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Apple lengthens Australian warranty policy, but doesn't want to talk about it

post #1 of 50
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Apple had quietly extended its hardware warranty in Australia to two years, but the company's retail employees have reportedly been instructed to not reveal the changes to customers.

Apple's new two-year hardware warranty places the company in compliance with Australian laws, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. But an e-mail obtained by the publication from one Apple retail store found that employees were told that they could not discuss details of the changes with customers.

AppleCare


The Australian Consumer Law was passed in January of 2011, requiring companies to provide customers with a "reasonable" length of warranty for products. While the term reasonable is not defined, the law suggests that expensive products such as televisions should be supported for up to 24 months.

The standard warranty for most of Apple's products is 12 months, though customers can purchase an extended AppleCare warranty for their device.

Apple declined to comment on the alleged e-mail that directed employees to not discuss the new policy. But Rod Stowe, Fair Trading Commissioner for the New South Wales government, called hiding details of the 24-month warranty "rather surprising and disingenuous."

"To instruct your staff to not let people know is something that seems of quite concern, and I don't understand why they wouldn't want to be upfront about it," Stowe said. "Apple seems to be generally one of those businesses that is quite responsible to problems."

Apple's standard 12-month product warranties have placed the company in trouble in other parts of the world. Italian authorities have fined Apple nearly $1.5 million U.S. for unfair commercial practices" related to its AppleCare product warranties.

Those fines were brought on by the Italian Antitrust Authority, which deemed that Apple did not provide adequate information to customers about the length of its product guarantees. Italian law requires companies to protect buyers with a free two-year warranty, but Apple continued to offer customers the ability to purchase a two-year warranty rather than receiving one for free.
post #2 of 50
Quote:
Italian law requires companies to protect buyers with a free two-year warranty, but Apple continued to offer customers the ability to purchase a two-year warranty rather than receiving one for free.

Fortunately, yes. AppleCare is simply something better than regular warrenty, something not everyone knows.
post #3 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple had quietly extended its hardware warranty in Australia to two years, but the company's retail employees have reportedly been instructed to not reveal the changes to customers.

Apple's new two-year hardware warranty places the company in compliance with Australian laws, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. But an e-mail obtained by the publication from one Apple retail store found that employees were told that they could not discuss details of the changes with customers.

Why would they instruct staff not to discuss the extension to a 2-year warranty? If it's true, and I haven't seen proof that it is, the Fair Trading Commissioner is right to inquire further.

 

Where's the email that supposedly proves it?

 

EDIT: I don't see a link to the email in the the original story at the Sidney Herald either. Maybe it's there somewhere but if so it's not obvious.

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/apple-keeps-warranty-switch-under-wraps-20130318-2gahc.html


Edited by Gatorguy - 3/18/13 at 7:25am
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post #4 of 50
The email is likely totally bogus or this is a combo of misquoting the mall and the change. It's possible that this is like the EU laws which, in many areas, apply to protections required from the seller on delivery defects. The email may have been to clarify the Apple's manufacturers warranty for products bought t any seller and defects not present at delivery is still one year and to not tellfolksthat that coverage is two years. Which is not the same thing as telling folks to lie by omission

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post #5 of 50
Well if their has been a change in policy I could not listed on their AU web site.
post #6 of 50

So in other words...Apple just wants to be childish about it. 

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post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Fortunately, yes. AppleCare is simply something better than regular warrenty, something not everyone knows.

 

And better than these laws. Because the laws are defect at delivery from the seller. The point is to stop folks from selling lemons that they either know are lemons or didn't reasonably check.

 

an example. I live in Rome and I go to Pietro's Cell Phones and an iPhone. 4 months later it stops working. Under Italian law I can go to Pietro's and they legally have to repair or replace my phone. But if it happens at 8 months I will likely have to prove the issue was present when I bought it. Which I won't likely be able to prove so they will refuse me. But I can go over to the Apple store and under their 1 year warranty they will replace it. Even if it worked perfectly for 11.5 months. If they can't prove damage I'm covered. If I have Apple care im still covered if it was fine for 23.5 months if there's no damage. But Pietro's can say it worked for over a year so it wasn't a defect at delivery so they don't have to do anything.

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post #8 of 50
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Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

So in other words...Apple just wants to be childish about it. 

