Apple agreed to comply with Italian regulators’ requests last year to alter AppleCare warranties in the country after being fined $1.2 million (and an additional $264,000) for “misleading consumers” regarding two-year warranties mandatory by European Union law. We expected to hear much more about AppleCare in other EU countries that also employ the mandatory, free, two-year warranty, and now Belgian consumer watchdog Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats has filed a complaint to escalate its case (via TechCrunch):
For many years warranty issues are at the top of the charts of complaints dealt with Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats. One of the recurring problems are the complaints about Apple. Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats found major problems fixed on the information provided by Apple and its authorized distributors regarding the legal guarantee, the commercial one year warranty, and the warranty extension through the “AppleCare Protection Plan” of 2 or 3 years.
In March 2012, consumer groups from 10 countries requested Apple make changes to its warranty policies after the case in Italy. The Belgian consumer group was one of them but filed a complaint today with local courts because “Apple remained deaf to the demands.”
During negotiations with Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, Apple ultimately changed its warranty policies on its website, terms and conditions, and even removed AppleCare from brick-and-mortar store shelves.