The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission accused Apple of failing to comply with the country's consumer protection laws and has convinced the Mac, iPhone and iPad maker to agree to terms it feels are in line with the Australian Consumer Law. The Commission had said Apple was intentionally misleading consumers over what warranty-related rights they had in the country.
Apple agrees to comply with Australia consumer laws
The ACCC said Apple told customers it only offers a 12-month limited warranty and that they aren't entitled to full refunds, product replacements, or product repairs for serious issues with the devices the purchase, which is a violation of the ACL. Apple was also telling customers they needed to contact manufacturers for help with defective third-party products they purchased from its own stores.
ACCC chair Rod Simms said,
The ACCC was concerned that Apple was applying its own warranties and refund policies effectively to the exclusion of the consumer guarantees contained in the Australian Consumer Law. While voluntary or express warranties can provide services in addition to the consumer guarantee rights of the ACL, they cannot replace or remove those ACL guarantee rights.
As part of the agreement, Apple will retrain its staff and management that deals with Australian customers to ensure they comply with the ACL and update the Apple Australia website with information about local consumer rights.
This isn't the first time Apple has run afoul of the ACCC. In 2012 Apple paid a US$2.25 million fine for false advertising related to the iPad's 4G wireless data support and changed its advertising to note that LTE service isn't available in all areas.
Apple's latest brush with the ACCC seems to be going smoother, although now the company will have to make sure its Australia staff is up to speed on support for everything it sells instead of just Apple-branded products.
[Thanks to ZDNet for the heads up]