Apple loses appeal of $1.2M AppleCare ruling in Italy

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


Apple lost an appeal of an Italian case that fined the company 900,000 euros, or roughly $1.2 million, for allegedly not furnishing an adequate amount of information regarding mandated product guarantees and warranty stipulations.



The Thursday decision () handed down by Chairman Robert Politi of Lazio, Italy's Regional Administrative Court concerns an Apple appeal to a December 2011 ruling in which the company was fined 400,000 euros for not providing information about the length of product guarantees and an additional 500,000 euros for lack of information regarding extended AppleCare warranties, reports la Repubblica.



The fine is the direct result of a 2011 investigation into alleged "unfair commercial practices" that found Apple pushed its paid two-year AppleCare warranty on consumers despite acknowledging that EU laws require companies to offer the same protections without charge.



Apple complied with the December order to inform online customers of the mandated two-year warranty, though it later appealed the $1.2 million fine.



According to Thursday's ruling, Apple must add a disclaimer on its packaging informing customers of the existing two years of mandatory coverage. The issue will be discussed at a separate hearing on May 9 along with other matters regarding the decision.





Apple's Italian AppleCare webpage. | Source: Apple







The Cupertino, Calif., company can file for a second appeal though it is there has been no official announcement as to when this will happen.



AppleCare goes above and beyond the standard one-year warranty and is available for all of Apple's electronic devices including the company's line of Mac computers, the iPhone and the iPad. Cost differs depending on the product, but coverage includes over-the-phone and in-store repair support.



The company launched the premium AppleCare+ program, which adds accidental damage to the list of support options, alongside the iPhone 4S in 2011.





[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    What information was specifically not stated in the agreement? Is this the same issue where some countries require that product warranties be 2 years by law thus making several aspects of AppleCare redundant for those countries?
  • uguysrnutsuguysrnuts Posts: 459member
    Mamma Mia!
  • landcruiserlandcruiser Posts: 182member
    Surprise, surprise. Another country with financial trouble trying to get more money out of a successful company. The Applecare warranty is about as simple as they come. Try reading it people.
  • greginpraguegreginprague Posts: 404member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    What information was specifically not stated in the agreement? Is this the same issue where some countries require that product warranties be 2 years by law thus making several aspects of AppleCare redundant for those countries?



    Exactly. This is EU-wide policy. It's why 11 other EU countries have made formal complaints to Apple within the last week about the same issue of advertising AppleCare as including a 2nd year of warranty when Apple already must provide it with purchase.
  • myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post


    Surprise, surprise. Another country with financial trouble trying to get more money out of a successful company. The Applecare warranty is about as simple as they come. Try reading it people.



    Misinformed, and insulting to people's intelligence



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post


    Exactly. This is EU-wide policy. It's why 11 other EU countries have made formal complaints to Apple within the last week about the same issue of advertising AppleCare as including a 2nd year of warranty when Apple already must provide it with purchase.



    Informed.
  • paxmanpaxman Posts: 3,998member
    Apple should politely decline, make them an offer they cannot refuse.

  • cgjcgj Posts: 276member
    I still don't see why Apple doesn't automatically give people 3 years of warranty + 1 year of phone support, and just use AppleCare to extend them both to 5 years.



    Kinda gives you a better feel of 'our computers last longer.'
  • just_mejust_me Posts: 591member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CGJ View Post


    I still don't see why Apple doesn't automatically give people 3 years of warranty + 1 year of phone support, and just use AppleCare to extend them both to 5 years.



    Kinda gives you a better feel of 'our computers last longer.'



    cause thats when things break down. Duh
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CGJ View Post


    I still don't see why Apple doesn't automatically give people 3 years of warranty + 1 year of phone support, and just use AppleCare to extend them both to 5 years.



    Kinda gives you a better feel of 'our computers last longer.'



    It would be nice and I'm sure they've calculated the cost to profit on the loss of direct cash to the value added services of extra long support.



    Unfortunately Apple's success does hurt their ability to support products longer than other vendors. You can find plenty of components that have 3, 5 or even lifetime warranties but the effort to get them replaced is considerably more difficult than dealing with Apple.



    For instance, if you have a bad after-market HDD you need to print out a receipt, probably do some preliminary trouble ticket online, ship the drive on your dime, and wait for a response, which could take weeks but has no guarantee. With Apple it's as simple as making an appointment and waking into a store or calling and have them overnight you a box.



    That added level of service has a very real cost that doesn't scale well when you start offering 3x the warranty to devices. It's not just 3x the support calls, but potentially much higher because older machines are more likely to have more problems.