 

So in other words you want to be childish and assume the big bad corporation must be guilty of anything they are accused of simply cause they were accused and they are a big corp. double hen there's no actual proof given

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post #9 of 50
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Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

So in other words you want to be childish and assume the big bad corporation must be guilty of anything they are accused of simply cause they were accused and they are a big corp. double hen there's no actual proof given

Not at all. He only assumes that APPLE is guilty without evidence.
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post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

So in other words you want to be childish and assume the big bad corporation must be guilty of anything they are accused of simply cause they were accused and they are a big corp. double hen there's no actual proof given

 

Nope...not at all. 

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post #11 of 50
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Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Not at all. He only assumes that APPLE is guilty without evidence.

To be fair you've been know to assume Google or Motorola or Samsung is guilty with even less evidence. I suppose it's human nature to accept as fact those statements that support what you believe but require a higher standard for statements that don't.


Edited by Gatorguy - 3/18/13 at 8:18am
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post #12 of 50
Why hide it? I would praise on high the built-in extended warranty. Be up front. I know it costs you some profit but you're offering it so you might as well be direct about it and market it to increase business.

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post #13 of 50

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 7/23/13 at 9:30am
post #14 of 50

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Edited by MacRulez - 7/23/13 at 9:30am
post #15 of 50

Charlituna said

 

 

 

Quote:
Because the laws are defect at delivery from the seller.

 

 

It's not as simple as that - at least under UK law. Here it's possible to have cover against defects that develop later if the product that was delivered to you didn't have a sufficiently durable design. So the defect at delivery was lack of durability.

post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Why hide it? I would praise on high the built-in extended warranty. Be up front. I know it costs you some profit but you're offering it so you might as well be direct about it and market it to increase business.

you are correct. It would seem like they should even advertise it. The competition has a 1 year warranty but WE have a free 2 year warranty! We now back up our product with a free two year warranty...bring it to any Apple store and we will honor that warranty. Seems like a great PR and marketing point of emphasis....

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post #17 of 50
Off Topic: In case people in the US (not sure of other countries) don't know this, but if you buy Apple's headphones they are automatically covered by the warranty of other Apple products you use them with. I use to Shure and Klipsch in-ear phones and because my usage patterns are fairly abusive I'd be using that warranty within that year time frame. It was always a pain to find their warranty page, fill out the online portion, hunt down my receipt, print out the other forms, and mail it in to the companies on my dime.

I finally stopped paying hundreds for in-ear phones (usually only got the one replacement before the warranty was over) and while they did sound better than Apple's in-ear phones for the prince of $79 Apple's option wasn't that bad. Plus, I like that Apple's cord is about 10-12" shorter than the other brands, which is a big reason they came apart as they oft got snagged on doorknobs and whatnot.

Only recently did I find out about the added bonus of a built-in warranty for those that buy Apple products went in to buy some additional grommets(?) for the phones. Apple doesn't sell them but they gave me a pair in the size I wanted.

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post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post


There may not yet be proof per se, but apparently NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe believes the internal email is indeed evidence.

 

On the contrary, his quote makes it sound like he doesn't believe Apple would do something like that because "Apple seems to be generally one of those businesses that is quite responsible to the problems."  His first quote doesn't mean he believes the story being told.   He's simply saying that if any company was hiding details of a 24-month warranty it would be "rather surprising and disingenuous."

post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Why would they instruct staff not to discuss the extension to a 2-year warranty? If it's true, and I haven't seen proof that it is, the Fair Trading Commissioner is right to inquire further.

 

Where's the email that supposedly proves it?

 

EDIT: I don't see a link to the email in the the original story at the Sidney Herald either. Maybe it's there somewhere but if so it's not obvious.

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/apple-keeps-warranty-switch-under-wraps-20130318-2gahc.html

You are right on every points. It should be inquired further, and yes, we need to see that damn email.

post #20 of 50
... Ill be sure to keep a link to this article for the next time people outside the u.s. want to complain about paying more for apple products. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
post #21 of 50

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 7/23/13 at 9:33am
post #22 of 50

2 Year warranty should be the minimum on all of Apple's products, but especially their computers! Considering the premium that Apple charges I am frequently amazed that they only offer one year. And yes, before anyone points out that you can buy Apple Care I feel you shouldn't have to. When you pay nearly £2000 for a computer you expect more in all areas not just the design of the product but the support too.

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post #23 of 50
Originally Posted by saarek View Post
Considering the premium that Apple charges…

 

Your implication that they cost more than a comparable system is humorous. I thought we'd gotten over that long ago.

