Apple disagrees with new Italian warranty ruling, files appeal

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple on Tuesday announced that it would be appealing a ruling from Italy's antitrust regulating body that claims the iPad maker has not fully complied with an earlier order to offer a free two-year warranty with every product as mandated by EU law.

The appeal comes on the heels of a warning issued to Apple by Italy's competition authority Autorit? Garante della Concerrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) on Monday that stated the Cupertino-based company had yet to satisfy the two-year warranty stipulation. Apple has appealed the latest ruling and, according to a report from Reuters, claims that it is indeed following the regulations, adding that the AGCM's warning was based on an inaccurate interpretation of the law.

"We have appealed the recent decision of the (Italian) court as it was, in our view, based upon an incorrect interpretation of the law," an Apple representative said. "We have introduced a number of measures to address the Italian competition authority concerns and we disagree with their latest complaint."

At issue is Apple's AppleCare warranty which covers the company's products for one year with an option to up the coverage to two or three years for an additional fee. Italy's laws require company's to provide no-cost coverage for a minimum of two years and the AGCM fined Apple 900,000 euros, or about $1.2 million, in 2011 for "unfair commercial practices" related to not clearly stating its warranty rules to Italian customers. The iPhone maker fought the suit but ultimately lost in March.

As part of Monday's ruling, Apple was told it would be face an additional 300,000 euros, about $378,000, and a 30-day shutdown of all Italian operations unless it complied with the country's consumer protection laws.

Italy AppleCare
Apple's Italian webpage for extended iPhone coverage. | Source: Apple


Despite what appears to be a clear statement on Apple's Italian website advertising free two-year coverage against defects on initial delivery as well as an additional one-year out-of-box warranty, the AGCM believes the information is insufficient.

According to an AGCM bulletin, the wording on Apple's website encourages customers to buy into AppleCare without noting there is a no-cost warranty already in place.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63


    I presume Apple hasn't paid a number of people a sufficient amount of money.


     


    I'm also not sure how Italian consumers are served by shutting down a company for 30 days, thus making it impossible for Apple to give the warranty service at issue. Maybe the government is hoping an NGO will then file its own suit about a lack of service while Apple is shut down.

  • Reply 2 of 63
    fredaroonyfredaroony Posts: 619member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lukevaxhacker View Post


    I presume Apple hasn't paid a number of people a sufficient amount of money.


     


    I'm also not sure how Italian consumers are served by shutting down a company for 30 days, thus making it impossible for Apple to give the warranty service at issue. Maybe the government is hoping an NGO will then file its own suit about a lack of service while Apple is shut down.



    I think the Italian consumers would be best served if Apple followed the law in that country and provided the required 2 year warranty...

  • Reply 3 of 63
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    It does look like they are honouring the 2 year warranty but it also looks like they are being disingenuous by obfuscating that fact when they try to sell the extended two-year AppleCare warranty. Seems suspect to me.



    edit: This is the translation of the AppleCare section when you go to buy an iPad from the Italian Apple Store:
    AppleCare Protection Plan
    Service and support offered by experts iPad. Up to two years from original purchase date of your iPad, AppleCare Protection Plan gives you:

    • Technical support in a flash: direct access to Apple experts
    • Cover Hardware Apple iPad, battery and included accessories
    • Software support: iTunes, iWork, iPad, the operating system and connecting to wireless networks

    By purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan while your iPad, you will be automatically logged in the security program.
    Service and support by experts of iPad.

    With each iPad includes free telephone technical support for 90 days from date of purchase and a one-year limited warranty. With the AppleCare Protection Plan can extend your service coverage to two years from date of purchase iPad. You can contact Apple technical support experts whenever you want, and get answers to your questions. And if you need repair service, we offer convenient service options.

    The advantages of the Year Limited Warranty from Apple and the AppleCare Protection Plan in addition to the rights of consumers under the legal guarantee of the seller. Click here for details.

    [...]

