×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple Is Forced By EU To Give 2 Years Warranty On All Its Products

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the genius-bar-working-twice-as-hard dept.

EU 270

dsmalle writes "Apple has adapted its warranty to cover 2 years, under pressure of the European Union and after European consumer organizations sued Apple. From the article: 'The warranty conditions have been changed and these changes can be found on the website of Apple. Products that are purchased on the website of the manufacturer or in stores are now under warranty for two years, as it is required by the EU warranty guidelines. However, the warranty for Apple products that have been purchased elsewhere will not change and they will only be given a limited one-year warranty.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

270 comments

This does not seem fair (-1)

Wattos (2268108) | about 2 years ago | (#39547739)

Isnt that a big "screw you!" for all retailers which offer apple products(e.g. amazon.de or Media Markt...)?

I can see another lawsuit following from these retailers

Re:This does not seem fair (4, Informative)

Jerom (96338) | about 2 years ago | (#39547763)

It's manufacturer warranty - the retailer has nothing to do with this.

Re:This does not seem fair (5, Informative)

laurensv (601085) | about 2 years ago | (#39547829)

It is a retailer warranty. It only applies as Apple sells something directly to consumers.
In other cases, other retailers have to get Apple to fix the stuff, but Apple isn't directly liable.

Re:This does not seem fair (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#39547999)

The retailer is responsible for taking care of the repair/replacement. That means Joe consumer deals with the retailer, which in turn deals with Apple.

There are comapnies that take care of warranties directly, however, they're the minority. I can think of Corsair and Microsoft (Xbox 360 only).

Re:This does not seem fair (5, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#39548133)

It is a retailer warranty. It only applies as Apple sells something directly to consumers.
In other cases, other retailers have to get Apple to fix the stuff, but Apple isn't directly liable.

No, it's a manufacturer warranty, but generally handled by the retailer, who acts as a go-between for the customer and manufacturer.
I.e. if your iGizmo breaks down, you take it to the retailer, who sends it to Apple, who fixes it under warranty. This is in the interest of the consumer, who has a single point of contact. The manufacturer (or, rather, brand name holder) is still the liable part.

This in contrast to US conditions, where the customer usually has to contact the manufacturer directly.

In addition to the mandatory warranty, the purchaser also has reclamation rights not limited to a fixed term, but the reasonably expected lifetime of a product. For consumer electronics, this is generally interpreted to be in the ballpark of the warranty or shorter, but if you buy, say, house siding that cracks after ten years, or a water heater that that breaks down after four years, you probably have a good case for getting it fixed by the manufacturer.
A big difference between that and regular warranty is that for regular warranty, the manufacturer is liable by default and has to show that the customer misused the product to get out of it, while for the reclamation rights, the customer has the burden of evidence.
Still, it is useful, and while I lived in Europe, I exercised this right a couple of times (broken washer/dryer, guitar neck that warped).

Re:This does not seem fair (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39548007)

retailer has everything to do with being responsible to the consumers they retail to. some chains in eu are trying to sell'n'dump-responsibilities but it's not really legit over here(one example is that doesn't matter what smartphone you buy in finland, there's 90% possibility that all warranty issues are handled by one company... it sucks, as the consumer shouldn't have to send his device to a 3rd party company to have it fixed when the retailer is actually responsible for the product they sold).

Re:This does not seem fair (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | about 2 years ago | (#39548303)

How is this a screw you ? All retailers were already required to offer 2 years warranty, if you buy directly from Apple they are the retailer and thus required to provide the warranty. It was just Apple not complying with the law, which has now been corrected.

If you buy at a retailer, you pay more than the retailer pays Apple, part of that difference is the warranty the retailer is supposed to provide. If you pay full price to Apple the same applies.

As An American... (4, Informative)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about 2 years ago | (#39547741)

This is really amusing to me, that the EU has laws that mandate minimum warranty policies for devices sold.

Some of the only comparable laws I can think of in the US have to do with automobile emissions systems. If your car starts spewing too much pollution before 90,000 miles, the manufacturer is on the hook regardless of what warranty they sold with the car.

Re:As An American... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547769)

This is really amusing to me, that the EU has laws that mandate minimum warranty policies for devices sold.

Actually, it's much more than that.

Not only was Apple not selling devices with the warranty required by law, but Apple was trying to upsell additional Applecare warranty to cover the mandatory warranty time period.

Of course, if it's out of warranty, you're probably SOL since Apple designs most of its products to be non-repairable.

Re:As An American... (1, Interesting)

EzInKy (115248) | about 2 years ago | (#39547927)

So I guess this raises the question of why Europeans bought Apple products despite those products breaking the law? Did they have faith in that their government would enforce the law, or did they simply not care that the law was being broken?

Re:As An American... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547963)

Why would they care? How important is it to you in making a purchase that the maker and seller have crossed all the regulatory Ts?

