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Italy fines Apple $1.2M for 'unfair commercial practices'

post #1 of 82
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Apple's retail operations were fined 900,000 euros, or $1.2 million, in Italy in response to complaints of "unfair commercial practices" related to product warranties.

The total fine came from what the Italian Antitrust Authority determined were two failures by Apple's retail stores in Italy, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple Sales International, Apple Italia Srl and Apple Retail Italia were fined "for not providing clear information to customers on product assistance," the report said.

Specifically, Apple was fined 400,000 euros for not providing adequate information to customers about the length of product guarantees. And another 500,000 euros stemmed from Apple not giving customers enough information about its AppleCare extended warranty.

Products sold by Apple come with a standard one-year warranty and option to buy a second year through AppleCare, but local laws require companies to protect buyers with a free two-year warranty. Italian authorities determined that Apple "did not fully implement for consumers the two-year legal guarantee from sellers."

Apple expanded its retail operations into Italy in late 2006 with a store in Ponte di Nona's RomaEst shopping plaza. That store is located in a rural area about 15 kilometers from Roma.

Apple now has a total of 9 retail stores in Italy, with the remaining eight stores located in Bergamo, Oriocenter; Bologna, via Rizzoli; Caserta, Campina; Catania, Centro Sicilia; Firenze, I Gigli; Milano, Carosello; Milano, Fiordaliso; and Torino, Ge Gru.



Earlier this year, the Italian government also initiated an investigation into the location database file controversy that surrounded Apple. Italy joined the U.S., France, Germany and South Korea in probing the matter, which was quickly resolved with an iOS update.
post #2 of 82
The fine was due to Apple and it's seller's failing to follow/disclose Italian law that provided a 2-year guarantee rather than Apple's typical 1 year. In addition, reading between the lines, I believe they've also claimed Apple and it's seller's failed to disclose the paid year two warranty provided by Apple Care coverage overlapped the year 2 free product guarantee provided under Italian law.

"The decision came at the end of an inquiry that proved Apple did not fully implement for consumers the two-year legal guarantee from sellers and also that the company did not provide clear information on coverage of additional premium services"

http://www.telecompaper.com/news/app...ading-in-italy
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post #3 of 82
Thanks for completing the article for them. Care to update a bit AI? Just reading your article leaves head scratching b/c Apple's typical 1 year is pretty upfront. I was wondering how they were failing. Also the WSJ link gives me about 2 lines then requires a sign in, so sum things up better AI.
post #4 of 82
I think Italy needs Apple more than Apple needs Italy.
post #5 of 82
Everytime Apple breaks the law somewhere we get that silly comment. Country needs Apple more than Apple needs country (replace country with anyone except US and China...)
This is so ridiculous, can you actually conceptualize in your brain that countries can have their own set of laws and that they dont have to adapt their laws depending on what Apple does in the US ?
Anyhow why would you worry about guarantee issues, I am sure you think Apple product never fail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeNsteinNo View Post

I think Italy needs Apple more than Apple needs Italy.
post #6 of 82
Perhaps Apple should simply not offer an 'Extended Warranty' in Italy since they are in effect being forced to give an extra year for free or at least shorten it by a year. However, I'd agree the term 'Extended Warranty' should refer to a subsequent not an overlapping service based upon the common understanding of the word 'extended' be that Italy or elsewhere.
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post #7 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchseb View Post

Everytime Apple breaks the law somewhere we get that silly comment. Country needs Apple more than Apple needs country (replace country with anyone except US and China...)
This is so ridiculous, can you actually conceptualize in your brain that countries can have their own set of laws and that they dont have to adapt their laws depending on what Apple does in the US ?
Anyhow why would you worry about guarantee issues, I am sure you think Apple product never fail.

Reasoned and thoughtful reactions seem not to be in fashion these days on planet Earth do they? There is no need to be obnoxious in your response. Like most things in life there is no absolute right or wrong in this. There could well be a situation where a country made such onerous demands Apple would be better to walk away then again there are many situations where Apple and others are obviously better adapting to local laws and customs.
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post #8 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Perhaps Apple should simply not offer an 'Extended Warranty' in Italy since they are in effect being forced to give an extra year for free or at least shorten it by a year. However, I'd agree the term 'Extended Warranty' should refer to a subsequent not an overlapping service based upon the common understanding of the word 'extended' be that Italy or elsewhere.

