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AppleCare pulled from Italian stores over antitrust flap

post #1 of 58
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Apple confirmed on Tuesday that it has stopped selling its AppleCare extended protection plan in its Italian stores, and cut off distribution to authorized resellers, in response to continuing antitrust concerns associated with EU warranty laws.

The sales halt has been in effect since Nov. 9, an Apple spokesman told Reuters, leaving customers in Italy unable to purchase the AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) in Apple Stores or reseller locations.

Apple's extended protection plan is still available through the company's Italian website, where a carefully worded disclaimer notes the product's "benefits are in addition to two-year warranty from the seller under the Italian legislation to protect consumers." EU law mandates that goods sold in the region come with a standard two-year warranty.

AppleCare Italy
Apple's Italian AppleCare webpage. | Source: Apple


In December, the Cupertino-based company was hit with a 900,000-euro fine, nearly $1.2 million at the time, from the Italian Antitrust Authority for not providing consumers with information regarding their EU-protected warranty rights. Apple allegedly pushed the optional APP on consumers by misrepresenting the for-pay warranty, as well as not clearly stating the EU mandates on its retail packaging. A disclaimer was finally added to the boxes following an unsuccessful appeal of the ruling in March.

It was reported in July that Italy's AGCM competition and marketing authority threatened to shut down Apple's Italian operations for 30 days, plus add on to the original fines, as it found the company to not have fully complied with the earlier order. Apple contested the claims, and talks are ongoing.

Piling on to Apple's woes, two consumer advocacy groups launched a class action lawsuit in October, alleging the company continues to violate EU laws.

The AppleCare service can run anywhere between $29 for an Apple TV, to $349 for the latest MacBook Pros. Apple recently began the AppleCare+ service, a $99 option for the iPhone and iPad that offers an extra two years of coverage, including up to two incidents of accidental damage which are fixed for a flat fee.
post #2 of 58
Silly lawmakers!

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post #3 of 58
Wow! That is actually a very sad thing to happen. Although the law requires 2 years warranty, you will get way more service through Apple Care.
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post #4 of 58
how does this equate to the uk?
apple still advertise their products as having a 12 month warranty here when it should be 2 years because of the eu ruling.
post #5 of 58

Apple is immediately sued by Italy for not offering an extended warranty in-store.

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post #6 of 58

AppleCare has gotten the boot!! -- In the 'boot'!! (Italy)

post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by WardC View Post

AppleCare has gotten the boot!! -- In the 'boot'!! (Italy)

 

1oyvey.gif

post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne2612 View Post

how does this equate to the uk?
apple still advertise their products as having a 12 month warranty here when it should be 2 years because of the eu ruling.

Apple provides their 12 months warranty which includes some telephone support + will fix problems that arise during the warranty period.

 

They also provide the 2 year EU warranty which only covers defects that exist when the product was purchased, not faults that arise during the warranty period.

 

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

post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post

Apple provides their 12 months warranty which includes some telephone support + will fix problems that arise during the warranty period.

 

They also provide the 2 year EU warranty which only covers defects that exist when the product was purchased, not faults that arise during the warranty period.

 

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

 

thanks for the info. i'd never found much on how the eu law related to the uk and why apple still advertise products as only have 12 months warranty here.

post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne2612 View Post

 

thanks for the info. i'd never found much on how the eu law related to the uk and why apple still advertise products as only have 12 months warranty here.

 



The quote from Apple's site is wrong - in that Apple are being disingenuous again, which is what has got them into trouble in Italy in the first place and with the UK Judge in the second..  UK consumer law is tougher than the EU law and warrants a reasonable use from a product, and that absolutely includes defects that develop which either shouldn't - given 'reasonable expectations' - or which only developed because of an initial intrinsic fault.  Basically, The EU protection is worded in that it is a 'minimum' requirement which EU member states must comply with through legislation, however it does allow for it not to be incorporated in a member states legislation if they already have legislation which provides greater consumer protection - which is the case with the UK.

