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Apple Revises Warranty Policies In Europe To Comply With EU Laws 156

Posted by samzenpus
from the adjusting-the-terms dept.
ccguy writes "Apple revised its warranty policy in Italy last year after being hit with a €900,000 fine for not complying with an EU-mandated two-year term. The company has today revised the terms of its warranties in France, Germany and Belgium, specifying that customers are entitled to repairs and replacements of their Apple products for a full two years after purchase, and not just one as previously stated. No word yet on when the rest of the EU will see those changes, but it would now seem to be just a matter of time before other countries get the new terms as well."
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Apple Revises Warranty Policies In Europe To Comply With EU Laws

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  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:59AM (#43993519)
    The article, as many articles before, confuses "manufacturer's warranty", which is unchanged, and "legal rights against the seller". Apple as the manufacturer can give any manufacturer warranty they like in the EU, and they give the same warranty as any other manufacturer. The seller, that is the shop that sold the goods, whoever that seller is, has legal obligations to make sure the product works for a reasonable time.

    The only thing that has changed is that Apple makes more clear on the page where they explain their one year manufacturer's warranty, that you have other rights against the seller. If you look at Dell's website for example, there is not the slightest trace of such information, even though Dell doesn't sell through any store, so if you buy a Dell product, then they are _always_ the seller (whereas Apple is sometimes the seller, and Apple stores also sell other company's products, in which case that Apple store also is the seller responsible to handle your legal rights).
    • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:13AM (#43993577)

      Actually, it's correct. The EU statute applies to the manufacturer, not the seller, and most companies simply provide a two-year warranty that meets or exceeds their obligations under EU statute, rather than train staff on local rules. Apple has gone that route.

      You're probably thinking of the Sale of Goods Act which applies in the UK, and which does apply to the seller. There are moves to harmonise the EU rules which would essentially remove the UK statute but I (and the government) think it would be a bad idea. I have more power under the SOGA than the EU rule. (I once used it to very easily get a TV replaced that died 8 months out of the warranty. They called me up and gave me store credit equal to most of its value, to account for depreciation.)

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        Actually this is collossally wrong, it does apply to the seller. Where the heck did I pick that up from?

        • Actually this is collossally wrong, it does apply to the seller. Where the heck did I pick that up from?

          Probably be reading slashdot posts. It's amazing how many people are qualified lawyers in countries they counldn't even point to on a map.

          Of that country.

        • by Carewolf (581105)

          Actually this is collossally wrong, it does apply to the seller. Where the heck did I pick that up from?

          Recursion and not being an idiot.

          Yes your own warranty is provided by your seller, your seller also bought the product and his warranty is provided by whoever sold it to him. In the end the warranty ends up at the manufactorer.

          So while YOUR warranty is through whoever you bought it of, the warranty is ultimately always applied to the manufactorer.

      • by Inda (580031)
        You've got to love the SOGA.

        If you buy a builder's brick, you expect that to last 100 years, and that's what the SOGA covers. All these warranties are complete bollocks.

        I expect a TV to last a good 5 or 6 years, the SOGA covers that too. They gave you a credit because they had to, not because they're a Nice Shop (tm).

        A pair of socks? Maybe they'll last 12 months. Not a problem.

        (I know you corrected yourself about manufacturer/retailer)
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Basically the second rule here applies:

      http://ns.is/ns/upload/files/pdf-skrar/ena/10basicprinsciplesen.pdf [ns.is]

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:21AM (#43993853) Homepage

      Apple often is the retailer of their own products. They were selling people extended warranties that they didn't need because they were already covered.

      • by kthreadd (1558445)

        No they were not covered. After the first six months you are responsible for proving that it was Apple's fault; with an extended warranty it's Apple that has to prove that it's not.

        • No they were not covered. After the first six months you are responsible for proving that it was Apple's fault; with an extended warranty it's Apple that has to prove that it's not.

          Not quite. With a usual warranty, like Apples extended warranty, it's basically up to the company to decide what they cover and what not.
          You hear quite often about people who where denied a repair under warranty because the maker found some clause in their legalese that excludes that special case.

          The mandatory warranty, on the other hand, is defined by law and companies can not as easily weasel out of it.

          You are right, though, that only for the first 6 months it is assumed that a defect was there from the s

          • by kthreadd (1558445)

            Correct, I just meant that you're not covered by the same thing as you would be by buying the extended warranty.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          No they were not covered. After the first six months you are responsible for proving that it was Apple's fault; with an extended warranty it's Apple that has to prove that it's not.

          maybe in usa.

          In euro land apples products have always(to a limited definition of always) had the two year guarantee(minus perishables but I don't think they ever sold ink.. batteries perhaps). basically it can't break on it's own in two years in use, they always had to comply with that in europe - but it made selling their extended warranty harder so they tried bullshitting that it's just 6 months. that got them flak and for a good reason.

          by the way if it has a manufacturing defect apple is on hook for fixi

          • by the way if it has a manufacturing defect apple is on hook for fixing it FOREVER! not just 6 months. not just 12 months. forever, because the defect was in the product when they sold it.

            On the other hand, if it lasts long enough then it is by definition not defective. (And, by law, six years after the purchase, five years in Scotland, the customer loses all their rights. As an extreme example, you buy a Mac, you leave it in the sealed box, after 6 years and one day you open it in front of witnesses and it is physically broken, you'd get nothing).