    The benefits of the AppleCare Protection Plan are in addition to rights under applicable consumer protection laws in your country. Under Articles 128-135 of the Legislative Decree n. 206 of September 6, 2005 (Consumer Code), Italian consumers have up to 26 months to inform the seller of a product defect existing at the time of delivery thereof. It is assumed that the defects that occur during the first 6 months after delivery of the product already existed at the time of delivery. A consumer who wishes to make a warranty claim under the Consumer Code against Apple may contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider to establish the existence of the defect at the time of delivery.

    [...]
  • Reply 4 of 63
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    It does look like they are honouring the 2 year warranty but it also looks like they are being disingenuous by obfuscating that fact when they try to sell the extended two-year AppleCare warranty. Seems suspect to me.


     


    Yeah, but the whole idea of a free two year warranty on a modern electronic device is a bit ridiculous.  


     


    No other place has this and Italy is just a part of Europe. If it was up to me I would simply leave Italy.  It's not like you can't drive to a neighbouring country in five minutes to get an Apple device. Sometimes the proper reaction to a law is not to give in to it but to decide to go elsewhere where the laws are more reasonable.  


     


    I know lots of folks who refuse to travel to the USA anymore for this same reason (although the laws in question are much more serious than just whether you get a refund on your purchases or not).  

  • Reply 5 of 63
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


     


    Yeah, but the whole idea of a free two year warranty on a modern electronic device is a bit ridiculous.  


     


    No other place has this and Italy is just a part of Europe. If it was up to me I would simply leave Italy.  It's not like you can't drive to a neighbouring country in five minutes to get an Apple device. Sometimes the proper reaction to a law is not to give in to it but to decide to go elsewhere where the laws are more reasonable.  


     


    I know lots of folks who refuse to travel to the USA anymore for this same reason (although the laws in question are much more serious than just whether you get a refund on your purchases or not).  



    Perché è ridicolo? Two years sounds good to me. 

  • Reply 6 of 63
    fredaroonyfredaroony Posts: 619member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


     


    Yeah, but the whole idea of a free two year warranty on a modern electronic device is a bit ridiculous.  


     


    No other place has this and Italy is just a part of Europe. If it was up to me I would simply leave Italy.  It's not like you can't drive to a neighbouring country in five minutes to get an Apple device. Sometimes the proper reaction to a law is not to give in to it but to decide to go elsewhere where the laws are more reasonable.  


     


    I know lots of folks who refuse to travel to the USA anymore for this same reason (although the laws in question are much more serious than just whether you get a refund on your purchases or not).  



    No it's not ridiculous and this is a European directive, not just Italy. Not sure how anyone can defend this lol.

  • Reply 7 of 63
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post


    I think the Italian consumers would be best served if Apple followed the law in that country and provided the required 2 year warranty...



    And I think you shouldn't speak unless you do a little research to find out what the law really provides. Because (and I know this from living and working in several countries in the EU and buying several computers etc) the law is that the seller must cover all repair or replacement of any item up to 2 years from date of purchase for DEFECTS PRESENT AT DELIVERY. The first 3-6 months (depending on the country) is no questions asked. After that, in all countries but the Czech Republic and Romania, the customer has to prove the defect was present at delivery. 


     


    At no time has anyone shown that they were denied coverage of such a defeat for an item bought from Apple after getting refutable proof that the defect was there when they bought it. So how can you say that Apple isn't providing the required warranty. Or are you saying it because this agency is of the mind that Apple should offer their voluntary and way above what is required warranty for free to be nice to folks even though there is no law requiring it

  • Reply 8 of 63
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    It does look like they are honouring the 2 year warranty but it also looks like they are being disingenuous by obfuscating that fact when they try to sell the extended two-year AppleCare warranty. Seems suspect to me.

    edit: This is the translation of the AppleCare section when you go to buy an iPad from the Italian Apple Store:

    Quote:

    AppleCare Protection Plan

    Service and support offered by experts iPad. Up to two years from original purchase date of your iPad, AppleCare Protection Plan gives you:

    • Technical support in a flash: direct access to Apple experts

    • Cover Hardware Apple iPad, battery and included accessories

    • Software support: iTunes, iWork, iPad, the operating system and connecting to wireless networks

    By purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan while your iPad, you will be automatically logged in the security program.