 

Apple can say what they like about not fixing faults that develop, but I am sure a Uk Judge will quickly put them right on the issue if they wan't to get smart - yet again.

post #11 of 58
Reminds me slightly of that UK PPI scandal. But here Apple also chose to ignore European consumer rights.
post #12 of 58

My understanding of the law in the UK is:

Under the Sale Of Goods Act 1979 Section 14-2, the 'durability' of a product must be what...   'a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking account of any description of the goods, the price (if relevant) and all the other relevant circumstances'

I believe for an Apple computer that this is definitely more than two years and so this law is of a higher standard than the EU directive and so takes precedence.


Edit: I forgot to say, the law has a maximum of six years.

post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple is immediately sued by Italy for not offering an extended warranty in-store.

 

troll

post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

 



The quote from Apple's site is wrong - in that Apple are being disingenuous again, which is what has got them into trouble in Italy in the first place and with the UK Judge in the second..  UK consumer law is tougher than the EU law and warrants a reasonable use from a product, and that absolutely includes defects that develop which either shouldn't - given 'reasonable expectations' - or which only developed because of an initial intrinsic fault.  Basically, The EU protection is worded in that it is a 'minimum' requirement which EU member states must comply with through legislation, however it does allow for it not to be incorporated in a member states legislation if they already have legislation which provides greater consumer protection - which is the case with the UK.

 

Apple can say what they like about not fixing faults that develop, but I am sure a Uk Judge will quickly put them right on the issue if they wan't to get smart - yet again.

The sales of goods act applies to the retailer not the manufacturer so this isn't really the same thing. Granted if you purchase at an Apple store then it applies.

 

It isn't just Apple though, I would challenge you to find any manufacturer or retailer than gives advise on the Sales of Goods act as a way to obtain repairs over and above a standard warranty. Personally I would argue that it isn't their responsibility, certainly in the UK they are not required by law to do so - consumers need to take some responsibility in knowing their rights.  My understanding is it is different in Italy where they are required to highlight consumer rights which is where Apple were failing.

post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple is immediately sued by Italy for not offering an extended warranty in-store.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

 

troll


I think the point being made is that whatever Apple does in Europe, it can't win with so many consumers having such strong feelings of entitlement.  I am all for consumer protection, but I can't see how this is good for business.

post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

 



The quote from Apple's site is wrong - in that Apple are being disingenuous again, which is what has got them into trouble in Italy in the first place and with the UK Judge in the second..  UK consumer law is tougher than the EU law and warrants a reasonable use from a product, and that absolutely includes defects that develop which either shouldn't - given 'reasonable expectations' - or which only developed because of an initial intrinsic fault.  Basically, The EU protection is worded in that it is a 'minimum' requirement which EU member states must comply with through legislation, however it does allow for it not to be incorporated in a member states legislation if they already have legislation which provides greater consumer protection - which is the case with the UK.

 

Apple can say what they like about not fixing faults that develop, but I am sure a Uk Judge will quickly put them right on the issue if they wan't to get smart - yet again.

 

Are you pulling the UK judge card? Personally I am sick about hearing about UK judges. Can you stop please?

post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple is immediately sued by Italy for not offering an extended warranty in-store.

 

Why not? And a daily 24 point Monotype Italian Old Style font apology on the front page of Corriere della Sera. LOL

post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeJay2012 View Post

 


I think the point being made is that whatever Apple does in Europe, it can't win with so many consumers having such strong feelings of entitlement.  I am all for consumer protection, but I can't see how this is good for business.

Applecare goes above and beyond the statutory requirements, from what I understand. So Apple should just pitch it that way, and not suggest or imply it provides something that you would not otherwise get. It's not complicated.

post #19 of 58

It's not about being good for business, but about being good for consumers.  You speak as if this is some unique piece of legislation that is singling out poor persecuted Apple and no one else.  It isn't.

 

As for a sense of entitlement - you jest?  I recently paid a small fortune for a 15" MBPR.  I seriously think that it should last a good bit longer than 12 months without malfunctioning or hidden defects or deficiencies developing.  Would you buy a car that only had a 12 month warranty?  Given it's difficulty of repair, I would not have bought it if it had only been covered by a 12 month warranty - so that's one way that legislation is good for business, it gives consumers the confidence to purchase.
 

post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Applecare goes above and beyond the statutory requirements, from what I understand. So Apple should just pitch it that way, and not suggest or imply it provides something that you would not otherwise get. It's not complicated.