Re:As An American... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547987)

Well clearly they just didn't know. Since all the electronics they buy have 2 years warranty (by law) it isn't like they are going to go check that. They wouldn't find out until the thing broke and they needed warranty service. The fact that this even became a big enough deal to make it to the EU legal system means that many Apple products DID fail in less than 2 years (whether it was just battery not holding a charge or something worse) and enough people complained to bring it to the EUs attention.

Re:As An American... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547995)

So I guess this raises the question of why Europeans bought Apple products despite those products breaking the law?

Many people don't know the law. Unlike Apple, they don't have hundreds (thousands?) of lawyers on retainer.

And if this was the USA, there would be a class-action lawsuit where the lawyers get billions and the end users get a $15 coupon to buy a new ipad.

Re:As An American... (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#39548021)

The summary and story is somewhat misleading. Under EU law, Apple has supported 2 years but it wasn't clear to a consumer in the EU. The warranty policy on Apple website listed 1 year.**
**Local warranty laws apply. Your country may support a longer warranty.

Worse yet, they were selling extended warranties which adds more years but not clearly stating that consumers already got 2 years. There wasn't consensus about the length from some anecdotal testimony so Apple may have to review this with all of their employees. This stems from the earlier Italian ruling. Italy did not rule that Apple was breaking laws by not offering a 2yr warranty but rather it was somewhat confusing to the customer and that an asterisk on the warranty agreement wasn't good enough. Needlessly upselling also was noted.

Re:As An American... (5, Informative)

skovnymfe (1671822) | about 2 years ago | (#39548041)

In the EU, you can't change the laws by writing terms on your website, or providing some arbitrary "agreement" with the product. All it takes is for someone to challenge it, and Apple will get a slap on the wrist and get told that the law applies.

And now that someone did challenge this 1 year warranty "agreement", Apple has got their slap on the wrist and changed their heinous ways.

That's all there is to it really...

Re:As An American... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#39548051)

Most people don't think about warranties unless and until the product stops working. At that point they'll dig out the paperwork and see if they're covered.

They probably don't know that 2 years is a mandatory warranty period. And wouldn't think about the warranty period at time of purchase unless the retailer brings the topic up.

The EU law is there to ensure that product vendors don't take advantage of this lack of foresight by consumers. And because it's a common market to ensure some consistency of treatment across the union.

At least in Holland the case is this (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#39548265)

IF Apple had REALLY refused to honor the 2 year minimum warranty (devices are supposed to work for their expected life) then IF the customer knew his rights, he would simply have demanded his rights and Apple would have lost the case on every level.

The PSP had a very bad screen and Sony tried to make claims that cheap devices could have a number of defective sub-pixels. In Holland, the consumer program Kassa ("Cash register but also what we say when Americans say "Caching") arranged that Sony had to replace them. With even ONE dead sub-pixel. Mine had already been replaced by that time however since I simply demanded my right in the store and made it bloody clear that I would not leave before I got it.

You got to remember that EU citizens on the whole are not as enamored with big businesses as Americans.

Apple can try what it wants but if anyone makes a simple complaint, Apple is going to lose. Even this new thing is meaningless. In Europe, you got two years warranty at least. Take Apple to court, you will win since the law leaves no room for interpretation. At least none that Apple would like. A shorter warranty is allowed, for devices so cheap and crap that nobody could reasonably expect two years of use before it breaks.

Re:As An American... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39548283)

well, apple is still liable to the extend the law requires(well, the retailer is, but apple was acting as the retailer in this).

bigger shit is stuff like installing them with moisture sensors that are trigged before the device is sold to consumer, selling devices that they claim are meant to not work under 0c and so forth(though I think about that there's some consumer protection decision that if it's a fucking mobile PHONE there's the assumption that you can use it outdoors during winter too).

Re:As An American... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#39547771)

There are states with strict implied-warranty laws - I think as long as 4 years. Some states won't even allow as-is sales!

Re:As An American... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547789)

Yeah, why in the world would people want to be sure their shiny toys are covered for a reasonable period? If they don't WANT shit that breaks in a year and a day, they don't have to BUY it, right fanbois?

Anyway, this is moot. Apple sends out the fanboi alert about once a year anyway, and the lemmings line up for the next model.

Re:As An American... (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#39547879)

You know, I've lived in both the UK and US, and I've immersed myself in both cultures, and I still don't understand why Americans on Slashdot (only on Slashdot) appear to think it's a big deal that the EU has laws like this.

This is standard consumer protection stuff. Does the US have a directly equivalent law? No idea, but it doesn't lack laws that are in the same ballpark. Indeed, some, such as the requirement that all electronics be vetted by the FCC and contain shielding to prevent their circuits from accidentally broadcasting something that might cause a little interference on a TV or radio in the same room, seem a tad less understandable than creating a basic standard of merchantability - you have to stand behind your product for two years. Hardly unreasonable.

What gives?