    Service and support by experts of iPad.

    With each iPad includes free telephone technical support for 90 days from date of purchase and a one-year limited warranty. With the AppleCare Protection Plan can extend your service coverage to two years from date of purchase iPad. You can contact Apple technical support experts whenever you want, and get answers to your questions. And if you need repair service, we offer convenient service options.

    The advantages of the Year Limited Warranty from Apple and the AppleCare Protection Plan in addition to the rights of consumers under the legal guarantee of the seller. Click here for details.

    [...]

    The benefits of the AppleCare Protection Plan are in addition to rights under applicable consumer protection laws in your country. Under Articles 128-135 of the Legislative Decree n. 206 of September 6, 2005 (Consumer Code), Italian consumers have up to 26 months to inform the seller of a product defect existing at the time of delivery thereof. It is assumed that the defects that occur during the first 6 months after delivery of the product already existed at the time of delivery. A consumer who wishes to make a warranty claim under the Consumer Code against Apple may contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider to establish the existence of the defect at the time of delivery.

    [...]




     


    And if that was insufficient why were they allowed to go with only that information for almost 3 full months. 


     


    Also what they offer with Apple Care is way beyond what the law requires, if they can't prove damage they cover it. they give free phone support and for computers it is a year longer than the law requires them to do anything

  • Reply 9 of 63
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post


    No it's not ridiculous and this is a European directive, not just Italy. Not sure how anyone can defend this lol.



     


    It is ridiculous and it is just Italy.  


     


    Most consumer electronics today are specifically designed to last exactly two years.  To force manufacturers to give a free warranty for the entire designed life of the product is extremely ridiculous. It's like selling a house with 100 years of free repairs.  

  • Reply 10 of 63
    jimpjimp Posts: 4member


    You're referring to the Consumer Guarantee Directive, a piece of European legislation whose purpose was to provide a minimum protection for consumers across the European Union.


     


    If a fault becomes visible in the first 6 months of ownership then (generally) it is assumed that the fault was present at delivery. Afterwards the consumer has to prove that prove that the nonconformity or defect existed at the time of delivery or date of purchase.


     


    The consumer is also legally entitled to a reasonable amount of compensation (or "damages") for up to six years from the date of sale (five years after discovery of the problem in Scotland). That's not the same thing as saying that the goods have to last six years, it's the limit for making a claim in respect of a fault that was present at the time of sale. 


     


    However in the UK goods have to last a 'reasonable time' and it could easily be argued that a very expensive item - such as a top of the range computer - should be expected to last a minimum of 2 or 3 years without a major fault. 

  • Reply 11 of 63
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,578member


    Those European laws are retarded, made by retards for retards.


     


    If you go to Apple's site, you can read the warranty information for various countries and I took a look at a few of the European countries.


     


    They're all here:


    http://www.apple.com/legal/warranty/Additional_Legal_Rights_for_Consumers.html


     


    Apple's regular one year warranty and AppleCare both covers defects arising after the customer takes delivery.


     


    The Euro two year plan which some people are mentioning covers defects present when customer takes delivery. So basically, it's a useless law, as there's no need for a two year plan for somebody to realize that there is something wrong with their device. That is something that customers find out shortly after buying their device, if there's something wrong with it. They don't find out two years later that something is wrong. That is BS. And Apple should be very strict in enforcing the rules of that euro two year plan, as it does not cover any defects arising after the customer takes delivery. So if a random eurohead walks into an Apple store with a problem after 1 year, Apple is under no obligation to fix the problem, as the customer has no legal


    warranty, as long as the defect occurred after the customer took delivery.


     


    If people want extra laws that are silly and a waste of time, then Apple should charge those customers extra for that additional feature.

  • Reply 12 of 63

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


     


    Yeah, but the whole idea of a free two year warranty on a modern electronic device is a bit ridiculous.  


     


    No other place has this and Italy is just a part of Europe. If it was up to me I would simply leave Italy.  It's not like you can't drive to a neighbouring country in five minutes to get an Apple device. Sometimes the proper reaction to a law is not to give in to it but to decide to go elsewhere where the laws are more reasonable.  


