Apple fined $1.2 million in Italy over warranty practices

Matt Brian reports for TNW, “Italy’s ‘antitrust authority’ Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) has fined Apple €900,000 ($1.2 million) after it was found to be misleading consumers on assistance services and warranties, AFP reports.” “The antitrust watchdog issued a statement saying that it had imposed ‘sanctions of a total of 900,000 euros’ on Apple ‘after it was found responsible for bad commercial practices that harmed consumers.'”

Brian reports, “Apple was also found to have given ‘unclear information on payments for additional assistance offered to consumers’ and the company had not ‘fully implemented the two-year guarantee by the producer,’ the authority added.”

“The company, which sells its products with a one year warranty, is required under EU law to protect buyers with a minimum of two years protection on all consumer electronics, which includes its iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and iPod devices,” Brian reports. “Instead of this, Apple pushed a paid warranty service with its AppleCare service, going against regulations in Italy.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Jay in DC” and “ovine” for the heads up.]

26 Comments

      1. Yeah, Apple lawyers should have caught this disconnect. But there are a lot of laws in a lot of countries. I’ll bet that you violate laws in your country every day, some intentionally and some out of ignorance (which is no excuse in the U.S.).

    1. … on electronics?
      Where are all the guys who claim this or that congressman know nothing about (something) and ought to STFU? The average useful life of a cell phone or PC laptop is a bit over a year. Then it gets traded in – if it still works. Apple’s products tend to last twice as long … the only ones to exceed the two year mark? Sounds a bit broken, to me.

      1. Rubbish, the useful life of an iPhone is well over 2 years. Apple has got away with this for years while other PC manufacturers have offered 2 or 3 yr warranties Apple who proclaim (and have) better quality persist in having only 1 yr. Honestly if Apple came out with an across the board 2 yr warranty they would be putting their money where their mouth is.

    1. Bingo…

      People don’t realize that consumer warranties (beyond a 30 day defect period) are basically just insurance policies. Apple used to give Italians the choice of paying or not paying for that warranty beyond a year. The Italian government has now taken away that choice.
      Anyone who doesn’t get that the prices for products in Italy will now reflect that, is naive.
      (and this is for any product, you can’t get something for nothing a fact that you would think by now wold be evident to the Italian government, but perhaps not… )

      1. FYI, this eu directive has been in place since 1999, it’s eu directive 99/44.
        Anyone who claims protecting the consumer from poor quality goods is killing the economy needs their head examined.
        I no longer believe apple make quality goods, 5th iPhone in 18 months and still signal drop offs with a case. A top end 15in MacBook pro on its 4th motherboard in 6 months.
        That does not qualify as either quality or reliability.

        1. Tom,
          Absolute rubbish. Not only do I doubt your testimony, but anyone who thinks that a single anecdotal (purported) incident proves the rule is idiot or a troll (or both).

        2. Let’s see, since I went Apple in 2001, I have owned:

          5 Macs
          4 iPods
          2 iPhones
          1 Airport Express
          1 Airport Extreme
          1 Apple TV

          Total failures: zero.

          My anecdote cancels out yours.

          ——RM

        3. Based upon my extensive positive experience with Apple products, you are either having a very bad run of luck (stay away from Las Vegas), you abuse your electronics, you have unreasonable expectations, or GoogledinTO is correct. Frankly, I find the story about four motherboards to be highly suspect. They would have given you a new laptop replacement by now.

          If stories like yours were substantially more common, then I might be concerned. But you seem to be one of those rare lemon magnets. If Apple is not giving you the quality that you deserve as a consumer, then I recommend seeking another vendor.

  1. Too bad it wasn’t 900,000 of the old Lira. That would be about the price of half an iPhone.

    I love Italy and the Italians, but they’ve been a monetary mess since the fall of the Roman Empire.

  2. A two years warranty is mandatory everywhere in the European Union on B2C electronics sales (not on B2B sales, it’s one year only). I’m an Apple fanboy but Apple is violating the law in many countries with this behavior.
    I can’t do that, nor can anyone else: why should they have a special permit to go against the law?
    If they really want to change the rules they can go with Microsoft’s approach: gifts and parties in Bruxelles in order to bribe the politicians and make them change their minds…

  3. I guess You (all of you) should read the whole story before being sarcastic or just plainly showing your ignorance.
    The fine is not for providing one year warranties but for misleading the consumers in believing so and inducing them in purchasing the Apple care protection plans. Apple, under the law, has provided 2 year warranties (so no costs will change) but it has always stated a one year warranty misleading consumers. And that is wrong.
    And USA has 15 trillions in debt so don’t be so sure your life will be better than mine (I’m Italian) in the future. Or, frankly, even now.
    Cheers.

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