Re:As An American... (1)

Olivier Galibert (774) | about 2 years ago | (#39547933)

This is standard consumer protection stuff. Does the US have a directly equivalent law? No idea, but it doesn't lack laws that are in the same ballpark. Indeed, some, such as the requirement that all electronics be vetted by the FCC and contain shielding to prevent their circuits from accidentally broadcasting something that might cause a little interference on a TV or radio in the same room, seem a tad less understandable than creating a basic standard of merchantability - you have to stand behind your product for two years. Hardly unreasonable.

What gives?

Errr, Europe has the same non-interference/resistance to interference laws that the US have.

    OG.

Re:As An American... (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#39548015)

The Raspberry Pi was bitten by the european equivalent just last week. It lacked the CE mark it requires for devices that can emit em radiation or be affected by it. I'm actually wondering if the Pi will run afoul of the FCC regs next.

Re:As An American... (1)

GNious (953874) | about 2 years ago | (#39548295)

Last I checked, there were 20-odd CE certs available, and it didn't really matter which one you got...

Re:As An American... (2)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about 2 years ago | (#39547941)

I still don't understand why Americans on Slashdot (only on Slashdot) appear to think it's a big deal that the EU has laws like this.

I don't think that this perception has anything to do with Slashdot. It's certainly a cultural thing.

If Congress tried to pass something like this, we would never hear the end of "socialist liberal government taking over the free market." Sigh. But as you said, standard consumer protection stuff.

Re:As An American... (4, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#39548067)

If Congress tried to pass something like this, we would never hear the end of "socialist liberal government taking over the free market." Sigh.

Absolutely. Because the States is effectively rules by the corporations. Somehow certain consumers would complain about a law that only benefits them. How brainwashed are they?

Swings and Roundabouts (5, Funny)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 2 years ago | (#39547997)

The EU has consumer protection laws, the USA has class action lawsuits and guns. It probably balances out in all but bodycount.

Re:Swings and Roundabouts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548053)

There are not enough mod points on all of Slashdot to represent my appreciation of this comment!

Re:As An American... (0)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39548005)

What gives?

Culturally over here a longer guarantee is often available but it is sold by retailers for about 1/3 the cost of the item and only elderly, weak willed, fools, etc buy them. They are not claimable because of ridiculous fine print. So its basically money down the drain. An "extended warantee plan" is looked at culturally like buying lotto tickets, kind of lower class, not exactly aspirational. Hear "Govt to require extended service plan" Think "oh great now best buy will charge me 1/3 more for basically doing nothing". "Now they'll continue to do nothing, while charging more, gee thanks big government"

Also across the pond we show our fitness to reproduce by conspicuous consumption. If you want to get laid you should be buying another in two years, preferably as expensive as possible, not trying to fix it. Maximization of lifetime cost not minimization.

Finally the early adopter types have little use for it. So... my 3 year old video card died. Why should I care, its been on the shelf for a year since I've been using my new one. The Apple i-device users are famous for buying another every year, so who benefits by a two year guarantee for a one year product, its like demanding a 10 year guarantee for a gallon of milk from the grocery store...

Re:As An American... (3, Interesting)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#39548073)

The Apple i-device users are famous for buying another every year, so who benefits by a two year guarantee for a one year product, its like demanding a 10 year guarantee for a gallon of milk from the grocery store...

Some people change cars every four years. That means we don't need to make cars that last any longer.

See how half-assed that logic is?

Even if you do buy a new iDevice every year, why should the old one stop working?

Re:As An American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548107)

An "extended warranty plan" exists in EU too.

Re:As An American... (2)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 2 years ago | (#39548213)

Apple's "AppleCare+" warranty extension is actually pretty good. It even covers user idiocy. I dropped the hundred bucks on it, and they happily replaced the phone I dropped into a foot of water. Shockingly the thing actually worked for a day afterward, I should have done a better job of drying it. I think a corrosion short killed it, not an actual water short.

Re:As An American... (0)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39547921)

Some of the only comparable laws I can think of in the US have to do with automobile emissions systems

The feds regulate how they operate and the terminology, google for "Magnuson–Moss".

The states regulate specific minimums, if any. Right off the top of my head practically all states have "something" for vehicle sales (especially used vehicle sales) and residential construction defects. I am about 99% certain wisconsin has some weirdly specific stuff for residential solar energy systems. Some states, as you can guess, are hyper-regulated centrally controlled markets and are poor, and some are pretty much free-market and are relatively richer.

Generally the corporations purchase warranty laws from the legislators that favor them in the fine print and are ridiculously below going market rates. That way everyone looks good, because the legislators are "doing something" and the corporations are providing far beyond what the law requires. For example, in Wisconsin, according to a law that must have been written in the 70s, solar electric panels as part of a contracted system must be warranted for five years. In 1970 five years might have been an impressive achievement but in 2012 I don't think you can buy panels guaranteed less than 20 years.

Re:As An American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548105)

Some states, as you can guess, are hyper-regulated centrally controlled markets and are poor, and some are pretty much free-market and are relatively richer.

Typical libertarian BS.

You probably believe all the claims about Texas being some kind of fiscal paradise too.

