One of Apple’s many dark sides at the moment, and one that especially gets on my nerves, is how it tries to apply one policy worldwide. For instance, warranties. In a lot (if not most) countries, the minimum warranty period is two years. Yet Apple still tries to pretend like you have to buy AppleCare to get that coverage, when legally, you don’t.
It’s a pretty disgusting way to mislead consumers, however in Australia, it has finally changed its policy. You can now get 24 months coverage without AppleCare down under, The Sydney Morning Herald reports, even though Apple still won’t let you know directly.
For some time Apple’s standard 12-month warranty has appeared to conflict with Australian consumer law, which provides statutory warranties for a “reasonable” period of time, undermining Apple’s ability to charge hundreds of dollars for AppleCare support plans that include extended warranties, as well as other services like telephone support.
On Friday, Apple’s Australian retail store staff and authorised Apple resellers were notified about a change to Apple’s internal policy on how it handled standard warranty claims.
This really isn’t a black and white situation, but Apple has been pretty outrageous. There have been reports of customers losing fights to get their devices fixed out of Apple’s warranty but within Australia’s legal one. Apple knowingly breaking basic consumer rights, or at least obscuring them so much it comes to the same thing, is quite shocking.
Rod Stowe, Fair Trading Commissioner for New South Wales, agrees:
To instruct your staff to not let people know is something that seems of quite concern, and I don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to be upfront about it. It is rather surprising and disingenuous.
So, listen up consumers: check your statutory rights. If it turns out your country operates a policy similar to Australia or Italy, don’t back down. You are legally entitled to longer than Apple claims, and you have a legitimate case.
To end my rant though, it’s worse for people who’ve already bought AppleCare in Australia and wasted hundreds of dollars. Apple should really be giving them refunds at this point. There is no excuse.