Yes, it looks like Apple messed up and your suggestion is one possible solution.

In the end, though, it is extremely difficult for a multinational to comply with all the local regulations and all of the fine print. Here's what the above-linked article says:
"Apple did not fully implement for consumers the two-year legal guarantee from sellers and also that the company did not provide clear information on coverage of additional premium services."

It sounds like it's not a simple matter of Apple failing to offer a 2 year warranty. Rather, it's some technicality that they failed to implement. And that's quite difficult to do in 160 countries (many of which, like the United States, have multiple different authorities). Apple messed up, they will pay the fine and fix the problem.
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post #9 of 82
http://www.apple.com/it/support/products/mac.html

This isn't enough information? I'm confused. Oh, the retail stores.

Wait, they're fining Apple for NOT making their employees nag you constantly about buying AppleCare?! The heck is wrong with them?

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post #10 of 82
Nanny state. That's all this is.
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post #11 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Perhaps Apple should simply not offer an 'Extended Warranty' in Italy since they are in effect being forced to give an extra year for free or at least shorten it by a year. However, I'd agree the term 'Extended Warranty' should refer to a subsequent not an overlapping service based upon the common understanding of the word 'extended' be that Italy or elsewhere.

The whole thing is pretty dumb on Apple's part: clearly they didn't have a grip on local laws, or didn't have quite a tight enough grip on local execs. It seems so obvious that what they ought to do is simply offer Apple Care on different terms in Italy, or other countries where the law requires specific warranty terms, and factor the legal requirements into the price.

For instance, in the US, the default warranty is 90/365 for tech support/hardware warranty. If, in Italy, the requirement is n/730 (not sure if the law the requires tech support as well as hardware support), and they offer 90/730, then they should just boost the price by the expected costs of warranty repairs during the second 365 days (which is probably not that much, spread across all sales). Offer Apple Care for the 3rd 365 days (and the extra tech support), at, say, 3/4 - 7/8 the cost of the US plan. (The amount of tech support is the same, and HW failures are likely to be higher in the first and third years than in the second.)

This seems like pretty simple stuff to adjust Apple Care coverage and costs to match local laws, so it's surprising that they would have dropped the ball so blatantly.
post #12 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Yes, it looks like Apple messed up and your suggestion is one possible solution.

In the end, though, it is extremely difficult for a multinational to comply with all the local regulations and all of the fine print. Here's what the above-linked article says:
"Apple did not fully implement for consumers the two-year legal guarantee from sellers and also that the company did not provide clear information on coverage of additional premium services."

It sounds like it's not a simple matter of Apple failing to offer a 2 year warranty. Rather, it's some technicality that they failed to implement. And that's quite difficult to do in 160 countries (many of which, like the United States, have multiple different authorities). Apple messed up, they will pay the fine and fix the problem.

Thanks for the extra info. Yes it must be very difficult and I have to think, knowing how excellent Apple generally are in their customer care, how other companies, with less than stellar after sales service, manage in Italy?
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post #13 of 82
No government should have the right to tell any business how they must warrant their products. Yet another example of TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT.
post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The whole thing is pretty dumb on Apple's part: clearly they didn't have a grip on local laws, or didn't have quite a tight enough grip on local execs. It seems so obvious that what they ought to do is simply offer Apple Care on different terms in Italy, or other countries where the law requires specific warranty terms, and factor the legal requirements into the price.

For instance, in the US, the default warranty is 90/365 for tech support/hardware warranty. If, in Italy, the requirement is n/730 (not sure if the law the requires tech support as well as hardware support), and they offer 90/730, then they should just boost the price by the expected costs of warranty repairs during the second 365 days (which is probably not that much, spread across all sales). Offer Apple Care for the 3rd 365 days (and the extra tech support), at, say, 3/4 - 7/8 the cost of the US plan. (The amount of tech support is the same, and HW failures are likely to be higher in the first and third years than in the second.)

This seems like pretty simple stuff to adjust Apple Care coverage and costs to match local laws, so it's surprising that they would have dropped the ball so blatantly.

