corporate, myopic view of the world in general seen through US eyes.

    It wouldn't be the first time a US company (or any foreign company for that matter) failed to see/understand a situation through a local perspective. I was unfortunate enough, several years ago, to be employed by a US company opening a division in Australia who did not understand why they were not allowed to offer us only 2 weeks vacation per year like their US employees. When the directors were told it was simply "the law here" it still didn't stop them from fighting tooth-and-nail against it then subsequently feeling "cheated" when they didn't get their way.

    Most of us employees went from being enthusiastic about working for a big US multinational company to simply wondering who exactly were these arrogant amateurs we worked under and were expected to rely upon as well as respect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: one eyed view of the world

      "company as clever and innovative as it is"......

      W O W! You must be blind, deaf and dumb. I bet your easily taken in by advertising.

      You must be if you own a "magical and revolutionary" device.

      You must qualify your claims. Innovative? When? How? With what?

      Most of Apple's innovations and clearly copies or extensions of previously created ideas.

      If you’re easily taken in by advertisers, and truly believe that your status is elevated by owning an Apple device, you’re a total MUG, and you deserve to have all of your money taken away from you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re W O W! You must be blind, deaf and dumb. I bet your easily taken in by advertising.

        See no Advertising

        Hear no Adverising

        Speak no bollocks

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: one eyed view of the world

        WOW you really do have a bee in your bonnet about Apple!

        I'm no Apple fantard by a long shot, they actively do a lot of crap that I think is just plain shitty but to discount them entirely, and to ignore and pretend they do nothing clever and innovative makes me wonder who in fact is "blind deaf and dumb"

        I'd like to know which tech companies YOU actually think are innovative and clever considering you find Apple so dismissively lame.

        You also obviously have no idea how advertising works if you think that the Apple branded "wonderful" and "magical" commercials (or simple positive press/PR) are the only reasons why Apple manages to sell the number of products they sell. I guess it is just easier to justify your anti fantard stance by continually telling yourself that everyone who buys an Apple product has been a victim of advertising and "conned" instead of considering that many might actually be "happy", "satisfied" and maybe even more "productive" after their Apple purchase.

        I'm impressed though that you made a comment, it is not everyday that angry, red flushed, sweaty and balding guys named Balmer respond to my posts.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: one eyed view of the world

          I dunno why you bother ticking the AC box "Obviously!"

  15. toadwarrior
    Trollface

    Warrantries are an especially touchy subject for all the fandroids. Their cheap phones hardly last 6 months and are lucky to even see a software update in that time so they desperately need the warranty.

    1. esque

      Let's see what my Android devices say:

      HTC Wildfire S: Used it for over a year, no problems, still used as backup phone; got an update just a few days ago

      HTC Desire S: currently in use, update a few weeks ago, ICS update planned for later this month

      Archos 70IT: Used it for over a year, got about a dozen updates, including an update to Android 2.3, would still be working if I hadn't dropped it on concrete

      Archos 80 Gen9: Bought it about 7 months ago, still working fine, got several updates, including ICS early this year

      So all of my Android devices get updates (not always in a timely fashion, I grant you that), and last for more than 6 months. I'm to blame for the only one that isn't working anymore (and actually, it's working fine, except for the screen).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      W O W!

      A clear demonstration of just how deluded “i” device owners really are.

      You’re a dream to the advertisers. You'll clearly believe any old shite, like "magical and revolutionary"

      How many droids have you owned to make such a sweeping and totally incorrect assumption?

  16. Swedish Chef
    Flame

    This is going to be interesting.

    I hope they close all Apple stores down, if for nothing else than a bit of trashy RL entertainment.

    Cue millions of angry fanbois setting cities on fire when they realize they can't get this month's shiny-shiny.

    Flame, because that's what the fanbois will do.

  17. Hubert Thrunge Jr.
    Holmes

    AFAIK the EU 2 yr warranty thing applies to consumer sales (members of the public).

    Business to Business stuff does not apply. Therefore your Dell/HP Business PC/Notebook can still have a 1 year warranty, or even three months if they felt like it.

    If Apple are flouting the law, then they need their knuckles rapped, but for a company the size of Apple, €900K is only a tickle. They need a bigger stick - at least double that - plus the shops shut and imports banned for a month in the whole EU!!

  18. endofthesky

    Exit Italy

    Well in my opinion, just withdraw from the Italian market all together, if they don't like what the rest of the world has then tough, thats how the cookie crumbles!

    1. Velv Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Exit Italy

      Except it's not just Italy Apple would need to withdraw from. The EU has 27 member states. That's almost one eighth of ALL the countries in the world, and most of them are classed as first world countries with mature consumer markets who want to by tech products. 500,000,000 potential customers.

      Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

  19. CJ 5

    Warranty

    Here in Holland we don't have a warranty term specified. The law simply says that a product should work without problems for a reasonable amount of time. I think it's reasonable to expect a smartphone to work for at least two years.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    I am conflicted, the sales practises around Applecare sound dodgy as hell. The service, on the other hand, is phenomenal for those that need it.

    A colleague of mine is something of an entropy nexus; she destroys computers and pretty much any other technology in a surprisingly short time. She persuaded work to buy her a 13 inch Macbook Pro. This machine was lugged around everywhere, stuffed in rucksacks with a load of other gear, bumped about, crushed, taken up mountains. Hell, she even dropped and bent the body near the optical drive. Taking it in for repair missing screws and held together with tape didn't even upset them.

    Over the N years of Applecare, Apple replaced damn near the whole machine- not because it failed for any good reason, but because the user kept breaking it. No statutory warranty in any reasonable universe would have covered this stuff. However, to their credit, the local Apple store just kept on replacing bits until it was good as new- the last instance a mere month or two before the contract was up.

    So Applecare is actually worthwhile, it's not just a reasonable warranty. If you happen to be Hulk or Tank Girl, in particular, it is worth every damn penny- as replacing the machine three or four times would have cost a lot more than a couple of hundred quid up front.

    Still, though, yes, some honesty in selling please, don't be sleazy. Ironically, that sort of behaviour does them a disservice, anyway.

    1. Ivan Headache

      Re: Hmm

      There's no 'dodgy' sales practices.

      They ask you if if you would like to purchase AppleCare. If you say no then that's it. No hard sell.*

      Nothing dodgy about it at all.

      * based on at least 6 visits to Apple Stores with clients buying new kit in the last year.

  21. JaitcH
    Devil

    Italy calls their bluff!

    Apple has had it's way it has obviously become a law unto itself.

    One year warranties are too short, any charged warranty extensions are, in reality,price increases which are very popular in North America.

  22. dssf

    Time for ass-smashery for the skullduggery

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/02/apple_italy_closure_warranty/

    No more threats, Italy! just DO IT! SHUTTER THE STORES. And, sieze the products. Arrest ALL employees who knowingly sold illegal applecare policies, their bosses, and fine each employee involved $455,273 each policy. Companies as big as apple flauting the law need to be taken in hand by the nape.

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