Australian customers will be entitled to 24-month warranty on all Apple products. The electronics company giant has agreed to the “court enforceable undertaking” after an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The consumer watchdog has found out that Apple’s 12-month warranty and 14-day return policy weren’t being applied consistently or were being applied but in ways that breach the Australian Consumers Law.
Apple told consumers in Australia that they were entitled to what the company offered them rather than what they should have been entitled to when their products failed.
The ACCC was told that the company only gave full refund to consumers if they returned their products within two weeks; that it wasn’t responsible for non-Apple products that were bought through Apple stores; that consumers were only entitled to a refund or replacement if their products were damaged within a year of purchase; and that consumers were only offered store credit instead of a full refund for defective products.
“The ACCC was concerned that Apple was concerned that Apple was applying its own warranties and refund policies effectively to the exclusion of the consumer guarantees contained in the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
“This undertaking serves as an important reminder to businesses that while voluntary or express warranties can provide services in addition to the consumer guarantee rights of the ACL, they cannot replace or remove those ACL guarantee rights.”
Apple has then acknowledged the consumer watchdog’s concerns, and has worked with the ACCC to resolve the issue. As part of the undertaking, it has promised to provide a 24-month warranty on all its products to consumers in Australia.
It may also provide for remedies beyond 24 months for some of its products.
“The ACL consumer guarantees have no set expiry date. The guarantees apply for the amount of time that it is reasonable to expect given the cost and quality of the item or any representations made about the item,” Mr Sims added.
The undertaking also requires Apple to continue offering a consumer redress program, in which Apple reassesses all claims about faulty products by consumers potentially affected by the alleged conduct.
The products affected by the undertaking include Apple iPods, iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, iMacs, and other peripherals; non-Apple products such as headphones and printers; and products and software sold on iTunes and App stores.
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