While totally agreeing in theory I'm curious (hopefully someone will here will explain this) what happens when you walk over a border in Europe to a country with different laws and regulations with a Mac and require warranty service. Do you only get coverage in the country of origin or are the warranties honored elsewhere? If so ... what a nightmare that would be where these time differences in the warranties occur.
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post #15 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

No government should have the right to tell any business how they must warrant their products. Yet another example of TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT.

If you think this through then the same argument can be extended ... there would be no safety standards, no quality standard ... and so on. Yes it can go too far but it could also not go far enough. Isn't life complicated?
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post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

While totally agreeing in theory I'm curious (hopefully someone will here will explain this) what happens when you walk over a border in Europe to a country with different laws and regulations with a Mac and require warranty service. Do you only get coverage in the country of origin or are the warranties honored elsewhere? If so ... what a nightmare that would be where these time differences in the warranties occur.

Surprisingly good question...I, too, am curious...

I think Italy is requiring way too much of a warranty though...2 years? seriously? One year is generous enough...

But if the law is the law the fine is relatively tiny and I'm sure Apple will fix this minor inconvenience.

All in all a non-story.
post #17 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Nanny state. That's all this is.

As I said earlier there are two sides to these things, it isn't black or white. I always wonder who or what folks with that mind set turn to when their water supply becomes toxic from some local factory and their children turn green and die or the air they breath is so poisonous they choke. I assume they laugh it off and move to an area where the people have got some standards companies have to abide by and continue to argue the people should not be allowed to set standards. It's all very fascinating you must surely agree.

BTW I am not taking sides on the Apple v Italy thread here simply responding to your overly simplistic one liner.

Unless you were in fact joking and forgot the emoticon. In which case ... good one
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post #18 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


In the end, though, it is extremely difficult for a multinational to comply with all the local regulations and all of the fine print.



Apple needs to hire more lawyers!

post #19 of 82
Before reading more ignorant comments about Italy, I'd like to inform everyone that it's not an Italian law, but an European law. In European Community, warranty is 2 years but no company complies (Dell, Apple, HP, Samsung, you name it). In Italy/Europe, Apple stuff costs 30% more than in US, at least if they're forced to provide 2 years of warranty the cost will be partly justified (I'll still buy everything in US).
post #20 of 82
So, customers bought un-needed Apple Care, Apple fined $1.2 million dollars, Lawyers get most of that...... Lawyers win.
post #21 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

While totally agreeing in theory I'm curious (hopefully someone will here will explain this) what happens when you walk over a border in Europe to a country with different laws and regulations with a Mac and require warranty service. Do you only get coverage in the country of origin or are the warranties honored elsewhere? If so ... what a nightmare that would be where these time differences in the warranties occur.

I'm guessing that the 2 year warranty is a European Union requirement. We have the same 2 year warranty on everything you buy here in the Czech Republic. So, that makes your concern about a warranty service nightmare less of an issue since the 27 EU countries would all have the same requirements.
post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by bozzunter View Post

Before reading more ignorant comments about Italy, I'd like to inform everyone that it's not an Italian law, but an European law. In European Community, warranty is 2 years but no company complies (Dell, Apple, HP, Samsung, you name it). In Italy/Europe, Apple stuff costs 30% more than in US, at least if they're forced to provide 2 years of warranty the cost will be partly justified (I'll still buy everything in US).

OK thanks for explaining ... so walking over a border isn't an issue as all European countries are the same? I was curious about that. So a Mac bought in France can be serviced in Italy or vice versa for example without complications.
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post #23 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post

I'm guessing that the 2 year warranty is a European Union requirement. We have the same 2 year warranty on everything you buy here in the Czech Republic. So, that makes your concern about a warranty service nightmare less of an issue since the 27 EU countries would all have the same requirements.

Got it
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post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

While totally agreeing in theory I'm curious (hopefully someone will here will explain this) what happens when you walk over a border in Europe to a country with different laws and regulations with a Mac and require warranty service. Do you only get coverage in the country of origin or are the warranties honored elsewhere? If so ... what a nightmare that would be where these time differences in the warranties occur.

Well, the EU probably does have regulations about this sort of thing, but they are probably not a "nightmare" to follow.

I see this was already answered above.
post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Well, the EU probably does have regulations about this sort of thing, but they are probably not a "nightmare" to follow.

