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Apple tweaks T&Cs for Blighty customers

Famed code of silence (somewhat) broken by OFT

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Apple has agreed to rejig its terms and conditions to make them "clearer and fairer" for UK consumers, after the Office of Fair Trading raised concerns about them.

The OFT confirmed in a statement this morning that it had identified a number of areas where the Mac, iPod and iPhone vendor's contracts of agreement with its customers needed to be tweaked.

It said it had raised concerns under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999 (UTCCRs). Apple agreed with the OFT's findings and said it would revise its standard conditions.

The Cupertino-based firm said it would no longer exclude liability for faulty or mis-described goods. Apple added it would ensure its conditions were consistent with consumer rights under the Distance Selling Regulations, and that they would be drafted in plain and intelligible language.

It also said that the conditions would not allow changes to be made to products and prices after an agreement has been made.

"The contract or terms of use between a company and a consumer, whether they are found online or on paper, must be clear, fair and easy to understand. In particular, it is important that consumers are given clear and accurate information about their consumer rights in case things go wrong," said OFT consumer markets legal director Jason Freeman.

"We have worked closely with Apple to secure these changes and we believe they will improve confidence and clarity for consumers."

The move comes a few months after Apple was accused of attempting to gag a traumatised iPod user from Liverpool, whose MP3 player burst into flames after being dropped.

The European Commission later probed an outbreak of flaming iPhone and iPod incidents across Europe. All of which prompted some observers to ponder whether Apple might consider lowering its famed code of silence over UK consumers. ®

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