Apple forced to comply with Australian Consumer Law regarding refunds and warranties

“Apple must better comply with the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) under a new court-enforceable undertaking that it has agreed to after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) conducted an investigation into its guarantees policies,” Michael Lee reports for ZDNet.

“The ACCC conducted its investigation after becoming concerned that Apple was misleading customers on what consumer guarantee rights they have,” Lee reports. “These included telling customers that Apple is not required to provide refunds and/or replace or repair products, when these guarantees are covered under the ACL.”

“As part of the undertaking,” Lee reports, “Apple will additionally improve its training for all sales, management, and call centre staff members who deal with Australian customers, and maintain a website to outline differences between its warranty and ACL consumer guarantees.”

Read more in the full article here.

20 Comments

  1. Nothing is free. So, if Apple raises all of Australia’s product costs to cover the added cost of their Australian Consumer Law (ACL), everyone will be happy. As long as all of the Australian customers do not care about paying more, the ACL is good for Apple and raises their sales numbers too!

    1. Nothing wrong with protecting consumers, similar to consumer protection in the European Union. This is about replacing faulty items. Since Apple’s products are of such high quality, it’s unlikely to affect their bottom line. In reality Apple does replace faulty products out of warranty when issues are found with components like batteries. The slap on the hand is because they were potentially misleading consumer. A simple disclaimed “Your statutory rights are not affected” may have avoided this; you’ll see that phrase all over the UK. The lesson here is know the law in the country you trade in.

        1. …Out of warranty. Didn’t buy Applecare. Out of luck.

          Those are the facts in this matter. But the situation is certainly not normal for Apple gear. I work every day on, among other things, a 2006 MacBook that I can’t kill. It’s CD/DVD drive did go wonky, but I had Applecare and it was freely replaced. Good on me! If I had not had Applecare, boohoo on me! The end!

          1. “Since Apple’s products are of such high quality, it’s unlikely to affect their bottom line. In reality Apple does replace faulty products out of warranty”

            “…Out of warranty. Didn’t buy Applecare. Out of luck”

            If you read a little bit, you’d found out it wasn’t an isolated case: 2011 MBP’s have failed (and are failing) in large numbers, and people WITH AppleCare have changed logic boards 3, 4, 5 and more times. And people who paid for replacements find themselves having to pay again after the logic boards fail again after 90 days.

            Go ahead and admit Apple does not always produce items of “the highest quality” which last for years and years.

            1. I read a hell of a lot, so your point is pointless.

              Thank you for pointing out that this is not an isolated case. We all contribute to one another’s knowledge around here, especially me.

              I hope Apple sort this out. It is indeed NOT the first time Apple has had bad motherboards/components. I remember a couple year’s worth of motherboards going bad due to crap capacitors that blew out and leaked. Apple replaced all the affected motherboards.

              Apple does typically produce items that last longer than any competitor. But facts are facts and if this is a pandemic, then Apple will address it. And if they don’t, after you’ve spoken to Applecare, here is where you call Apple Customer Service, the folks who get the problem solved when no one else at Apple will:

              408.996.1010

              Yes, it’s a toll call. Ask to speak to Customer Service. Ask them to call you back if need be. Patience and persistence will get Apple’s attention.

    2. We already pay more, for everything, from milk to caviar everything is more expensive in Australia. I just wish the pricks at the ACCC would do something useful like attack those short term loan sharks constantly advertising on TV. I can live with a 1 year warranty on a phone but the arseholes lending $1000 to have $5000 paid back should be jailed.

      1. I agree about tougher regulation of the short term loan market. There is a place for them, since they can be cheaper than going over an overdraft limit for example, and some people use then wisely or only in emergencies. But then practices like rollover loans and a total lack of credit checking is preying on the unfortunate. We have precisely the same issue in the UK. High prices down there are caused by a lot of different factors, not least of which is that importing is expensive because you’re so bloody far away!

          1. Come on, ObservationDeck, you have to be joking to make that comparison. Mortgages are typically long-term, secured loans. The interest rates are generally fairly low. It is the 30-year interval that results in so much interest. And you have to keep in mind that the payments that you are making in Year 30 are worth a lot less due to the cumulative effects of inflation. Meanwhile, you have avoided paying rent and potentially accumulated wealth in the value of your home. Furthermore, under current tax law, you may have been eligible to deduct some of the interest that you paid on that mortgage.

            *None* of that is true for the short term loans in question. I repeat, you cannot be serious.

      2. They bumped the warranty of iPhones (don’t know about others) to two years. They were just very quiet about it.

        Things here are expensive, but also we get paid very high wages compared to most places in the world. Does anyone know of an index that calculated affordability in countries as a function of wages? Maybe that’d show some more info.

    1. Golly, anonymous coward paid-by-whoever ‘X’.
      √ Idiot bigotry noted.
      √ Idiot inability to read news about the business backlash against treasonous NSA surveillance within the USA noted.

      You have beautifully communicated your idiocy. Idiocy is verboten around here. Ya here me kid?! Verboten! 😆

  2. Apple have always played fast and loose with international consumer laws, but that is common for US multinationals. Under Australian law Apple are required to replace any product which has a manufacturing fault for the life of the product, not the length of the warranty.

    I had a lot of problems with an iPhone 3G which was hanging at increasingly irregular intervals. The problem went away, briefly, when the phone was wiped and reinstalled and the Apple diagnostics programme, run by an Apple tech in the Sydney Apple store, reported numerous software errors.

    But I found it very difficult, even so, to get the phone replaced, despite promises from various Apple employees that they would. It was replaced eventually and the replacement phone works without a problem.

    But it was an unpleasant experience.

  3. … And, as we’ve seen with Italy pulling a similar move against Apple: You get what you pay for. Italy and Australia will be paying MORE for their Apple gear because their governments are forcing Apple to provide more. It’s that simple.

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