Our European friends seem to have explained this well and in fact all 27 countries are the same. This makes any change Apple makes in response to Italy more than likely to be an EU wide change I'd think.
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post #26 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by bozzunter View Post

Before reading more ignorant comments about Italy, I'd like to inform everyone that it's not an Italian law, but an European law. In European Community, warranty is 2 years but no company complies (Dell, Apple, HP, Samsung, you name it). In Italy/Europe, Apple stuff costs 30% more than in US, at least if they're forced to provide 2 years of warranty the cost will be partly justified (I'll still buy everything in US).

Not all Apple stuff costs 30% more than in the US. It all depends on currency valuations. The Dollar is currently quite strong against European currencies, so the price difference has gone down a lot.

A 16gb iPad 2 WIFI in the US is $500 plus tax which in most states comes to at least $535. Right now in the Czech Republic the same unit is 11,500CZK which is $583. So, for 10% more you get an extra year of warranty, not that bad. An unlocked 16gb iPhone 4s is about 10% over the US price now as well. That is why even in a relatively poor country (compared to Germany/France/UK) everyone is still walking around with iPhones.

There have been times when the dollar was so weak that I could sell my old iPod Touch used here for easily enough to buy the new model in the US (and have friends/family bring it). Did the same with my iPad 1 in January.
post #27 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

Surprisingly good question...I, too, am curious...

I think Italy is requiring way too much of a warranty though...2 years? seriously? One year is generous enough...

But if the law is the law the fine is relatively tiny and I'm sure Apple will fix this minor inconvenience.

All in all a non-story.

I know this came up in Great Britain too, where a 2 year warranty requirement is also in effect IIRC. I'd have to check further, but I thought the 2-year electronics warranty was an EU-wide one.

In any case Apple has had to deal with this before, so I don't think they could claim it just slipped their notice.

EDIT: Yes, it's pretty much the law throughout Europe, and has been since 1999. Here's the Product Warranty Directive (1999/44/EC) from the European Parliament:

This directive was written in May 1999 by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union with the objective of creating a common set of minimum rules which would remain valid no matter where in the EU goods are purchased.

Companies that sell in Europe are bound by this directive. It specifies that the seller of a products is "liable to the consumer for any lack of conformity which exists when the goods are delivered to the consumer and which becomes apparent within a period of two years, unless, at the moment of conclusion of the contract of sale, the consumer knew or could not reasonably be unaware of the lack of conformity."

This does not mean that you need to extend the warranties on your products to two years. Rather, the directive simply grants consumers the right to:

•Have the goods repaired or replaced free of charge within a reasonable period and without major inconvenience;
•An appropriate reduction in price;
•Have the contract rescinded if repair or replacement is impossible or disproportionate.
The "contract" between you and the buyer does not have to be written. Your claims of fitness for a particular application and even your marketing materials are a form of contract.


The "lack of conformity" (i.e. a defect not caused by normal use or wear) must exist at the time of delivery and must become apparent within two years from delivery. The two-year rule does not apply to products that don't normally have a two-year life span (e.g. disposable devices) nor for unintended uses. The consumer is not entitled to have the contract rescinded if the lack of conformity is minor. Some countries may have enacted longer periods in their national legislation so it is best to check local regulations.

Again, the directive should not be viewed as a guarantee. Normal wear and tear is not included, and the consumer does not have the power to demand a replacement regardless of the nature of the problem. Barring any warranty or guarantee offered freely by a manufacturer or distributor, the seller is only liable for any lack of conformity that exists at the time of delivery of the product.
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post #28 of 82
Hello to everyone.
I'm italian (and I guess you are going to note it by my english ) and article is not fully correct.
Italian law oblige sellers to warrant sold products for two years (and not makers).
Problems for Apple are concerned their stores (retail and online). But if I bought an Apple product from another store, there is any legal problem.
Anyway, this in an european law and I suppose Apple needs Europe
I'm curious to know how Apple is going to settle this little matter. Abroad it could seem a little problem, but I'm sure that other companies could be take advantage from this situation.

Byee
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post #29 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

OK thanks for explaining ... so walking over a border isn't an issue as all European countries are the same? I was curious about that. So a Mac bought in France can be serviced in Italy or vice versa for example without complications.