Re:As An American... (2)

similar_name (1164087) | about 2 years ago | (#39548245)

Some states, as you can guess, are hyper-regulated centrally controlled markets and are poor, and some are pretty much free-market and are relatively richer.

Here's a list of states by per capita income
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income [wikipedia.org]

Here's a list of states by party
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_states_and_blue_states#Current_classification [wikipedia.org]

Of the top ten 'richest' states (plus DC), 8 are blue states. Are you saying democrats create thriving free-markets and republicans over-regulate. Wait, that doesn't sound right either.

Re:As An American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547989)

imo these laws make sense because they deal with the information asymmetry. Price is pretty much the only clear signal consumer gets so without it overall quality will fall through the floor in the race to achieve the lowest cost. Reliability is not really known in advance (only the producer knows quality of materials used and assembly, unintended design faults also happen) so there is an incentive to do a quick cash-in by making as shoddy product as you can get away with. Without consumer protection laws only reputation can slow down the race to the bottom and we know that more often than not short term gains will trumph common sense in the mind of your average CEO.
From the western point of view definition of minimum quality also makes sense in 2 ways:
- cutting the amount of short lived stuff in landfills
- reducing share of wages in the end price, thus reducing incentives to outsource production

Re:As An American... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548029)

Some of the only comparable laws I can think of in the US have to do with automobile emissions systems. If your car starts spewing too much pollution before 90,000 miles, the manufacturer is on the hook regardless of what warranty they sold with the car.

New Zealand has interesting laws with regard to warranties on goods for non-business use.
Under the Consumer Guarantees Act you can get a replacement/repair if the goods don't last for a reasonable time.
('Reasonable time' meaning whatever is considered reasonable for the type of product.)

A side effect of that is. If a company offers an extended warranty they have proved that it's reasonable for the goods to last that long.
So if an extended warranty exists then there's no reason to buy it, because your covered by the act for that time anyway :)

There are a few exceptions, like goods bought for businesses or business use and goods sold at auctions etc..

Re:As An American... (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#39548043)

I wouldn't call it amusing, but it's pretty much normal here in Europe.

Why should a company be allowed to sell something with a 90-day warranty? That's simply absurd.

Headline Is Understated for Once (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#39547749)

For once, the headline is understated.

It really doesn't matter what Apple's warranty duration is, because there seems to be a statutory warranty of 2 years in at least part of the EU.

What this story is really about is Apple selling 2-year AppleCare plans in places with statutory warranties of 2 years, which is pretty darned slimy IMHO.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547785)

All extended warranties are slimy. There's always something in the mice type that screws you when you really need it.

So which is it Apple? Your products are high quality or junk where you need some sort of over priced repair plan because Apple products are going to break all the time?

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#39547833)

In general, I agree - but I've always either regretted not buying AppleCare or been glad to have it. I don't find Apple's products to be any shoddier or less reliable than other electronics in the same price range, but even if they were the AppleCare service has always been fantastic for me.

But selling a redundant warranty is slimy as hell. That's like Best Buy crap.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 2 years ago | (#39547983)

For most products I would agree with you, but after three in-home repairs my TV was declared a lemon and replaced with a newer model free of charge. If I had not purchased that warranty I would be starring at a $2000 pile of junk.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#39547799)

Normally warranties cover just the intended operation. Did it break? That sort of stuff. Applecare goes a level beyond. Items include software technical support beyond reporting or troubleshooting a potential bug. They provide functionality support and education to the customer. Just because apple offers this as an extra paid service, do you agree that EU should force Apple to offer this for free? That doesn't seem fair.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547865)

The EU is not forcing to offer Applecare for free. It is forcing Apple to indicate clearly that Apple products sold in the EU are under the 2-year statuary warranty (for defects present in the product before delivery) mandated by law.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (1)

dkf (304284) | about 2 years ago | (#39548031)

The EU is not forcing to offer Applecare for free. It is forcing Apple to indicate clearly that Apple products sold in the EU are under the 2-year statuary warranty (for defects present in the product before delivery) mandated by law.

Yes, but it is up to Apple to prove that the products were abused, with problems from normal use being something their products should not have. Deliberately jumping up and down on you iPhone counts as voiding the statutory warranty, but simply calling people normally does not. (Yes, there is space in there for court decisions, but the courts are mostly pretty reasonable in this area.)

Which isn't to say that they've got to fix the device on the spot, or offer a temporary replacement while the device is being fixed. It's merely that what you get with an Applecare contract that lasts to 2 years after purchase is largely (in ways that cover most of what customers really care about) what they're mandated to offer anyway as part of the purchase price. The other point is that it is the retailer that has to make this offer, not the manufacturer. Buy online or from an Apple store? Apple has to cover you. Buy from elsewhere, e.g., Walmart? Talk to them. (Consumer protection law doesn't cover how the retailer and manufacturer deal with things between themselves.)

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#39547913)

But that's not how they market AppleCare. [apple.com] They primarily market it as an extended warranty and extended support. Even the revised ad I linked to is slimy, with it still saying 1 year but then having a footnote.