  • No word yet on when the rest of the EU will see those changes, but it would now seem to be just a matter of time before other countries get the new terms as well.

    Nope. the customers in other EU countries already have the same (or very similar) terms. Because these terms are based on laws that are based on EU guidelines. And law trumps whatever Apple says they are willing to do.
    The only thing missing is Apple admitting to the customers what rights they have under the law.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      "The new terms" which they refer to are the correct, legally appropriate warranty from Apple, not the EU laws.

      • by Splab (574204)

        You are by law required to give at least the EU standard for warranty, you can never write your product out of this.

        You can provider better warranty, which a lot of business do, but never worse.

        • by kthreadd (1558445)

          I think the problem here is that the word warranty is used differently. Because I know for sure that some EU countries don't have any requirement whatsoever that the seller and/or manufacturer provides warranty. What they require is similar to warranty, but clearly defined as something different from warranty.

          • In German we actually have two different words for this: Garantie for the (voluntary) warranty of a seller or manufacturer and GewÃhrleistung for the mandatory warranty.

        • by Sockatume (732728)

          ...yes?

        • You are by law required to give at least the EU standard for warranty, you can never write your product out of this.

          As usual, confused and unclear. "You" as the manufacturer can give whatever warranty you want. Obviously giving a longer warranty makes customers happier and makes them trust your products more, but you can give any warranty you like. "You" as the seller (the store) selling a product don't have to give any warranty, but you have to follow the law and make sure the goods you sell are of reasonable quality, and fix them if they fail, according to the law.

  • Well, duh. This is just the paperwork catching up with the law. EU citizens already have 2 year warranties.
    • by kthreadd (1558445)

      The EU doesn't have a two year warranty. I was going to explain it, but Udo Schmitz did a much better job if you look a bit further down.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        The EU doesn't have a two year warranty. I was going to explain it, but Udo Schmitz did a much better job if you look a bit further down.

        ok and this is how apple explains it. EU-wide Consumer Laws: Claim period: 2 years (minimum) from date of delivery, 5 years in Scotland and 6 years in the rest of the UK.

        http://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/ [apple.com]

        He doesn't explain it too well, actually. don't eat so much apple pie.

        I buy a product inside eu then someone is going to cover for the two years warranty - the consumer on these issues should always be able take the issue with the entity that sold the product to them. that's just logical and

  • Uhm, nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Udo Schmitz (738216) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:49AM (#43993725) Journal

    Any of you wonder why the text reading “revised the terms of its warranties in France, Germany and Belgium” links to an article that instead says: “Apple has updated its policies”? And why said article doesn’t link to those policies but instead (for Germany at least) links not to a promised PDF but an article at ifun.de?

    http://www.ifun.de/apple-kommuniziert-gewaehrleistungsanspruch-deutlicher-41275/ [www.ifun.de]

    In which is stated that Apple adds this paragraph to its product pages in the Apple Store:

    “In Deutschland haben Verbraucher gemäß BGB innerhalb von zwei Jahren ab Übergang der Ware Anspruch auf eine kostenlose Reparatur, einen kostenlosen Austausch, einen Rabatt oder eine Rückzahlung durch den Händler, wenn das gekaufte Produkt zum Zeitpunkt des Übergangs nicht dem Kaufvertrag entspricht.”

    My human translation: “In Germany—according to BGB [Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch/civil code]— customers have the right, within tow years of transfer of the goods, of free repair, free replacement, a rebate or repayment by the vendor, if the purchased product does not comply with the terms of the purchase contract at the date of transfer.”

    They do this because with the Apple Store (be it online or brick and mortar) they are the vendor. This, EU-mandated, german warranty applies to the vendor. If you buy an Apple product at Random-Computer-Hütte and it breaks within one year you can either call the manufacturer Apple upon their 1-year warranty or go to the vendor. If it breaks after a year but within two years you’ll have to deal with that vendor. If you buy at an Apple-run store manufacturer and vendor are the same. And if it breaks after two years you could use Apple-care if you bought it.

    Still, Apples warranty gives better protection. With the EU-warranty, if the product breaks after 6 months the burden of proof that the product did not comply with the terms of the purchase contract when you bought it, is on your side. And if you buy AppleCare you not only get Apple warranty for three years instead of one, but free phone support on top of that.

    • And if you buy AppleCare you not only get Apple warranty for three years instead of one, but free phone support on top of that.

      I live in Belgium, and my first year warranty came up on Monday this week for my MacBookPro Retina. I came very close to buying AppleCare, but I baulked at the cost at the last moment (340 Euro). With this new ruling, I'm glad I gave it a miss, if it only gives me 1 additional year of coverage, and free support calls that I won't use anyway...

      Having said that, I've had quite

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      that 6 months applies only in some countries and it's about you having received the thing as broken.

      why use some obscure german article for trying to explain an eu wide issue? so that apple would seem less full of shit trying to convince people that their mandatory warranty was just 6 months to sell them more? hell, why not just link to apple who explains that the warranty is two years in eu: http://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/ [apple.com] - and you need to contact the seller to claim it which is normal(

  • Isn't that sort of short for a PC?

  • Call your Congressman. Send him a postcard.
  • by Frankie70 (803801)

    When Apple was fined for this, lot of Apple fans at Slashdot said that Apple will withdraw their products from sale in Europe. Then all of Europe's citizen's will rise in revolt to get European countries to change their laws so that Apple can sell their products with whatever warranty Apple deems fit.

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