Feeds

Belgian watchdog barks at Apple: Take care when you flog that warranty

EU consumers need to know their rights

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A Belgian consumer group is taking Apple to court for providing customers with "unclear" information on product guarantees.

By law, all electronics sold in Europe are required to have a two-year warranty. But Apple sells its own extended warranty, AppleCare Protection Plan, which offers an extension to its one-year limited warranty. The consumer group, Test Achats, alleges that Apple fails to properly inform consumers of their warranty rights in an attempt to sell its own AppleCare.

The Test-Achats group said it had has received numerous complaints about Apple's method of selling its warranty products. An official complaint to Apple in collaboration with 10 other European consumer groups in March 2012 received no reply from Apple, according to a blog by the group. As a result, Test Achats announced today that it has brought a court action against Apple.

The group alleged that the information about guarantees on Apple's website "singularly lacked clarity and was incomplete on several points", and claimed Apple's website linked to more documents that were far more complicated than was necessary.

Checking out the Belgian online Apple Store we note that the page on AppleCare reads:

Each Mac, iPod, iPhone and monitor comes with free technical phone assistance for 90 days [..] and a limited guarantee of a year. AppleCare Protection Plan allows you to prolong this service cover ..

A footnote at the bottom of the page includes a link that leads to a separate page which contains a table which details current EU law regarding product guarantees.

However, both the Belgian and UK Apple Support home pages provide better information - with details about the two-year guarantee displayed more prominently, above the fold.

In its complaint, the Belgian group cited a successful lawsuit on just this issue against Apple in Italy in 2011, where Apple was forced to pay a €900,000 fine and permanently alter its website.

Needless to say, Apple has not replied to our request for comment. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.