I generally really like Apple, but these last two marketing stories have me a bit miffed. First it was the misleading 4G service with the iPad and now it is this warranty business. My only consolation is that I don't live in the EU, where all this misleading stuff is happening... so sure, Apple marketing is a bunch of liars, but at least they aren't lying to me directly (yet) :)

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548009)

Aside from translations apple care has almost zero localization. They don't offer additional services to the mandatory two year warranty, they offer an extension to a non existent mandatory one year warranty. Either apples legal department was to cheap to check local laws or they scammed people on purpose.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 2 years ago | (#39548047)

Apple employs more than enough lawyers to help them determine whether offering their products for sale in a particular market would produce a fair result or not, so yes, the EU should force Apple to provide whatever it requires other manufacturers to provide to their customers.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#39548141)

Apple employs more than enough lawyers to help them determine whether offering their products for sale in a particular market would produce a fair result or not, so yes, the EU should force Apple to provide whatever it requires other manufacturers to provide to their customers.

Which is exactly zero. The EU doesn't force manufacturers to give any warranty at all. So Apple's ONE year warranty (read that, you idiot submitter? ONE year, not two!) is completely voluntarily (of course once you buy the product that warranty is part of the deal).

The EU does however the seller of a product to fix problems under certain conditions. So if you buy an iMac at PC World, the EU gives you rights against PC World, not against Apple. If you buy a Canon printer at an Apple Store, the EU gives you rights against Apple, not against Canon.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#39548115)

Apple isn't being forced to give away AppleCare, they're being forced to respect the standard warranty imposed by the EU.

In other words, they're being forced to repair the devices for free if they were bought in the last two years.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547907)

These stories are all really misleading, actually. The mandatory 2 year "warranty" is by the vendor and after half a year, the buyer has to prove that the device was faulty from the day of purchase to get it.

Since Apple stores and their website make Apple the vendor, they have to grant that 2 year warranty.

Apple products sold anywhere else have the mandatory 2 year warranty by the vendor plus whatever warranty Apple likes to grant, the latter of which is not mandatory.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548017)

These stories are all really misleading, actually. The mandatory 2 year "warranty" is by the vendor and after half a year, the buyer has to prove that the device was faulty from the day of purchase to get it.

Not really true phrased that way. The law states that products should be expected to last more than 2 years with normal operation, so if it doesn't you have by default proved it was "faulty" (even if by design) from the day of purchase.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (1)

poity (465672) | about 2 years ago | (#39548063)

Is it possible to downgrade your warranty in the EU? I think the 2 year mandatory warranty is only useful to make companies with less than stellar brand recognition invest in the quality of their products. For well-established companies, their image is too important to not strive for high quality.

Re:Headline Is Understated for Once (1)

BlackCreek (1004083) | about 2 years ago | (#39548185)

For once, the headline is understated.

It really doesn't matter what Apple's warranty duration is, because there seems to be a statutory warranty of 2 years in at least part of the EU.

What this story is really about is Apple selling 2-year AppleCare plans in places with statutory warranties of 2 years, which is pretty darned slimy IMHO.

This story is also about Apple not publicly acknowledging that they had to honor a 2 year warranty and doing that by default as well.

I think it does matter what is Apple's stated default warranty duration. There is a difference between having a certain right and having this right being effectively respected without hassles. I don't doubt that before this you would be able to get the 2 year warranty honored, the question is whether that would take a visit to the shop, or if that would take pursuing a legal complaint of some sort. Perhaps you if are a lawyer, that is trivial to do, but if you have no idea how to bring them into legal compliance (say, you are an expat and don't even speak the local language correctly), it can be a real PITA.

Think about getting a refund for your Windows license because you refused the EULA and the EULA tells you to talk to the seller to get your money back. Regardless of your legal merit, shops -in general- won't reimburse you for your Windows license. People that go as far as getting a lawyer involved get their money back (and get a Slashdot story), most people don't bother.

In your face, programmed obsolescence! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547757)

Now we just need to slowly raise the legal warranty of all these devices so they end up reaching 5 or 6 years, then we will foster production of robust things that last a decent amount of time!
-happier consumers
-less junk

I'm glad to hear this (1)

miknix (1047580) | about 2 years ago | (#39547765)

That is something I really like when buying electronic equipment within Europe, knowing that warranty is always 2 years (with exceptions like batteries). How does it work out in other places?

Re:I'm glad to hear this (1)

Splab (574204) | about 2 years ago | (#39547819)

Some years back I read that manufactures tend to ship their best runs to the eu because of our warranty requirement. I can't think of a single electronic gizmo I've bought the last 10 years that didn't make it way beyond the 2 years.

Re:I'm glad to hear this (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#39547957)

You obviously have never owned a new (port merger) Seagate hard drive.

Re:I'm glad to hear this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548085)

Heh, funny, the only device that ever crapped out on me before those 2 years were up, was a Seagate HDD.

Re:I'm glad to hear this (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#39548129)

In other places Apple/*insert whatever company you want here* sells crap with short warranties (some as short as 90 days) and the consumer gets screwed over.

