Apple fined by Italy over customer guarantees

Apple has been slapped with a big fine by Italy over the company's customer guarantees. The BBC reports that Italy's Antitrust Authority has given Apple a 900,000 euro ($1.2 million) penalty, claiming that Apple mislead its customers and did not inform them of their legal rights to get two years of technical support for their products.

Instead, the Antitrust Authority claimed that Apple only told its customers of a standard one year warranty. It also said that Apple charged customers for additional support when in fact they could have gotten a second free year of service. Italy's own consumer code has such a requirement and the government said today that Apple was fined 400,000 Euros for not telling its customers about that code, either on its web site or during the sale of products itself.

The other 400,000 Euros in penalties were put in due to Apple's use of its own paid customer service plan which overlapped the second free year. The Antitrust Authority said that both actions "induce consumers to sign an additional contract."

The ruling also said that Apple must now add details of the two year free plan to its own Applecare service contract within 90 days. So far, Apple has yet to comment on the ruling.

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In Canada courts decide, we have the standard one year warranty and the "legal warranty" that's say that one object should work for a reasonable time. So if your iPhone stopped working after 1 year and two months for example, in court if it's a defect from normal use, Apple will have to honor the "legal warranty" and you'll have paid 20$ and a few hours of your time.

Nelsoon said,
In Canada courts decide, we have the standard one year warranty and the "legal warranty" that's say that one object should work for a reasonable time. So if your iPhone stopped working after 1 year and two months for example, in court if it's a defect from normal use, Apple will have to honor the "legal warranty" and you'll have paid 20$ and a few hours of your time.

Similar to Australian consumer protection law.

Warranty as in Apple will repair any defect for free is not EU law and anybody saying this does not know. There are two terms of "warranty" in the EU. The term warranty from the manufacturer which is completly optional and yes there are manufacturers which give no warranty at all (for example Sapphire Technology). And the second term is EU warranty (which ist not the same as manufacturer warranty) which states that if a defect happens within 6 months after purchase then the defect was already existing when purchased. After those 6 months the customer hast to prove that the defect was already existing when purchased which is not possible at all.

Every manufacturer can reject any EU warranty after 6 month easily. The term EU warranty does not exist by the way. It's called guarantee and which is totally useless after 6 months for the customer. The best part is that this law exists since 1999 and I am not sure why this is something special about Apple now. Article is FUD!

amStart isignz said,
Warranty as in Apple will repair any defect for free is not EU law and anybody saying this does not know. There are two terms of "warranty" in the EU. The term warranty from the manufacturer which is completly optional and yes there are manufacturers which give no warranty at all (for example Sapphire Technology). And the second term is EU warranty (which ist not the same as manufacturer warranty) which states that if a defect happens within 6 months after purchase then the defect was already existing when purchased. After those 6 months the customer hast to prove that the defect was already existing when purchased which is not possible at all.

Every manufacturer can reject any EU warranty after 6 month easily. The term EU warranty does not exist by the way. It's called guarantee and which is totally useless after 6 months for the customer. The best part is that this law exists since 1999 and I am not sure why this is something special about Apple now. Article is FUD!

The issue with Apple is that they refused to acknowledge the two years coverage.
My cousin bought an iPad in Italy and had an issue after 18 months, he called Apple and initially they refused to fix it under warranty; he went to the Court and won........
In this case Apple, but it apply to any company, attempts to screw customers is FUD.

amStart isignz said,
Warranty as in Apple will repair any defect for free is not EU law and anybody saying this does not know. There are two terms of "warranty" in the EU. The term warranty from the manufacturer which is completly optional and yes there are manufacturers which give no warranty at all (for example Sapphire Technology). And the second term is EU warranty (which ist not the same as manufacturer warranty) which states that if a defect happens within 6 months after purchase then the defect was already existing when purchased. After those 6 months the customer hast to prove that the defect was already existing when purchased which is not possible at all.

Every manufacturer can reject any EU warranty after 6 month easily. The term EU warranty does not exist by the way. It's called guarantee and which is totally useless after 6 months for the customer. The best part is that this law exists since 1999 and I am not sure why this is something special about Apple now. Article is FUD!

The issue with Apple is that they refused to acknowledge the two years coverage.
My cousin bought an iPad in Italy and had an issue after 18 months, he called Apple and initially they refused to fix it under warranty; he went to the Court and won........
In this case Apple, but it apply to any company, attempts to screw customers is FUD.

Moker said,
i love that EU has this law.
wish the US would take heed, and force big companies to do the same here.

Bahahaha! Joking right? No?

Astra.Xtreme said,
So Italy has a law that requires at least 2 years of warranty for any product?
If so, that's a pretty sweet deal.

It seems that Italy has included it in their own law, but, in fact, EU itself mandates 2 years warranty for most electronics.

Astra.Xtreme said,
So Italy has a law that requires at least 2 years of warranty for any product?
If so, that's a pretty sweet deal.

Actually it is a EU law.

In Brazil there is a 90-day warranty, but there is also a timeless design/intrinsic defect warranty, that is, if something shows a defect that is found to be related due to a manufacturing issue or a design mistake, you are entitled to have a full refund or replacement of the item in question.

cralias said,

It seems that Italy has included it in their own law, but, in fact, EU itself mandates 2 years warranty for most electronics.

Ah ok, interesting. So this could blow up to be an even bigger issue.

So who gets the fine money? The customer or the government? And how long did this go on before someone stepped in?
Just curious... I am no apple fan but I also am no Anti-Trust gov fan.

The only downside to this is the fact that the fine levied doesn't even come close to what they made in the service fees over that time. They still profited...