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Apple Fined By Italy For Misleading Customers About Warranty Terms 218

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the legal-obligations-are-for-other-people dept.
beaverdownunder writes "An Italian watchdog has fined Apple 900,000 euros ($1.2m, £750,000) for failing to inform Italian shoppers of their legal right to two years of technical support, recognizing instead only a one-year standard warranty. This had led people to pay extra for Apple's own support service, AppleCare, which overlapped with the government-mandated guarantee."
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Apple Fined By Italy For Misleading Customers About Warranty Terms

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  • Perfect Match (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nman64 (912054) * on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @12:08PM (#38515666) Homepage

    Apple and the Italian government deserve each other.

  • by GrpA (691294) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @12:14PM (#38515756)

    That is corporate ethics at it's absolute worst. You can be sure that it's likely Apple in Italy knew of the situation and was milking it if they got a fine like that... :(

    I wonder if the fine even approaches the profits they made abusing the laws like that.

    GrpA

  • Apple: 1, Italy: 0 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @12:17PM (#38515800) Homepage Journal

    Apple's profits from selling the additional warranties in the entire country of Italy is almost certainly more than the fine, so it was a good business decision for them to flout local law if this is all they're going to face.

  • Easy to fix (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @12:19PM (#38515840) Homepage Journal

    When a company does this to a product, force them to provide a lifetime warranty on that product. They will be much more careful.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @12:23PM (#38515886) Homepage

    "Technical Support" from Apple is like going to church. You get told things like "because that's the way it is" and when you press, you never get the "why" part of it. I learned long ago about the compatibility between Apple and business -- there is none by the standards I have come to expect in the PC world. There is no "next business day, on site, accidental damage" support from Apple. When I learned that, I could never again take them seriously where business was concerned.

  • AppleCare (Score:3, Insightful)

    by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @12:24PM (#38515898) Homepage Journal

    An AppleCare plan offers much more protection than just one more year warranty.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @12:29PM (#38515974)

    The EU protects consumer rights. American companies an the like need to get a clue. Try to avoid the gray areas instead of screwing the customer.

  • by GrpA (691294) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @12:31PM (#38515994)

    Not likely... Apple is a true multinational and would be run and staffed by Italians for the most of it. And it's not bullying - it's a clear case of failing to meet their warranty obligations.

    To be fair, consumer laws in the US are pretty poor and there's very little government intervention even when US companies deliberately and systematically break the law.

    But this was not in the US, it was in Italy and like much of the the rest of the world, there are laws in Italy to protect consumers from dodgy goods. This is known as Statutory Warranty and you can be sure that if a company was fined so much, it is usually because they knew the law and were breaking it on purpose as a means to making extra profits.

    All Apple had to do is compete on the same level playing field as everyone else in Italy ( and in fact, most of the rest of the world ) and it looks like they chose not to, got caught and got punished.

    GrpA

  • by lucm (889690) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @12:33PM (#38516024)

    "Technical Support" from Apple is like going to church. You get told things like "because that's the way it is" and when you press, you never get the "why" part of it. I learned long ago about the compatibility between Apple and business -- there is none by the standards I have come to expect in the PC world. There is no "next business day, on site, accidental damage" support from Apple. When I learned that, I could never again take them seriously where business was concerned.

    Their business model does not target companies because they know that fashion statements have no impact on company buyers, and that's all they have in stock.

  • Re:AppleCare (Score:5, Insightful)

    by angel'o'sphere (80593) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @12:45PM (#38516170) Homepage Journal

    If they had informed their customers of the 2 year warranty that they were entitled to by law,

    Every european customer is supposed to know

    that. Without seeing the actual court ruling I only can assume that some customer rights organizations filed a suit because they found the apple advertizings missleading.

    The thing is, they thought the choice was between AppleCare and a 1 year warranty.... but it wasn't. They were misinformed, by the same party who was profiting from decision, and thus had motive to mislead them.

    That is what the newspapers claim, and the court (seems to have) ruled. However I find this unbelieveable.
    Every product in the EU since ages has a law gurranteed 2 years "guarranty". If you see how few people buy the AppleCare extra guarranty I find this whole case bollocks ...

  • Re:Perfect Match (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Entropius (188861) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @01:18PM (#38516564)

    Is a two-year guarantee the same as tech support? To use the mandatory car analogy, is saying "You've got to fix Bob's car if it breaks for two years" the same as "You've got to teach Bob how to drive and walk him through changing his oil"?

  • by Entropius (188861) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @01:23PM (#38516626)

    They have to be making a shitton of money on hardware. I bought a laptop from Sager last summer for $1100: 1920x1080 extended-gamut screen, quad-core Sandy Bridge processor, Geforce 555M, the works. Very nice machine. I wound up pricing those specs on Apple's website: you couldn't get a graphics card on par with the 555M for love nor money from Apple, and to get everything else it'd be around $2300.

    The Apple machine has nicer speakers and that aluminium body, but beyond that -- Apple's got to be pocketing a large part of that $1200 difference.

  • by trum4n (982031) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @01:38PM (#38516822)
    I rather have an IBM think pad from the 90's. White and button-less is not beautiful. Putting form over function is the most immature of engineering mistakes. Lucky them, their target audience is idiotic sheeple. Idiotic sheeple with money to waste.
  • by arkane1234 (457605) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @01:55PM (#38517054) Journal

    Never had a problem... when I take it to the shop, plop it down, and say "it's broke, make it work".
    I did that with my iMac, and they replaced it in 90 seconds. From what you're saying, I feel lucky I live near Scottsdale, AZ then... because the reality distortion field is working in my favor.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @03:22PM (#38518080)

    I see you haven't handled an apple laptop in a while. Let me blow your mind - my macbook has ZERO mouse buttons! zOMFG!

    But it does have a large multitouch trackpad, which gives me much more input control than a mouse button or two:
    * one finger tap = left button click

    * two finger tap = right button click

    * one finger swipe = move mouse

    * two finger swipe = scroll horizontally or vertically

    * three finger swipe = click and drag

    * four finger swipe up or down = show all windows

    * four finger swipe left or right = change virtual desktops

    * two finger pinch/anti-pinch = zoom in many programs (i.e. photoshop)

    * four finger anti-pinch = show desktop

    Not too shabby, eh? much better than a couple mouse buttons.

  • by trum4n (982031) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @03:29PM (#38518162)
    actually, my 200$ Acer can do all that. And yes i have handled them, and i just freaking hate them. They feel like Fisher Price built them. Keyboards feel terrible. They are not powerful. They cost too much. They are pretty useless. And some of us like real buttons, over your useless touchscreen/touchpad controls. Every try to use a laptop in a humid room? Yea, touch pads don't work to well. Nothing Capacitive does. Also, over 80% relative humidity, warranty is void. So when it shits out, they claim water damage. I've even had dells better than that.
  • Re:Perfect Match (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @05:47PM (#38519638)

    I just wish the penalty had had more Teeth. As the company with more cash on hand than God, a $1.2M penalty barely a penalty.

    $1.2M penalty is a $1.2M penalty. If you were the lawyer whose job it was to check all the legal terms on Apple's Italian website for conformance with Italian laws, and the company just got a $1.2M fine because you didn't do your job competently, then you are in trouble. And you can bet that your successor is making sure it won't happen again.

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