Silly headline.... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547773)

.... Just silly... Apple wasn't "forced by EU", was forced by the EU directives that were transposed to law in all EU countries. The headline should be: "Apple forced to abide the law in EU countries".... since it wasn't until now. It's not something that just happened to "fall" on our laps here in EU countries just now... it's decade and an half old law.

Re:Silly headline.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548087)

Well Apple does not seem to care about non-american law in general, in the EU, every mobile device has to have a micro-USB-port (no, adapters do not count), but for some reason Apple get's away without one.

Re:Silly headline.... (2)

cbope (130292) | about 2 years ago | (#39548207)

Where are my mod points. Oh wait... AC

Anyway, this is 100% correct. Apple has been skirting EU law for some time, and there have been various lawsuits in some EU member countries against Apple for pulling these stunts.

Now, there are teeth.

I hope... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547777)

Apple increases prices to account for the extended warranty. Congrats consumers on paying more!

Apple still weaselling out of it (4, Interesting)

pelorus (463100) | about 2 years ago | (#39547779)

This hasn't changed anything. What's the point of a warranty that lasts two years which covers defects that were present on delivery?
(See http://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/)

Apple should be forced to stop weaselling and just give us what the law requires.

-- An Apple Fanboi

Re:Apple still weaselling out of it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547899)

What's the point of a warranty that lasts two years which covers defects that were present on delivery?

"Defects present on delivery" IS what the law requires. However, the intended interpretation of this is that a product is defect if it cannot sustain two years of regular wear and tear without breaking. As such, bad soldering causing your screen to stop functioning after 19 months is considered a defect present at moment of purchase.

Re:Apple still weaselling out of it (3, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about 2 years ago | (#39547935)

What's the point of a warranty that lasts two years which covers defects that were present on delivery?

That IS what a warranty is. You seem to be mixing up insurance and warranty.

Otherwise, what's to prevent me from breaking the display and claiming it should be covered by the warranty?

Re:Apple still weaselling out of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548103)

So when the hard drive dies in 18 months, is that a defect from the factory?

That is the difference why people in the US think this is weird, a lot of warranty repairs here are probably for stuff people caused, like dropping the device. When best buy sells us the extended warranty they say 'this will cover anything, even if you caused it'. I think Apple Care was the same.

And honestly, if there is a defect from the manufacturer, they could give you a lifetime warranty and it wont make a difference, it will be found in the first 30 days 99% of the time, after that, it probably isn't a manufacturer defect. These aren't cars. There are no 'moving parts' outside of a few fans and a hard drive.

Re:Apple still weaselling out of it (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#39548157)

That *is* what the law requires. A warranty is to cover defects of workmanship or materials of the product as shipped. That means that if the product goes wrong within the warranty period, and it hasn't been mistreated or suffered accidental damage then it's deemed to have not been of sufficient quality when manufactured and repaired or replaced.

Extended warranties sometimes go beyond that, such as Apple's own 1st year warranty or Applecare extended warranty. But they are not required by law.

Re:Apple still weaselling out of it (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39548309)

it doesn't matter if the defect only manifests itself later - the thing is that the defect isn't because the consumer drilled it or something.

of course.. haha.. apple will can claim that walking outside here and back is enough to break it..

This is only about how Apple advertises Apple Care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547781)

There has always been a two year warranty in the EU. And Apple has honored that. The problem is that they advertised their Apple Care Protection Plan as giving customers 3 years warranty instead of 1 year (= Apple warranty) without mentioning that EU consumer laws give consumers a 2 year warranty.

The caveat with the EU warranty is that (at least in Germany) after the first 6 months, the burden of proof that the problem is due to a pre-existing manufacturing error is on the consumer. So unless the cause for the problem is crystal-clear (e.g. lots and lots of devices exhibit the problem, or it's something that could not fail due to other causes), getting a vendor to honor the warranty after 6 months is difficult.

Re:This is only about how Apple advertises Apple C (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39547859)

To be fair, with electronics (particularly those with no moving parts), if it doesn't fail within six months of normal use it's much less likely to be a manufacturer defect. It's one of the primary ideas behind giving computers a "burn-in" period before going into production. From personal experience, failures after the first few months are at least partially due to user error - particularly with mobile devices. Not saying it's always the case, just a healthy majority of them.

This is just stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547787)

Apple will just raise prices or take other measures to compensate. Why not a five year warranty? Why not require computers to be sold for half the price? Price fixing does not work.

Joke: Do they think that Apples grow on trees?

Re:This is just stupid (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39547869)

I always assumed iProducts were forged at Mount Doom. Does this mean I don't need to keep simply walking into Cupertino to recycle my iProducts?

Re:This is just stupid (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 2 years ago | (#39548275)

The more expensive Apple products become, the fewer people who can afford them will be. This isn't price fixing, it's enabling consumers to compare Apples to Apples and oranges to oranges. And, by the way, a warranty is a warranty and a price is a price. Apples and oranges.

