Apple’s warranty practices in Europe draw ire of a Belgian watchdog


Apple’s warranty adventure in the European Union is far from being over. After the company failed to properly communicate to its Italian consumers that they were entitled to a EU-wide two-year warranty (first warranty year provided by the manufacturer and the second by the seller), for which it was fined $264,000 last month and $1.2 million in March, now Apple has gotten itself into trouble with a Belgian consumer watchdog, Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats…

According to a compliant the agency filed against Apple (via TechCrunch) because “Apple remained deaf to the demands” the iPhone maker continues to advertise its AppleCare warranty plan “in a manner which doesn’t properly explain consumer rights to Belgian gadget shoppers”.

The decision to pursue legal action comes only after Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats decided to join up with 10 other Europe-based entities to make complaints about how Apple operates its warranties, but now the group feels it is time to escalate to a court case after efforts to petition the Mac maker have gone unheard.

Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats is also citing the Italian case as a precedent, noting that Apple modified its practices there following a $1.2 million penalty in that case. Apple sells the AppleCare warranty plan as an add-on to the existing one-year warranty. The problem is, inside the EU market a two-year warranty is mandatory.

Help me out here as I have a hard time understanding Apple’s motives.

The company should know better. And if Italy was anything to go by, other EU markets will also force legal actions in order to push Apple into changing its stance.

After all, the fine Italian regulators slapped Apple with did force positive changes in Apple’s policy and the company even removed the AppleCare products from its Italy online store.

Why should other EU markets be any different?