You have no idea of the mess we have - I really wonder how EU can work if even basic things like this don't follow something common. Basically, the law is written in FRENCH and it's says the "consumer" has some rights, among which we have a two year of warranty. The rights are valid for every stuff purchased in Europe, no matter if you cross the borders or not.

Of course, it's a major cost for every company, so they've always tried to dodge the law. The way is done is funny, and I have plenty of anecdotes since I quarreled many times:

1) Most of big companies (with the exception of Apple, Dell, HP but including Microsoft), say that "consumer" means "everything but a company". Hence, 2 year warranty is recognized if you don't request an invoice. I know this concept is absurd in US since here "invoice" mostly means proof of purchase, such as the one issued by Amazon. In Europe, "invoice" means something you can read the VAT number of both the customer and of the seller.

2) If point one doesn't seem absurd enough, I'd like to point out that the distinction between "consumers" (a company is a consumer as well) is done in Italy, for the Italian language. In Spain they had a different idea: company claimed you can have a 2 year warranty for stuff like appliances but not for electronic devices.

3) Companies like Apple, Dell and HP simply refuse to guarantee your rights, no matter if you are a company or not.

Of course, point 1 and 2 are simply a mean to avoid costs for the full warranty and I'm pretty sure that in every other country they try other tricks like this, but my knowledge is limited to Italy and Spain.

What happens when you claim your rights? With Apple, it's a desperate case - not because they are afraid of the cost for YOUR product, but because they would be obliged to change all their policies and the information provided (see AppleCare, for instance). Mind you, Dell does exactly the same by claiming you can upgrade the warranty to 3-4 years from 1.

When my ipod got broken, I fought at the phone with 4 different people and eventually I was recognized my warranty. But I got so tired that I swore I would give up in the future (of course, ipod is the cheapest Apple stuff in my house, since I have 2 iphone, 1 ipad, 4 Macs and so on).

Another guy was more resistant than me, he sued Apple and, after a three year trial (average lenght of Italian trials...) he won the cause and Apple was fined.

I'm really curious what happens now, at least in Italy. But here the most expensive MacBookPro 15'' is 2.150 , i.e. 2800$. Go figure if Apple can't provide a 2 year warranty with this margin
post #30 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If you think this through then the same argument can be extended ... there would be no safety standards, no quality standard ... and so on. Yes it can go too far but it could also not go far enough. Isn't life complicated?

And therein lays the problem. Since nobody can decide exactly where to draw the line between where government should begin and end, no line gets drawn and the government ends up doing whatever it dang well pleases. It's happening here in the US. Each day the US spends $10 billion. Yet, it only takes in $6 billion. But we can't cut spending cause it might possibly affect somebody somewhere. Again, nobody can figure out where to draw the line, so we spend ourselves into bankruptcy.
post #31 of 82
Why fine a company for what appears to be an oversight? Tell them to fix the oversight and move on.
post #32 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Why fine a company for what appears to be an oversight? Tell them to fix the oversight and move on.

They've had it called to their attention before. It wasn't an oversight. Apple attempted to skirt the requirement by claiming they didn't sell to consumers so it wasn't their problem.
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post #33 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post

I'm guessing that the 2 year warranty is a European Union requirement. We have the same 2 year warranty on everything you buy here in the Czech Republic. So, that makes your concern about a warranty service nightmare less of an issue since the 27 EU countries would all have the same requirements.

This problem always comes up when people mix up warranty and implied warranty. The EU mandates a 24 months implied warranty for all commercial sales (can be reduced to 12 months for second hand goods), a "just" warranty is completely voluntary. You can legally sell products without any warranty at all.

Further distinctions:

- "Implied warranties" have to be guaranteed by the reseller, not the OEM. So, if somebody buys in Italy, and then has a problem in e.g. Austria, the implied warranty would only be provided at all, if the same reseller would operate in both countries (as the same body). "Implied warranties" are not transferable (as they are part of the contract between the buyer and the seller, no seller can be forced to accept a different party with claims).

- A speciality of the EU "implied warranty" is that is only covers manufacturing/design defects and during the first 6 months practically every defect that can't be identified as caused by external force will be considered such an defect. After 6 months though, the burden of proof shifts - the buyer has now to proof that a defect already existed at the time of purchase. For all practical means, the 24 months implied warranty is only a 6 months warranty in real life, as the cost of an expert testimony in Europe will almost always exceed the cost of consumer wares.