Planned Obsolescence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547795)

Will The Battery Last That Long?

Used this with Dell the other day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547807)

My Dads laptop started over heating and turning itself off - even then just in the BIOS screen. Took it apart, very clean, no dust blocking anything. Unfortunately it was 14 months since he'd bought it taking it 2 months outside Dells warranty.

I called them, gave the details and they offered an extended warranty for £70 and that they would fix it for that price. I declined, mentioned the EU 2 year warranty law and they arranged immediately to pick it up and repair it for free.

It annoys me that you have to point this out to manufacturers still - good on the EU for making an example of Apple, but any business caught not honouring this law should face a fairly stiff fine.

Nothing has changed : Apple just explains it (3, Informative)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | about 2 years ago | (#39547809)

Apple was forced by EU to be more forthcoming about warranty policies.

Apple provided warranty, as a MANUFACTURER, is limited to 1 year and Apple pushed it warranty extension for 2 to 3 years (2 years for iOS devices, 3 years for Macs). It covers a range of issues that can appear after the sell.

EU wasn't really happy with this because EU law mandates a 2 years warranty by the SELLER, for issue existing before the sell. EU thought that Apple was forcing clients to get a warranty extension even if they were entitled to a 2 year coverage (similar but not exactly identical).

Now Apple clearly states this distinction.

So if you bought your Apple product in another shop, after 1 year, you need to get in contact with that shop, that will contact Apple to identify the issue and see if this is linked to a preexisting problem or link to your usage. In the later case, your "seller provided" warranty won't help you.

Garbage in, garbage out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547811)

The fact that they just don't make the 2 year warranty universal ought to be proof that their products are crap, pure and simple. If something as mechanical and abused (through normal use) as a hard drive can be given a 5 year warranty, why can't something with no moving parts be given a 2 year warranty? I'll tell you why, it's defective by design. They want it to break so you buy new over and over again.

Apple Is NOT Giving A 2 Year Warranty (3, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#39547905)

As usual, TFS and TFA got it all wrong.

As so clearly painted out on Apple's website [apple.com], there are two factors in play.

  1. Apple's 1 year warranty
  2. EU Consumer Law regarding to product quality at the time of sale

Apple's warranty continues to stand at 1 year. If anything short of intentional damage happens in that one year, you get full Apple tech support.

EU Consumer Law meanwhile covers a 2 year period, and as the weaker program takes effect during the second year of ownership. Pay attention here, this is important: if the buyer can prove the product was defective when it was sold, then and only then can they take the product to the seller (who is not necessarily Apple) for coverage. This is not the same as a 2 year warranty as you do not get any direct support from Apple - no phone support, no Apple Store, no authorized service providers; you get what the seller can provide, unless that seller is Apple. And even then Apple will not give the buyer the same treatment as a full warranty, and the burden of proof is on the buyer to prove that the product was defective at the time of sale.

For a real warranty over 1 year you still need to purchase an AppleCare plan. That gets you full and direct Apple support, and more importantly there is no burden of proof on the buyer to prove that the product was defective at the time of sale.

Re:Apple Is NOT Giving A 2 Year Warranty (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39547969)

For a real warranty over 1 year you still need to purchase an AppleCare plan. That gets you full and direct Apple support, and more importantly there is no burden of proof on the buyer to prove that the product was defective at the time of sale.

The burden of proof is on the seller for the first 6 months, and on the buyer afterwards. Still "burden of proof" doesn't mean it's required to provide evidence of a production defect. Most judges will take the absence of evidence of abuse on the device as proof enough that the issue is due to a production defect. After all either it's not working correctly due to a production defect, or is not working correctly due to damage and damage is easy to demonstrate.

Note that components are supposed to last 2 years. If they break sooner under normal usage they still fall under the "production defect" category even if they were working correctly at the time of delivery.

Re:Apple Is NOT Giving A 2 Year Warranty (1)

Friggo (765910) | about 2 years ago | (#39548313)

For a real warranty over 1 year you still need to purchase an AppleCare plan. That gets you full and direct Apple support, and more importantly there is no burden of proof on the buyer to prove that the product was defective at the time of sale.

The burden of proof is on the seller for the first 6 months,

The depends on your country. In Sweden we have the first year where the seller needs to prove that the defect was not there at time of sale, and then the burden of proof shift to the buyer for year 2.
I practice this usually means in Sweden that for stuff that costs less than 1500SEK (about $200) they just send you a replacement if you say it was broken in the first year since it would cost more to test it than send you a new one.

Re:Apple Is NOT Giving A 2 Year Warranty (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#39548159)

The legalese sounds horrible but you don't have to prove anything beyond the fact that the product only saw regular use.

afaik they only clarified it (3, Informative)

unami (1042872) | about 2 years ago | (#39547909)

everything i buy here in europe here has this two-year seller's warranty. and always had. apple didn't sell things with one year warranty because they couldn't do it - even if it was stated otherwise on their warranty card - it was alway protected under the two year seller's warranty. and this warranty has always been different from the manufacturers warranty.