     


    I know lots of folks who refuse to travel to the USA anymore for this same reason (although the laws in question are much more serious than just whether you get a refund on your purchases or not).  



    Most of the European Union has 2 year warranty by law.  So no you just can't leave Italy and go to say France or Austria and get a 1 year warranty.  And why would anyone purposely buy a device with less warranty?  In Norway there are no stipulations on the warranty, it is 2 years by law.  I know because I bought a Nokia phone a few years back in Norway, all I had to do was ship it back but it was covered with no question asked in 2nd year of ownership.

  • Reply 13 of 63
    jamjamjamjam Posts: 17member
    [LIST]
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    [/LIST]
    It's a EU directive, and country must implement it in law at least to the minimum described in the directive.

    In the UK the sale of goods act allows for upto six years where the goods are not 'sufficiently durable'. For example if a light bulb goes after 13 months not much of an issue, but it does allow claims for a TV for example where the item would be expected to last longer.

    It would be feasible to go back to the seller 3 or 4 years after purchase if the TV failed, it may require a report from a qualified engineer for example.

    J
  • Reply 14 of 63
    dm3dm3 Posts: 151member


    Apple.it website for Macbook Air says 1yr. Google translation says,


    "The MacBook Air has 90 days free telephone support and a one-year limited warranty.You can buy AppleCare Protection Plan to extend your service and support up to three years from the date of purchase of the computer."


     


    Doesn't sound like Apple is honoring the 2yr warranty. Not sure what this Appleinsider article is talking about. 

  • Reply 15 of 63
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,578member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dm3 View Post


    Doesn't sound like Apple is honoring the 2yr warranty. Not sure what this Appleinsider article is talking about. 



     


    Sure they are. The two year warranty only covers defects present when the customer takes delivery, not afterwards.

  • Reply 16 of 63
    jamjamjamjam Posts: 17member
    "Apple wrote:
    [" url="/t/151071/apple-disagrees-with-new-italian-warranty-ruling-files-appeal#post_2139572"]

    Thanks for it the legal opinion but you are completely wrong. The phrase defects at point of sale is intended to cover the fact the goods must remain as bought, no modifications or damage for example. Not to allow a person live with a faulty headphone socket for 2 years and then take in back.

    Try reading

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8253915.stm

    Or

    http://www.whitegoodshelp.co.uk/eu-2-year-guarantee-sales-of-goods-act-gives-us-6-years-to-claim-for-faulty-appliances/

    J
  • Reply 17 of 63
    jimpjimp Posts: 4member

    Quote:


    So if a random eurohead walks into an Apple store with a problem after 1 year, Apple is under no obligation to fix the problem, as the customer has no legal warranty, as long as the defect occurred after the customer took delivery.




     


    Er - no. 


     


    After 6 months the consumer has to prove the fault was present at the time of purchase or delivery. So in my case when the display card on my Macbook packed up I was entitled to a replacement (and shortly afterwards Apple recalled the whole batch anyway). The consumer can ask for a repair or a partial or full refund. 


     


    There is no legal remedy in the case of fair wear and tear or accidental damage or misuse. 


     


     

  • Reply 18 of 63
    jnjnjnjnjnjn Posts: 588member
    jimp wrote: »
    However in the UK goods have to last a 'reasonable time' and it could easily be argued that a very expensive item - such as a top of the range computer - should be expected to last a minimum of 2 or 3 years without a major fault. 

    That's the same here in Holland.

    J.
  • Reply 19 of 63
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,578member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jamjam View Post



    Not to allow a person live with a faulty headphone socket for 2 years and then take in back.

     


     


    I wouldn't believe anybody who claimed that they had a faulty headphone socket and they never did anything about it for two whole years. It's much more likely, that the device was 100% fine, and the defect occurred afterwards, and then that would be the customer's own fault.


     


    This Euro law seems like a goldmine for scammers, liars and shady people. And that's why I mentioned that Apple should be very strict when enforcing it. 

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