The latest in Apple warranty shenanigans in Europe: caving in to pressure from a number of the European Union member states, the company has now updated its warranty policy in Belgium, giving all buyers two-year warranty as standard.
Remember, Apple’s insistence on upselling European customers to its paid AppleCare extended coverage has failed to impress authorities in Europe, where two-year warranty is required by law.
In Italy, for example, Apple was fined $264,000 in Italy over offering only a single year of warranty as standard…
According to Dutch-language Apple Nieuws Vlaanderen, Apple’s updated warranty policy in Belgium is now live and in compliance with EU laws. iFun.de and MacGeneration confirm Apple changed its stance in Germany and France, too.
All products purchased from Apple, including non-Apple products, in these countries are now covered by the statutory warranty of two years.
The move comes as Belgian consumer watchdog Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats filed a complaint against Apple over how Apple operates its warranties.
Apple isn’t off the hook yet in other EU countries, including Luxembourg and Portugal, where consumer watchdogs are mounting lawsuits against Apple over the unlawful AppleCare warranty practices.
The company is likely to give all EU member states the same treatment as in France, Germany and Belgium because there’s not much Apple can do but comply with EU’s two-year warranty requirement.
Apple was similarly forced to update its warranty practices in China after state-run media disparaged the company over iPhone replacement worries. Apple’s replacement policy regarding the iPhone and iPod touch also resulted in a class-action lawsuit, forcing the company to sign a settlement deal worth $53 million.
And in the latest move, Apple started offering in-store $149 iPhone 5 replacement screens over in the United States. We also heard the firm will soon start actually replacing faulty iDevices with brand new hardware rather than exchange them for a like-new re-manufactured devices.