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A Belgian consumer group has decided to take court action against Apple over its allegedly 'misleading' and 'illegal' AppleCare warranty policies. The group, Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats, claims that even though under European law consumers are entitled to a free two-year warranty with any consumer electronics purchase, Apple fails to properly inform consumers of these rights in order to sell its own AppleCare Protection Plans.
The latter offers an extension of up to two years on top of the standard one-year limited warranty on Apple products, with prices varying depending on the device covered – a two year protection plan for the iPhone starts at $99, while three-year coverage for the MacBook Air costs $250.
A quick look at the Belgian online Apple Store shows the company indeed advertises free technical phone assistance for 90 days and a limited guarantee of just one year, with a footnote link pointing to a separate page that contains a table detailing current European law requiring free two year warranty.
An official complaint to Apple in collaboration with 10 other European consumer groups was first sent in March 2012, but the Cupertino-based firm reportedly remained "deaf to demands." Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats says it is confident of a positive outcome of the case, and cited another instance in Italy back in 2011 where Apple was already fined ~$1.2 million for the same reason.