    Sure, if a device has a defect Apple should cover it (I've personally had them replace batteries that were several years old for free) but many of these will just be wear and tear but that still requires the time and money to get Apple to declare it not their problem.



    So the question isn't whether moving to a 3 year warranty wouldn't give us more peace of mind for our devices but if the increased costs are lower than the increased sales from this added value.
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    I think the extended warranties offered by electronics retailers are a rip-off and never buy them. It's hundreds of dollars down the drain for something that will be obsolete in a few years anyway, and is probably already covered by your home contents insurance.



    Electronic goods used to be super expensive, super valuable, insure them to the hilt, buy a case, buy a surge protector, don't let the kids touch them. But those times are gone.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    I think the extended warranties offered by electronics retailers are a rip-off and never buy them. It's hundreds of dollars down the drain for something that will be obsolete in a few years anyway, and is probably already covered by your home contents insurance.





    I usually buy Apple Care although I have never needed it so far. Always buy it for for portable stuff because it is a lot more likely to get damaged. For the new iPad, an $800 device with $100 AC means if it gets run over by a bus, it only costs me $50 to replace it. At least that is my understanding. I did not read the fine print.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    For the new iPad, an $800 device with $100 AC means if it gets run over by a bus, it only costs me $50 to replace it. At least that is my understanding. I did not read the fine print.



    That's not AppleCare, that's AppleCare+. That plus makes all the difference. Before AC+ I wasn't recommending the additional coverage but now I do because of the replacement policy.



    You could walk into an Apple Store, smash your iPad's display with a hammer and get a replacement for $50.
  • galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Cue the Italian ladies are hairy, i hate Ferrari, Lamborghini, spaghetti and ravioli.
  • sflocalsflocal Posts: 3,302member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I usually buy Apple Care although I have never needed it so far. Always buy it for for portable stuff because it is a lot more likely to get damaged. For the new iPad, an $800 device with $100 AC means if it gets run over by a bus, it only costs me $50 to replace it. At least that is my understanding. I did not read the fine print.



    I'm curious about that fine print too. If I can get a new iPad by getting my old iPad "accidentally' run over by a bus, I can see lots of abuse with terms like those.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    I'm curious about that fine print too. If I can get a new iPad by getting my old iPad "accidentally' run over by a bus, I can see lots of abuse with terms like those.



    It's limited to 2x. If people are abusing it they could limit it to one time, raise the price, or drop it completely. But for now you are set on all "accidental" damage.
  • realisticrealistic Posts: 1,099member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CGJ View Post


    I still don't see why Apple doesn't automatically give people 3 years of warranty + 1 year of phone support, and just use AppleCare to extend them both to 5 years.



    Kinda gives you a better feel of 'our computers last longer.'



    No other company offers that, so why should Apple?
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    I'm curious about that fine print too. If I can get a new iPad by getting my old iPad "accidentally' run over by a bus, I can see lots of abuse with terms like those.



    You don't get the upgrade, you get a refurb or new if your model is still current.



    I've always said: "Any problem that can be solved with $100 is not really a problem."



    In this case I've raised the number to $150 as a one time special circumstance.
  • stourquestourque Posts: 331member
    Just add the cost of apple care to the price.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Realistic View Post


    No other company offers that, so why should Apple?



    Dell does. But Dell really puts the war in warranty. They are a like health insurance companies; they will do whatever they can to say it's not their problem. Since Apple makes the HW and OS it's a lot harder for Apple to do, though I have yet to see them do this.



    PS: Last year I accidentally dropped my iPad 2, twice, and both times Apple replaced it for free. This is really Apple finally charging for a service that was previously free and unofficial.
  • jahonenjahonen Posts: 364member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    For instance, if you have a bad after-market HDD you need to print out a receipt, probably do some preliminary trouble ticket online, ship the drive on your dime, and wait for a response, which could take weeks but has no guarantee. With Apple it's as simple as making an appointment and waking into a store or calling and have them overnight you a box..



    That's what the EU rule tackles. Basically the idea is twofold:



    1) A product should not fail unexpectedly early. That means that for example for a washing machine the "warranty" is considerably longer than 2 years as it is expected to work for several years without problems. For electronics, this usually translates to the basic 2 years warranty mandated by the EU directives.



    2) Any costs associated with getting the product repaired must be covered by the reseller.



    For the masochists, here is one of the original directives, which is used as a guide to create the individual national laws to implement it:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...9L0044:en:HTML



    Regs, Jarkko
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