Apple Facing Another EU AppleCare Kerfuffle, this Time Portugal

Apple in EuropeApple is under fire again for its AppleCare warranty practices in the EU—the Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection (DECO) said it will sue Apple for misleading consumers into purchasing Apple Care extended warranty plans.

In the U.S., Apple products come with a one-year warranty and purchasing AppleCare extends that, as well as phone support, for up to three years. However, in the EU, companies are required to provide a two-year warranty on electronic products at no cost.

While the EU sets the standards, each country implements its own laws and they can differ slightly from country to country. According to AppleInsider, in Portugal, any defect found within two years is assumed to have been there from the start. Apple’s wording gives the impression that only defects discovered at delivery are covered. Of course, the product is covered as required by law, but DECO feels that isn’t conveyed to consumers, which of course encourages them to purchase AppleCare.

According to DECO, the lawsuit comes after several attempts by them to have the wording changed on Apple’s Portuguese website. According to AppleInsider’s translation, DECO’s Secretary General Jorge Morgado stated, “The Portuguese and EU law gives a two-year guarantee for portables [and laptops], but Apple does not recognize this reality. After several attempts to enforce these rights, without success, we decided to proceed with legal action. We will require the court to restore legality because we have no doubt that the rights of consumers are being trampled.”

DECO is a non-profit and not a government agency, so its only recourse is to sue. Apple is under fire in Italy for similar complaints regarding AppleCare, but there the complaint is by a government agency capable of setting fines and regulations, including blocking sales of products.