- Regular warranties are provided by the OEM. They are 100% voluntarily and their terms (transferability, duration, extent, coverage area, yaddha) are the sole choice of the OEM. In case of Apple, the warranty is actually quite generous: it is global and it is transferrable (e.g. there are Canon and Nikon cameras in the $5000+ range that come with domestic only and even non-transferable warranties).

Sorry for the lengthy explanation, but showing the complexities involved is the only way to explain why non-EU companies struggle to meet this approach sometimes.

Apple Care (global, transferable and valid for one or two additional years beyond the base warranty and including a free hotline for the entire duration) is NOT in any way comparable to the 24 months EU warranty. Apple will repair or replace any defective product (unless the reason for the defect was external) in the coverage period, period. With the EU implied warranty you can be out of luck after 6 months (while Apple always covers you 12), you can't transfer it, it has no global reach, it does not include a free hotline and you might end up having to fight for acceptance.

We would need to know more about the true reasoning for the verdict; I assume Apple Store staff did fail to correctly deal with a case where customers were claiming a design/manufacturing defect after 12 months.
post #34 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

No government should have the right to tell any business how they must warrant their products. Yet another example of TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT.

That regulation actually applies to all EU countries. And in EU we can do whatever law we want, no need for your approval, thanks.

Apart from all the racist diminishing bigotry in here, Apple didn't respect local regulations and was fined that small sum. EU says all products have a 2 year guarantee, and Apple misled buyers by making them believe that Applecare covered 2 years more than the normal guarantee, when in reality it overlapped it.
post #35 of 82
The BBC article may be the easiest and clearest explanation:
"The country's Antitrust Authority said Apple had failed to inform shoppers of their legal right to two years' technical support, recognising instead only a one-year standard warranty.

It said the firm's action had led people to pay extra for Apple's own support service, which overlapped in part with the free guarantee."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16339651


IMHO Apple got a pretty cheap slap on the wrist.
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post #36 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

This problem always comes up when people mix up warranty and implied warranty. The EU mandates a 24 months implied warranty for all commercial sales (can be reduced to 12 months for second hand goods), a "just" warranty is completely voluntary. You can legally sell products without any warranty at all.

Further distinctions:

- "Implied warranties" have to be guaranteed by the reseller, not the OEM. So, if somebody buys in Italy, and then has a problem in e.g. Austria, the implied warranty would only be provided at all, if the same reseller would operate in both countries (as the same body). "Implied warranties" are not transferable (as they are part of the contract between the buyer and the seller, no seller can be forced to accept a different party with claims).

- A speciality of the EU "implied warranty" is that is only covers manufacturing/design defects and during the first 6 months practically every defect that can't be identified as caused by external force will be considered such an defect. After 6 months though, the burden of proof shifts - the buyer has now to proof that a defect already existed at the time of purchase. For all practical means, the 24 months implied warranty is only a 6 months warranty in real life, as the cost of an expert testimony in Europe will almost always exceed the cost of consumer wares.

- Regular warranties are provided by the OEM. They are 100% voluntarily and their terms (transferability, duration, extent, coverage area, yaddha) are the sole choice of the OEM. In case of Apple, the warranty is actually quite generous: it is global and it is transferrable (e.g. there are Canon and Nikon cameras in the $5000+ range that come with domestic only and even non-transferable warranties).

Sorry for the lengthy explanation, but showing the complexities involved is the only way to explain why non-EU companies struggle to meet this approach sometimes.

Apple Care (global, transferable and valid for one or two additional years beyond the base warranty and including a free hotline for the entire duration) is NOT in any way comparable to the 24 months EU warranty. Apple will repair or replace any defective product (unless the reason for the defect was external) in the coverage period, period. With the EU implied warranty you can be out of luck after 6 months (while Apple always covers you 12), you can't transfer it, it has no global reach, it does not include a free hotline and you might end up having to fight for acceptance.

We would need to know more about the true reasoning for the verdict; I assume Apple Store staff did fail to correctly deal with a case where customers were claiming a design/manufacturing defect after 12 months.

