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Apple to honour free support pledge

Move follows FTC deceptive advertising enquiry

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Apple has bowed to pressure from the US Federal Trade Commission to honour promises of free technical support it made user its Apple Assurance scheme. The FTC charged Apple with deceptive advertising following in investigation prompted by complaints that the Mac maker had begun charging certain users for technical support even though it had once promised free help for the as long as they remain Mac owners. According to Mac news site MacWeek, Apple will now provide anyone who bought an Apple product in the US between September 1992 and April 1996 with free technical support. The offer also applies to the owner's immediate family. In addition, anyone who bought an Apple product during that period and who was forced to pay the $35 support fee the company introduced in October 1997 will receive a refund. Despite Apple's agreement to honour its advertised promises, it does not, according to the FTC statement of the case, accept that it violated the law. However, that's language typical of a settlement made to avoid court action. ®

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