Italian authorities fine Apple another $264K over product warranties

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple's changes to its product warranty policies in Italy have been enough to satisfy investigators, but not before the company was slapped with one final fine totaling $264,000.

A year ago, Italy fined Apple 900,000 euros, or $1.2 million, in response to complaints of "unfair commercial practices" related to the company's AppleCare product warranties. The Italian Antitrust Authority deemed that Apple did not provide adequate information to customers about the length of product guarantees, because local laws require companies to protect buyers with a free two-year warranty.

Even after being hit with that fine, Apple continued to offer customers AppleCare to purchase a two-year warranty rather than receiving one for free. That prompted Italian investigators to again threaten Apple in July.

Italy


AppleCare warranties were eventually pulled from Apple's retail shelves in Italy last month in response to continuing antitrust concerns associated with European Union warranty laws. Customers can still purchase AppleCare from the company's website, where a disclaimer notes that the product's "benefits are in addition to two-year warranty from the seller under the Italian legislation to protect consumers."

While that change made Apple in compliance with the law, the Italian antitrust agency still opted to fine the company an additional 200,000 euros, or $264,000, according to The Next Web. That fine covers the period from March 28 to Nov. 10 in which Apple was not in compliance with local laws.

Authorities arrived at the 200,000 euro fine through a collection of six total fines. Each of Apple's business units in Italy will also share the fine: 120,000 euros to Apple Sales International, 40,000 euros to Apple Italia Srl, and 40,000 euros to Apple Retail Italia Srl.

While Apple has settled its dispute with Italian authorities, the company still faces a class-action lawsuit that was filed in October. That complaint alleges that the company continued to violate the EU's warranty regulations after it was fined last December.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    Apple should just f*cking pull out of Italy completely.  


     


    This is crazy the way they keep hounding them to honour their ridiculous two year warranty law.  It's not like the Italians won't immediately just buy online or get stuff from any one of a half dozen near by European countries.  

  • Reply 2 of 35
    AppleCare coverage is different than the mandatory one from EU law.
    It covers more issues and is provided directly by Apple and its AppleStore while the EU mandatory warranty is provided by the seller.
  • Reply 3 of 35
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    Apple should just f*cking pull out of Italy completely.  


     


    This is crazy the way they keep hounding them to honour their ridiculous two year warranty law.  It's not like the Italians won't immediately just buy online or get stuff from any one of a half dozen near by European countries.  



     


    So far, Apple has been fined just over a million euros. Do you think that is more or less than what they make in Italy per year?


     


    I'm thinking, less.

  • Reply 4 of 35
    olivierl wrote: »
    AppleCare coverage is different than the mandatory one from EU law.
    It covers more issues and is provided directly by Apple and its AppleStore while the EU mandatory warranty is provided by the seller.
    Then Apple needs to state this and also explicitly say what is covered with and without AppleCare. We should not be standing behind Apple on this one.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    gazoobee wrote: »
    Apple should just f*cking pull out of Italy completely.  

    This is crazy the way they keep hounding them to honour their ridiculous two year warranty law.  It's not like the Italians won't immediately just buy online or get stuff from any one of a half dozen near by European countries.  

    1) Over $264,000? No way! That would not be the financially sound move.

    2) I quite like the 2 year mandatory coverage.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    [QUOTE]
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

    Apple should just f*cking pull out of Italy completely.

    This is crazy the way they keep hounding them to honour their ridiculous two year warranty law. It's not like the Italians won't immediately just buy online or get stuff from any one of a half dozen near by European countries.
    [/QUOTE]

    What you really mean is Apple should just pull out of the EU altogether - that's only a market of 500 million people - because the law they were not in compliance with is one that pertains to the whole of the EU. If Italy hadn't forced them into line, another EU member state likely would have.

    I know those who think Apple is beyond reproach - always and in everything - feel entire countries should bow to them, but in more sane venues, people generally think companies should abide by laws. Apple has chosen to behave in a childish and petulant manner in both the UK and Italy. At some point, they might grow up.

    What is ridiculous about a 2 year warranty? As a consumer, I view it as very sensible and a welcome protection.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    Im[quote name="Gazoobee" url="/t/155147/italian-authorities-fine-apple-another-264k-over-product-warranties#post_2249905"]Apple should just f*cking pull out of Italy completely.  

    This is crazy the way they keep hounding them to honour their ridiculous two year warranty law.  It's not like the Italians won't immediately just buy online or get stuff from any one of a half dozen near by European countries.  
    [/quoI']

    I'm sorry, added protections are not "ridiculous." They are protections. How many times have you had a product go bad just after it's one-year warranty expired? I have. Please stop ranting like an "I don't care about the masses" Republican.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    justbobf wrote: »
    Then Apple needs to state this and also explicitly say what is covered with and without AppleCare. We should not be standing behind Apple on this one.

