Apple stops selling customer protection plan in Italy

“Apple Inc has stopped selling a customer protection plan that raised concerns with Italy’s antitrust authority, a company spokesman said on Tuesday,” Lisa Jucca and Naomi O’Leary report for Reuters.

“Italy’s competition watchdog had threatened the U.S. giant with a fine and even temporary closure of its Italian operations if the company did not make it clear to customers that they were entitled to a free two-year warranty on its products, in accordance to EU law,” Jucca and O’Leary report. “As of November 9, Apple is no longer selling its own, broader AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) in own brand retail stores in Italy, nor distributing the APP to Apple resellers, a company spokesman confirmed to Reuters.”

Jucca and O’Leary report, “A spokeswoman for [Italy’s antitrust watchdog] AGCM said talks between Apple and the Italian regulator were still in progress. The regulator is expected to near a decision at the end of November.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. I hate the idea of a “nanny state” as much as anyone, but I don’t really think this qualifies under that. For something that costs so much, I don’t think requiring a two-year standard warranty is objectionable.

      1. It does not “COST SO MUCH” as you put it. It costs more than a PCEEEEE because you get more than a PC. You get a REAL OS and you get a great warranty with and service even without buying the Apple care. Have you tried getting service on a PC…..I have and its not pretty. First you hang on the line for hours and then they tell you to contact MS. when you call MS you hang on the line for a few hours more and they tell you to contact the seller. And around and around you go till you give up.

        With Apple I had a “weird” problem with my iMac…went to the Apple store and after they agreed it was “weird” they gave me a BRAND NEW iMac (aprox $3000 worth). And this is WITHOUT me having “Apple care”.

        Now also add in the value of iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband etc.

        SUDDENLY, it does not cost so much.

        1. I’ve owned numerous Macs, all with AppleCare. I understand the Total Cost of Ownership equation. That doesn’t change the fact that, for most people, $1000+ is a significant amount in absolute terms.

          1. So what you are basically saying is that if (hypothetically speaking) someone was to give you a car (say a BMW worth $80000) for a $1000 but no warranty, say, ,,,,,,,and because that is quite a lot of money for a lot of people (in absolute terms)……you would say that was a “Bad” thing?

            1. It sure isn’t. But if we go by your metaphor, for an Apples-to-Apples comparison I’d need to get my $1000 Mac for $12.50. For that price, I’d definitely forgo a warranty.

              Your metaphor is baffling, it completely ignores expectation of cost.

            2. Its NOT my metaphor. It is my interpretation of yours. And it is indeed absurd.

              My point is you get MORE than you than you think when you buy an Apple product. So stop making it sound like you are getting ripped off.

              In my actual case I have had my iMAC replaced free of charge (when I know an equivalent Dell or HP experience would have been totally the opposite) and the warranty started anew. ANEW! Similarly, I have had three iPhone replacements for minor issues. I cannot in all honesty say that ANY of my Apple products “COST TOO MUCH”.

      2. MMLH,
        I do not think you understand. There is no Applecare available to the Italians. You get the standard warrentte for two years which means if the machine breaks because of bad workmanship, you get a replacement or repair. NOTHING else. No Apple tech support, no you dropped it and cracked the glass but Apple fixes it free, or you get a weird software problem, well TOO BAD. The standard Italian coverage is two years of mfg defect… PERIOD.

        They now CANNOT buy Apple care and get tech support for two / three years.

        Just a thought.

        1. Actually, the 2 year warranty is a requirement for the entire EU. In my country all Apple dealers honor it. My country’s Apple store still talks about 1 year, which IMHO is superceded by EU law. If in doubt, go to a dealer.

  1. Apple play fast and loose with warranty requirements in many markets. In Australia Apple provide a 1yr iPhone warranty after which they insist you pay for a swap-out unit if anything goes wrong. However, under Australian law the vendor/manufacturer is on the hook for defects for the life of the unit. I had a problem with an iPhone 3G that started hanging. The problem could be temporarily fixed by a software reload and the Apple Store techs ran diagnostics which indicated a software error. They did a firmware reload which fixed the problem for 6 weeks but it returned and eventually the phone was unusable. After a lot of determined agitation by me, and repeated dodging of the issue by Apple, they replaced the phone. I am a 30 year IT veteran and started my career as a programmer. I believe, from close monitoring of the symptoms, that the problem was most likely caused by some faulty blocks in nv storage – whatever it was, it wasnt due to damage or 3rd party apps, or IOS, which works fine on the replacement unit. I heard of several other 3G users with identical problems, facing Apple’s stonewalling. It was a very disappointing experience and showed up many problems in Apple’s support infrastructure. If I hadn’t been so technical and so determined Apple would not have replaced my phone.

    1. I also started my 30+ years in IT as a programmer. I have always had success giving the service folks the evidence they need to advocate to their management on my behalf the way I am to them. Your issue sounds pretty tough to “prove” to them such that they can argue your case to management. And since the world has come to know of Apple’s legendary replacement policy it’s been getting abused. I sat one Genius stool away from a customer pleading the case of a repeat repair, while the store manager very gracefully laid out the history of the customer’s iPhone history, and none of the repairs were repeats. It was pretty clear this customer had all the time in the world to try and wear down the manager.

      That aside, was your experience before, during, or after the Browett affair?

    2. I have had all models of iPhone (2 each time for my wife and myself). Along the way we have had some pretty minor problems,,,,like the button was not “feeling like it clicked” but in fact it was working fine. No problem ….a new phone! No further questions. Once the screen on my wife’s phone “looked” better than the screen on mine when compared side by side. If you were to use it by itself the screen didnt look bad at all. But, hey, no problem,,,,,,Apple replaced the phone!

      A VERY satisfied iMac(3), Mackbook Pro(2), Apple TV(2), iPhone(8), iPod, iPad4(4) and iPad Mini(1) owner.

    3. “…under Australian law the vendor/manufacturer is on the hook for defects…”
      Which is responsible, vendor or manufacturer?

      ?…for the life of the unit.”

      1. “…under Australian law the vendor/manufacturer is on the hook for defects…”
        Which is responsible, vendor or manufacturer?

        “…for the life of the unit.” ? Is there a lot of computer hardware manufactured there?

  2. A 2 year cycle is about right, at least here in the US. Europeans have a sweet deal. But then again, most apple products are stellar long after that, and if not Apple usually makes it right. I stopped buying AppleCare awhile ago, because I have never once needed it. For me, the risk is worth it.

  3. Just charge the EU more for the “free” warrantee they are receiving. The cost should reflect what you are receiving.

    It would be nice if the two-year-warrantee could be included with Apple’s U.S. products, for a slightly higher fee.

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