The European Union believes that Apple should be investigated for the way that it advertises warranties on their products. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding wrote to the member countries which is 27 to ask them to check whether Apple retailers failed to let buyers know about the right to a minimum 2-year warranty for products such as the iPhone and iPad under EU law.
Under EU law, companies must offer consumers a 2 year guarantee in which the consumer is entitled to replacement of the device in those 2 years if defects are found. Bloomberg was able to obtain the letter sent to the EU which contains the following statement:
Apple prominently advertised that its products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty but failed to clearly indicate the consumers’ automatic and free-of-cost entitlement to a minimum two-year guarantee under EU law,” Reding said to ministers in the letter, “These are unacceptable marketing practices.”
Now, Apple does have their warranty obligations on their website which can be found here. However the issue isnt that Apple is honoring the warranty, it is that they are not making consumers aware of the Law and almost disguising that it even exists. Some would argue that it is the consumers responsibility to know the law, however it is also the merchants responsibility as well.
Companies that are found in violation of this law can be taken to court and have sanctions levied against them. Just last year Apple was found to be in breach of European Law by an Italian regulator, Apple appealed and still lost and had to pay €900,000 or $1.2m USD.
Now, I do firmly believe that Apple should make consumers aware of their rights as a consumer while purchasing their products. Apple is a large company and has the resources to educate buyers. Apple also states on their website that the Law protects consumers only a purchase time but the AppleCare warranty will protect the consumer and device after purchase.
We do not expect this to end quietly. What do you think? Should Apple be held responsible to help educate consumers?