updated 11:24 am EDT, Wed July 18, 2012
Regulators focus on AppleCare warranty
Apple is currently facing yet another international lawsuit over its AppleCare extended warranties. The Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection (DECO) is said to have announced plans to sue the company for misleading customers into paying for unnecessary coverage, as local laws already require electronics manufacturers to honor warranty claims for a period of two years, according to Portuguese blog iPhoneTuga.
"The Portuguese and EU law gives a two-year guarantee for portables [and laptops], but Apple does not recognize this reality," said DECO Secretary General Jorge Morgado, in a translated statement. "After several attempts to enforce these rights, without success, we decided to proceed with legal action. We will require the court to restore legality because we have no doubt that the rights of consumers are being trampled."
The case is not the first time Apple has been blasted by regulators in countries with consumer protection laws that mandate warranty coverage. The company has been battling with Italy's antitrust agency, which has threatened a temporary shutdown if a free two-year warranty, required by EU law, is not clearly offered.
Although Apple is believed to be honoring legitimate warranty claims in both countries, regulators have focused on marketing materials that allegedly promote the AppleCare Protection Plan without making an explicit reference to the free coverage as provided by law.
In the Italy debacle, Apple issued a statement claiming to have addressed initial concerns and accusing the regulators of basing their decision on an "incorrect interpretation of the law."
The DECO has yet to fully detail any plans for fines or other penalties if the company is found guilty of violating local laws. [via AppleInsider