A Belgian judge is reported to be considering an order to local ISPs to block on access to all Apple websites in the country as a response to the company’s continued promotion of AppleCare warranties.
A case brought by the consumer protection group FPS Economy argued that Apple misleads consumers by claiming a standard warranty of one year, and selling an optional AppleCare extension, when EU law means that manufacturers are legally obliged to offer a minimum warranty of two years as standard …
The judge is reportedly hesitating implementing the proposal, as it has been pointed out that problems would arise for Apple customers in Belgium who use iTunes and iCloud, and may attempt to access Apple servers.
Apple has faced similar issues in Italy, where they eventually withdrew AppleCare, and paid total fines of almost $1.5 million. The case was settled by Apple changing its warranty pages on its EU websites, adding a new table that showed the different forms of warranty coverage available to EU customers.
EU laws provides protection for defects in products which were present at the time of sale. This includes any fault that occurs within two years of purchase. (Some countries enforce longer periods.)
Although Apple made the changes to EU websites, consumer groups in ten EU countries have launched lawsuits pushing Apple to do more to inform customers of their rights before selling them AppleCare. The Belgian case is among these cases, with FPS Economy asserting that Apple needs to do more than just make the changes to their website.