Good explanation, I'm not a specialist at all but that's what I had understood by myself reading here and there.

In France, there is a lifetime warranty actually, but only 6 months where you don't have to prove the defect. I think that's a good thing. If a product has a flaw, there shouldn't be a limit to the time someone can get repairs. My iMac had its upper LED ribbon fail 3 years after purchase. That's not my fault, and contrary to what many here say, it shows that Apple products are far from being perfect. Such a problem after only 3 years is not normal. And if I could get Apple to repair it for free I would, because it's their fault if they use cheap components for their screens.
post #37 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

That regulation actually applies to all EU countries. And in EU we can do whatever law we want, no need for your approval, thanks.

Apart from all the racist diminishing bigotry in here, Apple didn't respect local regulations and was fined that small sum. EU says all products have a 2 year guarantee, and Apple misled buyers by making them believe that Applecare covered 2 years more than the normal guarantee, when in reality it overlapped it.

I think the over abundance of government is universal. It was not a dig at the EU specifically. And how do you get racism out of my statement? As to needing my approval, why are you so testy? Perhaps you too realize that all government can do is drive up the cost of goods? Let the market decide if Apple's products are worth buying. If they don't last as long as expected, you can buy from competitors. This is simply not something that government should be involved in. This is an implied contract between buyer and seller. If Apple's products are deemed inferior, they will either need to fix them or go out of business.
post #38 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

I think the over abundance of government is universal. It was not a dig at the EU specifically. And how do you get racism out of my statement? As to needing my approval, why are you so testy? Perhaps you too realize that all government can do is drive up the cost of goods? Let the market decide if Apple's products are worth buying. If they don't last as long as expected, you can buy from competitors. This is simply not something that government should be involved in. This is an implied contract between buyer and seller. If Apple's products are deemed inferior, they will either need to fix them or go out of business.

The racist part wasn't directed at you.
And we are not going to discuss politics, but you have your american view about markets and governments that make stuff expensive, I have my european view of markets regulated so that they stay on true competition and governments that apply taxes so that citizens can enjoy other benefits like health care and aid for the jobless.

EDIT

For me, the "let the market decide" is an illusion. The market (the people) are dumb in general, they are influenced by ads and trends, and are going to buy a product even if it's not as perfect as marketed.
PEACE
post #39 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchseb View Post

Everytime Apple breaks the law somewhere we get that silly comment. Country needs Apple more than Apple needs country (replace country with anyone except US and China...)
This is so ridiculous, can you actually conceptualize in your brain that countries can have their own set of laws and that they dont have to adapt their laws depending on what Apple does in the US ?
Anyhow why would you worry about guarantee issues, I am sure you think Apple product never fail.

Oh come on. You are exaggerating at best. These kind of comments don't *always* follow such situations and just saying "you always say that" (or the equivalent) is more childish than the original comment.

In this particular case we have a country with a failing economy fining one of the best retail operations on the planet, selling currently some of the most popular items on the planet, who have only recently moved to opening lots of stores in said country.

I think it's totally fair to characterise this particular situation as "Italy needing Apple more than Apple needs Italy." There are countries all around Italy that don't take more than a few hours to drive to selling the same product.

And while we are talking about "ridiculous" situations ... it's an absolutely idiotic and completely ridiculous idea to give a manufacturers paid warranty for a product that almost matches the lifetime of the average product in duration. Most technological products nowadays are designed to be obsolete and possibly in need of replacement on a two year cycle, with complete self-destruct kicking in at the four year minimum.

Giving a free two year warranty is retail suicide.
post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

I think the over abundance of government is universal. ... Let the market decide if Apple's products are worth buying. If they don't last as long as expected, you can buy from competitors. This is simply not something that government should be involved in. This is an implied contract between buyer and seller. If Apple's products are deemed inferior, they will either need to fix them or go out of business.

In theory (or in some right-wing think tank) that's logical, but if Apple (et al) didn't have to offer any warranty, it would really hurt the minimum-wage-earning consumer who saved up for a year to buy a Mac, only to have it fail. If Apple decided "no, we won't fix that" the consumer is screwed.

That's what Government is supposed to do: keep the little guy from getting screwed by the huge corporations, since it hurts the little guy far more than one pissed customer can hurt a corporation.
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