Last we heard, Apple was being threatened with closure of its Italian operations if it did not make necessary changes to its warranty policies following an investigation by the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato. The authorities had previously fined Apple $1.2 million, claiming the company failed to inform consumers about a two-year warranty mandatory by EU law. Now it appears Apple has officially taken its AppleCare Protection Plan products off the shelves in Italy with only online versions of the product still available to Italian customers.
setteB.IT shared the image above showing what is apparently an email from Apple Distribution International in Ireland to Apple resellers in Italy. Apple informed resellers that it would stop selling all AppleCare Protection Plans in Italian Apple Stores as well as through authorized resellers. From the email, it also appeared Apple will no longer offer AppleCare-related services over the phone in the country.
setteB.IT also noted Apple has updated the terms for AppleCare on its Italian website. Rather than a “1 year warranty”, the website now reads “AppleCare plans benefits are added to the 2 year warranty of the seller, required by Italian regulators to protect the consumers.”
A full translation of the email is below:
Cork, 9th November 2012
Notice: AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) in Italy
As of November 9, 2012, Apple stopped selling AppleCare Protection Plan in Italian Apple Store and the distribution of the APP program at Apple Authorized Resellers (including Telephone Operators and Apple Authorized Service Centers).
The Apple Authorized Resellers in Italy can stop the sale of APP both box and auto-enroll (without box) versions, starting today you can return the stocked products back to Apple by 10 December 2012.
Customers wishing to purchase the AppleCare Protection Plan will continue to do so through the Apple Online Store.
It’s a possibility changes to AppleCare in Italy could eventually reach other countries where the EU warranty law is enforced. Back in March, Bloomberg reported that consumer groups in over 10 countries were requesting changes to AppleCare policies over similar concerns as Italian regulators.