 

But no, I think they should just offer 3 years of AppleCare standard. Not for your reasons, but simply to kick everyone else in the industry in the crotch.

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post #24 of 50
People please. This is the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), their technology writers have a strong anti Apple bias. Their head technology writer travels overseas as guest of Samsung.

Without knowing, the context of the email about not "discussing the changes" I think we should wait to see what their longer term attitude is.

eg Like in the US legal issues can arise if things are not communicated accurately, so a heads up that things are changing, but waiting for correct implementation could explain this.

Its interesting that the SMH doesnt publish the whole email that they say they have. They only use selected words from the email. Which given their past would tend to give the impression, they are taking something a little out of context, or at best spinning it out, to be more sinister than was intended.

Par for the course for this publication.
Edited by teepzo - 3/18/13 at 9:46am
post #25 of 50

I've bought plenty of Apple products and the warranty and its length have never been mentioned through the sale. Why should it be any different in Australia?

post #26 of 50

What a load of bullshit, almost everything sold in Australia comes with a standard 12 month warranty, EVERYTHING, from any manufacturer as can be easily seen by checking any retailers site.

 

e.g. http://www.samsung.com/au/support/warranty/warrantyInformation.do 

 

Vodafone already gives 24 months warranty on iPhones they sell, that's a voluntary arrangement, which also cover other handsets they sell which also come with the usual 12 month manufacturers warranty.


Edited by hill60 - 3/18/13 at 10:29am
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post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Your implication that they cost more than a comparable system is humorous. I thought we'd gotten over that long ago.

But no, I think they should just offer 3 years of AppleCare standard. Not for your reasons, but simply to kick everyone else in the industry in the crotch.

Apple does charge a premium, they're a premium product company. I didn't bring in the old Apple is a rip off chestnut, you did.

Apple makes far more margin per computer sold then any of their competitors & should offer a superior level of service to coincide with their premium niche.
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post #28 of 50
Originally Posted by saarek View Post
I didn't bring in the old Apple is a rip off chestnut, you did.

 

By saying they charge a premium, you did.


Apple… …should offer a superior level of service to coincide with their premium niche.

 

They do. That's why they're always rated highest in those categories.

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post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I finally stopped paying hundreds for in-ear phones (usually only got the one replacement before the warranty was over) and while they did sound better than Apple's in-ear phones for the prince of $79 Apple's option wasn't that bad. Plus, I like that Apple's cord is about 10-12" shorter than the other brands, which is a big reason they came apart as they oft got snagged on doorknobs and whatnot.
 

 

I run the cords inside my shirt, no snags.

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post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

2 Year warranty should be the minimum on all of Apple's products, but especially their computers! Considering the premium that Apple charges I am frequently amazed that they only offer one year. And yes, before anyone points out that you can buy Apple Care I feel you shouldn't have to. When you pay nearly £2000 for a computer you expect more in all areas not just the design of the product but the support too.


That's why I buy with AMEX and get the warranty doubled and don't spend on Applecare. I take the risk to save a few bucks. Seems these days Apple laptops are built very well. They did have lots of issues with iBooks and logic boards on the MacBooks. We had one iBook in the shop about 4 times. The 5th time, they gave us a brand new iBook, even though our warranty was expired.

 

I don't know if we pay a premium on MacBooks these days. MacBooks are pretty competitive with what is out there.

 

Beats the old days circa 1990 when Apple only gave 90 day warranties.

post #31 of 50
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
I run the cords inside my shirt, no snags.

 

Now that I have both Bluetooth headphones and a Dock Connector Bluetooth dongle, I just wear my iPod nano on my wrist and go to town. 

 

The sound quality is worse than I would have thought, which was depressing, but it's not wretched so I have to live with it.

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post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Why hide it? I would praise on high the built-in extended warranty. Be up front. I know it costs you some profit but you're offering it so you might as well be direct about it and market it to increase business.

Praise it? This should be the default standard warranty coverage on all electronics in this price range. If companies want to proclaim product superiority, it would help if they willingly stood behind the product for 2 full years. Not covering customer damage, unless that kind of coverage is paid for. Just the manufacturing result, reliability & function of the product. The more expensive a product, the more coverage it should have.

