The European Commission has asked members to see if Apple is letting customers know about their right to a minimum two-year warranty, reports “Bloomberg” (http://macte.ch/sXW0w). Consumer groups in 11 countries claim the company has emphasized its after-care service over statutory protections.
EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has written to member countries to ask them to check whether Apple retailers failed to advertise buyers’ right to a minimum two-year warranty for products such as the iPhone and the iPad..
“Apple prominently advertised that its products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty but failed to clearly indicate the consumers’ automatic and free-of-cost entitlement to a minimum two-year guarantee under EU law,” Reding said to ministers in the letter, which was obtained by “Bloomberg News.” “These are unacceptable marketing practices.”
In December 2011, Italy’s Antitrust Authority fined Apple 900,000 euros (approximately US$1.2 million) for its handling of customer guarantees. The watchdog group said Apple had failed to inform shoppers of their legal right to two years’ technical support, recognizing instead only a one-year standard warranty. The Antitrust Authority said the firm’s action had led people to pay extra for Apple’s own support service, which overlapped in part with the free guarantee.
“Different sanctions exist in EU countries for violations of consumer protection law,” says “Bloomberg.” “While the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, can’t investigate companies over misleading advertising, it can take legal action against a country that fails to enforce EU rules.”