European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding is urging member states to investigate whether local Apple retail stores are supplying buyers with adequate information regarding warranty coverage at the time of purchase. It is their belief that customers aren’t getting all of the facts with regards to EU law that dictates customers have the right to a minimum two-year warranty on the types of products that Apple sells.
Reding points out that Apple does a good job of advertising the fact that their products are backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty but they don’t make it clear that consumers are additionally entitled to the two-year guarantee under the law. This could potentially lead consumers to purchase Cupertino’s AppleCare Protection Plan under false pretenses.
Apple was fined $1.2 million for similar business practices in Italy late last year. Regulators there discovered Apple had failed to make customers aware of a mandatory two-year warranty and instead were urging customers to purchase Apple’s protection plan. Italy’s Antitrust Authority fined Apple €400,000 for misleading consumes about the warranty and €500,000 for selling AppleCare to uninformed buyers.
Apple spokesperson Alan Hely declined to comment on the investigation but did refer media to Apple’s EU statutory warranty page. The page points out that EU law covers defects in the product when the customer takes deliver. Apple’s warranty and AppleCare protection plan, however, cover defects arising after the buyer takes ownership of the device. Maybe it’s just me but there doesn’t really seem to be much difference between the two.