But no, the computer industry gets away with zero warranty on software and often less than a year on hardware, when this industry is well known for product that is rushed to market and never fully debugged. The industry makes special pleading for exemption and society just bends over and takes it. This has to change. This CAN change if people seek it!!
post #33 of 50
Warranties cost money to fulfil. Simple as that so if the customer's writes off the device through ignorance shareholder prosper more. If Apple match the talked about quality with real facts then is costs good money.
post #34 of 50
Originally Posted by dysamoria View Post
This should be the default standard warranty coverage on all electronics in this price range.


According to what?

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post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Your implication that they cost more than a comparable system is humorous. I thought we'd gotten over that long ago.

But no, I think they should just offer 3 years of AppleCare standard. Not for your reasons, but simply to kick everyone else in the industry in the crotch.

I really think Apple should do that. My experience with Apple products is that after the first year the only thing that might fail is the battery in their laptops (this was with their removable batteries). And even then they repair them even outside the warranty in most cases. Apple care could be offered as an extension to 3 years warranty with phone support and priority repairs.
post #36 of 50

In UK products are required to be "fit for purpose" and be of "merchantable quality", if you buy a product that fails sooner than you reasonably expect it should you can seek recompense through the small claims court. The court will make a judgment based upon the individual circumstances of the case, in the case of consumer electronics (including computers and mobiles) on average the period is a little over two years, for domestic appliances nearly three years.

 

The consumer's contract is with the retailer who can not pass off responsibility to the manufacturer, basically from the retailer's point of view you sold defective product you stand by your judgment in offering it for sale, if you erred you make good. All American and many international companies and even UK companies try the 'one year warranty' scam on with consumers, a brief hard word to the supervisor/manager of the store is usually all that it takes to get the right thing done.

 

If the product shows signs of abuse, misuse or more than the expected 'fair wear and tear' the retailer is justified in refusing recompense, the consumer can take up their claim via the court if they feel strongly enough about it. In the UK the claimant is usually liable for the defendants costs should they lose which reduces (almost eliminates) flippant claims.

 

The US system, often described as 'the customer is king' is typical corporate newspeak. Three months warranty on supposedly durable goods, what a joke. The reseller claiming they have no responsibility for the goods that they sell and referring their customer to the manufacturer, farcical.
 

Apple of all manufacturers/resellers can step up to the plate better than most and should set an example, if people were aware of their rights and returned all that Dell/Android/Samsung/HP junk Apple would shine and profit even more.

 

I have always found Apple most honorable in this regard, though I have never had problems in the 2 - 3 year timescale with their own products other kit I have bought from Apple Store has failed after the 'one year warranty' and they have done the right thing with minimal persuasion. Apple kit is great, I still use a G4 I bought in 2001, never failed, my main machine is a 2009 iMac which I recently (after 3 years+) replaced the hard drive and optical drive otherwise no problems.

 

Yes AppleCare does give additional benefits, from my point of view the added cost of insurance does not make sense.

post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
Originally Posted by saarek View Post
I didn't bring in the old Apple is a rip off chestnut, you did.

 

By saying they charge a premium, you did.

They do charge a premium, average is what 35% profit, heck outside of the US it's probably closer to 45%. But, I did not say that they were charging more than a comparable premium PC, you are the one that brought that analogy up.

 

From my point of view if a company, any company, sells a premium product then the whole experience and after care service should match the price tag. Apple gives excellent service when an item is in warranty, but when you pay around £2000 for a computer I think it's reasonable to expect a longer warranty.

 

If I bought a £300 off the shelf PC from PC World I wouldn't expect 5 years plus useful life out of it and I'd accept the 12 month warranty.

 

It's not that I cannot afford to buy Apple Care, to me it's simply the principal.

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post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

So in other words...Apple just wants to be childish about it. 


They do seem to lack a bit of professionalism in such situations. But I was under the impression Tim Cook had taken steps to improve this.

post #39 of 50

I'm interested in seeing what the email actually says.  Maybe the reason for not telling customers is not to hide, but so that sales staff don't use this in their sales pitch.  And knowing sales people, they will definitely use this or any other tactics to make a sale.  

post #40 of 50
Originally Posted by saarek View Post
They do charge a premium, average is what 35% profit, heck outside of the US it's probably closer to 45%. But, I did not say that they were charging more than a comparable premium PC, you are the one that brought that analogy up.

 

You can't possibly define a "premium" without having a "standard" on which to judge it! That is the only possible thing you could think was the standard, and it isn't. 

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