Apple is coming under fire from European regulators for its warranty practices. European law requires manufacturers to offer two-year warranties at no charge, but Apple is advertising one-year warranties.
Laurence Norman with Dow Jones Business News reported, “A senior European Union official said Tuesday that Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) still isn’t informing consumers correctly about their legal warranty rights in many EU member states, as she called for Brussels to take a greater role in shaping a common approach to consumer protection rules. In a speech Tuesday, the EU’s Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding honed in on the Apple case as an example of weak and diverse enforcement of consumer rules within the EU.”
GigaOm quoted Reding, who said, “This case and the responses I received since I sent my letter have highlighted rather clearly just why the Commission cannot sit on the side-lines on enforcement issues. The approaches to enforcement in these types of cases turn out to be very diversified and inconsistent at a national level. In at least 21 EU Member States, Apple is not informing consumers correctly about the legal warranty rights they have. This is simply not good enough.”
AppleInsider’s Kevin Bostic noted, “Under EU law, consumers are entitled to a two-year warranty, but Apple prominently advertises that its products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty. Reding has previously charged that Apple filed to properly inform EU consumers of their automatic and free-of-cost entitlement to a minimum two-year guarantee.”
The Verge’s Matt Bryan added, “Reding also called for the EU’s executive to play ‘a more prominent role in monitoring and coordinating coherent enforcement of EU consumer rules.’ Apple has already been fined $1.2 million by Italian authorities over its warranty policies, and has seen similar cases brought against it in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and Portugal. While the EU isn’t able to take direct action against Apple, it can put pressure on local ministers and take legal action to see rules enforced.”