Actually when I read about this indeed it is complicated by the different interpretations of consumer law between member states of the EU and UK. Perhaps you are a consumer lawyer based in Brussels and have a clearer grasp on this. LOL. Consumer protection laws are not always clear either in North America. I am not sure where you get that Apple pitches Applecare any differently in various countries -it  seems clearly spelled out.

post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

It's not about being good for business, but about being good for consumers.  You speak as if this is some unique piece of legislation that is singling out poor persecuted Apple and no one else.  It isn't.

 

As for a sense of entitlement - you jest?  I recently paid a small fortune for a 15" MBPR.  I seriously think that it should last a good bit longer than 12 months without malfunctioning or hidden defects or deficiencies developing.  Would you buy a car that only had a 12 month warranty?  Given it's difficulty of repair, I would not have bought it if it had only been covered by a 12 month warranty - so that's one way that legislation is good for business, it gives consumers the confidence to purchase.
 


Actually it is something that should be fair to both and not intended to benefit consumers that have unrealistic expectations of product life. I am not sure I accept car warranties as being entirely relevant here as there are personal safety issues that supersede any warranty, but I accept your point that there should be a reasonable expectation of usefulness. Two years for a phone or equivalent without lots of mechanical wear and tear seems not unreasonable - so we likely agree. I just know that many people will milk whatever little loophole to get products replaced - and that costs us all. For Italians, well they have lost an option that many probably found real value in. C'est la vie. (Che è la vita?)

post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

 

troll

 

You're new here.

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post #23 of 58
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Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

You're new here.


Newer than you I see by your post number. Impressive.

post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post

Apple provides their 12 months warranty which includes some telephone support + will fix problems that arise during the warranty period.

They also provide the 2 year EU warranty which only covers defects that exist when the product was purchased, not faults that arise during the warranty period.

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

That's not exactly how it works:

1 - Lack of conformity arising up to 6 months after the time of purchase is to be regarded as being present at the time of purchase (Apple can not even attempt to prove otherwise in this case);

2 - Lack of conformity reported a day before the end of the 2-year period is considered present at the time of purchase by default unless Apple can prove that it was caused by incorrect use of the product;

3 - Lack of conformity has to be reported within 2 months of detection (this prevents people from waiting the full 2 year period to get a refund over something minimal).

These laws extend to all EU countries, with no exceptions. If a country is not fully implementing Directive 99/44/EC, any EU citizen can file a complaint against that country at the EC.
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Wow! That is actually a very sad thing to happen. Although the law requires 2 years warranty, you will get way more service through Apple Care.

Yep, but if the lawmakers don't get that then why bother continuing to try to educate them. They don't want AppleCare sold in Italy so Apple will oblige. At the consumers loss when they can't prove delivery defect etc and have to pay insane amounts for service, have to pay for phone support etc
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne2612 View Post

how does this equate to the uk?
apple still advertise their products as having a 12 month warranty here when it should be 2 years because of the eu ruling.

Not exactly. The EU law requires the seller to repair or replace goods for any defect present at time of delivery for two years. In many countries after six months the consumer has to prove it was such a defect.

The one year warranty Apple proves is on all Apple products no matter the seller or when the defect occurred. If they can't prove it was damage related, they cover it.
post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave2012 View Post

My understanding of the law in the UK is:


Under the Sale Of Goods Act 1979 Section 14-2, the 'durability' of a product must be what...   'a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking account of any description of the goods, the price (if relevant) and all the other relevant circumstances'


I believe for an Apple computer that this is definitely more than two years and so this law is of a higher standard than the EU directive and so takes precedence.



Edit: I forgot to say, the law has a maximum of six years.

From the seller, which isn't always Apple.

Apples warranty doesn't care if you bought it from them, Dixons, JoJo's authorized Apple reseller etc.
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne2612 View Post

how does this equate to the uk?
apple still advertise their products as having a 12 month warranty here when it should be 2 years because of the eu ruling.

Do you pay in Euros?