    Looks like they cover it well to me.

    US: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/applecare
    Every Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and display comes with complimentary telephone technical support for 90 days after your purchase and a one-year limited warranty. The AppleCare Protection Plan and AppleCare+ extend your service coverage and give you one-stop service and support from Apple experts.


    IT: http://store.apple.com/it/browse/home/applecare
    AppleCare Protection Plan ti offre assistenza tecnica telefonica da parte di esperti Apple e opzioni aggiuntive per le riparazioni hardware, così puoi risolvere con un’unica chiamata la maggior parte dei problemi.

    I vantaggi di AppleCare Protection Plan si aggiungono alla garanzia biennale del venditore prevista dalla normativa italiana a tutela del consumatore.

    Google Translation...
    AppleCare Protection Plan provides telephone technical support from Apple technical experts and additional options for hardware repairs, so you can solve with a single call most of the problems.

    The AppleCare Protection Plan benefits are added to the two-year warranty from the seller under the Italian legislation to protect consumers.
  • Reply 9 of 35


    I see both sides on this one.  But at the end of the day, Apple knows the laws of the EU, and you have to pay to play.  If they're going to sell products in EU countries, they have to abide by EU laws.


     


    Is the law ridiculous?  Possibly.  Probably.  I see the benefit as a consumer but it only raises prices, which the consumer then must absorb whether he uses the warranty or not.  

  • Reply 10 of 35


    This is just the cost of doing business in that location. Locals get the extra regulation and costs they want, Apple continues to profit. Everybody wins.

  • Reply 11 of 35
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,133member
    I for one am very happy that the EU has the compulsory 24 month warranty. Just last week I managed to force Apple to replace my iPhone 4S, the power button at the top decided one day that it was not going to work, my iPhone is always in a protective silicone case and is well looked after so the fault was certainly not one caused by mistreatment. Initially they tried to get me to either live with the problem or pay £139 for a replacement handset....

    Lets just say that I was not going to take that lying down! After multiple calls to apple care they folded after I provided the law to the in writing.
  • Reply 12 of 35


    Originally Posted by saarek View Post

    …the power button at the top decided one day that it was not going to work, my iPhone is always in a protective silicone case and is well looked after so the fault was certainly not one caused by mistreatment.


     


    But was it a defect with the product? 

  • Reply 13 of 35


    It's just a cost of doing business.  Not really worthy of news.

  • Reply 14 of 35
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    But was it a defect with the product? 





    What else could it be?

  • Reply 15 of 35
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,133member
    But was it a defect with the product? 

    Well, simply google the issue & you tell me. There are plenty or reports online, especially on Apples forums of users complaining of the issue. The fact is, at least in my mind, that I paid £500 ($800) cash on this device, 41 days past the official Apple warranty the button malfunctioned.

    The device was extremely well looked after, the Genius commented that the iPhone was "pristine, like new".

    Now you may agree with Apples stance and feel that I should have coughed up £140, personally I felt they were taking the piss & told them so. If needed I'd have gone all the way to the small claims court. It was not the money, I could afford £140, it's the principal.
  • Reply 16 of 35


    Originally Posted by saarek View Post

    There are plenty or reports online, especially on Apples forums of users complaining of the issue.


     


    And yet that doesn't make it an actual issue. We don't know the conditions of each of these complaints. You've taken care of your device, so it seems that the error would be on the part of Apple; a part was faulty or something. But I've carried my iPhone daily for five years, no case, straight in my pocket. I have no issues with my button. 


     


    I'd venture that most Home Button and Sleep/Wake Button problems stem from mistreatment, not to say that they cannot or do not happen due to an otherwise broken part.

  • Reply 17 of 35
    arlorarlor Posts: 499member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rayz View Post


     


    So far, Apple has been fined just over a million euros. Do you think that is more or less than what they make in Italy per year?


     


    I'm thinking, less.



     


    Even if Apple makes half the profit margin it does in Italy that it does elsewhere, it wouldn't have to appeal to many a very large share of the Italian market to make a million euros. There are more than sixty million Italians. Pulling out over a million euro fine would be dumb. Apple spends a lot of time in court: they know they're not going to win every time; it's just a cost of doing business. 

  • Reply 18 of 35
    just like I need to follow all the rules in the AppStore - Apple needs to follow all the rules in the EU. Not that complicated.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    H
    cnocbui wrote: »
    What you really mean is Apple should just pull out of the EU altogether - that's only a market of 500 million people...blah...blah...blah...blah

    Hey,

    You took a view against, opposing, and critical of Apple.

    What an utter, utter, utter...UTTER surprise. ;)
  • Reply 20 of 35
    As the saying goes 'when in Rome..........'.

    Relationships are a two way thing
    If you pardon my French this is good for monsieur Tout-le-Monde
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