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EU commissioner says Apple still ignoring warranty issues

updated 11:38 am EDT, Tue March 19, 2013

Says Apple breaking law in 21 European countries

Apple is still failing to tell consumers about their warranty rights in many European Union countries, says EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. Last September Reding sent a letter to various governments encouraging them to take action against Apple to make sure it obeyed EU warranty laws. But the case and the responses to her letter "have highlighted rather clearly just why the Commission cannot sit on the side-lines on enforcement issues," Reding said in a speech today, as reported by Dow Jones. "The approaches to enforcement in these types of cases turn out to be very diversified and inconsistent at a national level. In at least 21 EU Member States Apple is not informing consumers correctly about the legal warranty rights they have. This is simply not good enough."

European law mandates that companies must provide two-year warranties for goods like electronics. Apple, though, has been accused of misleading customers into thinking they have to buy AppleCare to get two years of coverage, as in the US. The company has been fined repeatedly in Italy, and Reding notes that consumer associations in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and Portugal are pursuing lawsuits.

In Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald has accused Apple of asking retail workers not to tell customers about similar warranty protections. The paper adds that people familiar with their rights have often tried and failed to get free warranty service from Apple or third-party vendors after the year of coverage Apple officially provides.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-26-07

    tricky ground

    This article strikes me as an Apple hit piece just like many before. Apple is required to give a 2 year Manufactures DEFECTS warranty and that is all. There is no two years free Apple care support with tech calls or free fedex shipping of goods as given by Apple care.

    And as many have commented, after a year of use, its very unlikely you will see a manufacture defect show up. Just a thought here, just a thought.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I agree

    These articles (here and elsewhere) are not usually thorough enough to point out the real issue here: Apple is being forced to both EXTEND and DOWNGRADE their warranty, not just extend it. A two-year Apple warranty sounds like a great thing, but there would be no more "let me just replace that for you" type generosity so often seen at Apple Stores after that first year; it would be "you must have done something to break it, there's obvious wear here, sorry we can't help you" like EVERYWHERE ELSE that offers a two-year warranty in Europe.

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