That's an EU ruling too. Isn't it?
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post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post




The quote from Apple's site is wrong - in that Apple are being disingenuous again, which is what has got them into trouble in Italy in the first place and with the UK Judge in the second..  UK consumer law is tougher than the EU law and warrants a reasonable use from a product, and that absolutely includes defects that develop which either shouldn't - given 'reasonable expectations' - or which only developed because of an initial intrinsic fault.  Basically, The EU protection is worded in that it is a 'minimum' requirement which EU member states must comply with through legislation, however it does allow for it not to be incorporated in a member states legislation if they already have legislation which provides greater consumer protection - which is the case with the UK.

Apple can say what they like about not fixing faults that develop, but I am sure a Uk Judge will quickly put them right on the issue if they wan't to get smart - yet again.

So why does the UK still use their own currency?

Are they in the EU or not ?
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post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

So why does the UK still use their own currency?

Are they in the EU or not ?

They have negotiated opt-outs (this also applies to Denmark and informally to Sweden).
post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

It's not about being good for business, but about being good for consumers.  You speak as if this is some unique piece of legislation that is singling out poor persecuted Apple and no one else.  It isn't.

As for a sense of entitlement - you jest?  I recently paid a small fortune for a 15" MBPR.  I seriously think that it should last a good bit longer than 12 months without malfunctioning or hidden defects or deficiencies developing.  Would you buy a car that only had a 12 month warranty?  Given it's difficulty of repair, I would not have bought it if it had only been covered by a 12 month warranty - so that's one way that legislation is good for business, it gives consumers the confidence to purchase.

 

So you're arguing that Apple isn't being singled out - yet you then argue that they SHOULD be singled out because their products are more expensive.

*head spinning*
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post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaelian View Post


They have negotiated opt-outs (this also applies to Denmark and informally to Sweden).

 

How many other "opt outs" has the UK "negotiated", pertaining to consumer law, for instance?

 

The currency situation proves that not all EU rules are implemented.

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post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


So you're arguing that Apple isn't being singled out - yet you then argue that they SHOULD be singled out because their products are more expensive.
*head spinning*

Please explain what it was I said that leads you to think I singled Apple out.  Was it the mention of cars as a corollary?

 

And as it so happens, the UK legislation does take into account the cost of an item as a factor in determining a reasonable expectation of service life.

 

 

Quote:
Satisfactory quality is defined as what a ‘reasonable person’ would regard as acceptable, and takes into account factors such as price paid
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


So why does the UK still use their own currency?
Are they in the EU or not ?


The EU and the Euro are not mutually inclusive.  Joining the Euro was never a condition of remaining a member of the EU.  Some countries joined the Euro, and some didn't.

post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post

The sales of goods act applies to the retailer not the manufacturer so this isn't really the same thing. Granted if you purchase at an Apple store then it applies.

 

It isn't just Apple though, I would challenge you to find any manufacturer or retailer than gives advise on the Sales of Goods act as a way to obtain repairs over and above a standard warranty. Personally I would argue that it isn't their responsibility, certainly in the UK they are not required by law to do so - consumers need to take some responsibility in knowing their rights.  My understanding is it is different in Italy where they are required to highlight consumer rights which is where Apple were failing.

 

To my knowledge it is required by (EU) law to state that a product has 2 (or more) years warranty.

So Apple has to put that information on its website when a customer views a specific product.

Just checked, and no, currently only one year limited warranty on Apple products in the Dutch Apple store.

 

J.

post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


So why does the UK still use their own currency?
Are they in the EU or not ?

 

Good question.

I saw some valid answers.

I would like to add that this is one of the reasons the EU doesn't work.

 

J.

post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

How many other "opt outs" has the UK "negotiated", pertaining to consumer law, for instance?

The currency situation proves that not all EU rules are implemented.

First it doesn't prove anything, it creates doubt. Secondly, not that I'm aware of. As far as I know, the UK has 4 opt-outs: one from the EMU (Euro), another for the Charter of Fundamental Rights (a kind of European constitution), and two for the open borders.
post #38 of 58

I would say the EU works, it's the Euro that doesn't.
 

post #39 of 58
There is nothing wrong wth AppleCare pitching and extra 12 months warranty with added protection on top of the 2 year warranty. So it seems now they don't and only ever did by denying statutory EU rights. Get it fixed Apple.
post #40 of 58
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post
I would say the EU works, it's the Euro that doesn't.


So just rename the currency to "Urow". Problem solved.

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