IT's zero cost to apple. (1, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#39547951)

Honestly, if apple was to say, "Oh ok, in fact world wide 2 year warranty" they would have created a gigantic PR buzz that would have hurt everyone else at ZERO cost to them.

Honestly, the failure rate difference between 1 year and 2 years cant be big enough to cost them anything. It's almost a Zero cost to them with gigantic gains in PR if they embraced it.

Plus it would give all their competitors gigantic headaches.

Re:IT's zero cost to apple. (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#39548199)

Honestly, the failure rate difference between 1 year and 2 years cant be big enough to cost them anything. It's almost a Zero cost to them with gigantic gains in PR if they embraced it.

Plus it would give all their competitors gigantic headaches.

How can it be zero cost to Apple but a gigantic headache to everyone else?

Both article and summary misleading (2, Informative)

zerojoker (812874) | about 2 years ago | (#39547971)

Since there seems to be much confusion, I'd like to add a few points to this article. There are two notions of warranty in Europe.

1.) A mandatory warranty that all _sellers_ of goods have to give by law, which is valid for two years. This covers only problems that existed prior to the purchase. So for example, if some part breaks simple to being worn out, the _seller_ has no obligation to cover it. If a problem occurs within the first six month after purchase, it is assumed by law that the problem existed prior to the purchase. The burden of proof that the problem did not exist prior to the purchase is up to the _seller_. In practice, such proof is difficult, and thus _seller_ will usually handle the problem. After six month up to two years, the burden of proof is up to the buyer. Since again, this is almost impossible to do without an expensive expertise, this effectively limits this warranty up to six month. Note that this is an issue between the _seller_ and the _buyer_, even though if a defect occurs and the seller is not the manufacturer, say the seller is amazon, the seller when faced with a defective product will claim the same warranty to the manufacturer. Some might have other agreements with the manufacturer.

2.) Almost all manufacturers give on top a voluntary warranty to the customer of two years. This warranty is completely voluntary, and the customer has no real legal means to enforce it.

What happened here is that Apple is one of the very few manufacturers who only give voluntary warranty of one year. They (essentially the apple store) tried to sell additional warranties for up to three years (Apple Care), but without making it clear, that the buyer can anyway claim warranty against the seller of goods for up to two years (even though, this is hardly enforceable after six month, unless it is a problem so widespread that it would, say, lead to a class-action lawsuit in the US). The judges asked Apple to make this more explicit. Instead, Apple finally went ahead and introduced voluntary warranty conditions that are similar to any other manufacturer in Europe.

Re:Both article and summary misleading (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#39548195)

Any half-decent manufacturer will replace a broken product within two years with few to no questions asked (assuming the product wasn't subjected to anything out of the ordinary, of course).

Next step (0)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#39547993)

Force Apple (and an increasing number of other manufacturers) to stop sealing batteries into their devices and allow users to service them.

The submitter is an idiot (1, Redundant)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#39548013)

Not only an idiot, but a bloody f***ing stupid idiot of the highest magnitude.

Apple hasn't given in to any pressure, and Apple hasn't made any changes whatsoever. What Apple has done is presenting on a website what rights Apple customers have towards the seller of a product (whoever is the seller, and whoever makes the product), what rights Apple as the manufacturer voluntarily gives to buyers of Apple products (One year. ONE year. Not TWO years you bloody idiot submitter), and what rights Apple gives you if you pay for AppleCare.

Nothing new.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548057)

This is nothing new? In Australia apple was forced to do this for a while......

why i dont buy apple's products (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 2 years ago | (#39548065)

i am not saying they made a bad product, but they charge way too much for their products, i dont buy electronics to make a fashion statement, i buy an electronic product because it has a functionality that suits a purpose, and i find better value in alternatives to apple's products

filth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548081)

Filthy communists.

Does it really matter? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39548233)

Who will use the 2nd year? They will have bought the next version of the product since Apple is on a one year product cycle.

Re:Does it really matter? (2)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#39548299)

Only if you're the sort of idiot that thinks you should throw something away because something new has come out, or thinks that they shouldn't resell devices they aren't using (resale value depends on the quality of the initial build, don't forget) or, worse, thinks that 1 year is a long time for a commercial product costing more than my car to last.

The "annual upgrade cycle" is the realm of the idiot. It means that no device you buy has EVER had more than a year or so of testing, or expected to last more than a year. Hell, I nearly peed myself when I heard about Apple STILL not being able to get clock-changes correct throughout Europe. I think this the first year they've ever managed it, after several highly-public gaffes in previous years.

When I pay for a product, I expect it to be built to a certain quality - not be part of an enforced obsolescence scheme. If you want to buy a product that somehow magically degrades after a year (either because something new has come out or because the manufacturing was diabolical), you do that. Personally, I know that the chip inside the machine will run at the same speed next year as it does this year AND that every piece of electrical/electronic equipment I own has lasted at least 2 years (and some up to 20!).

Alternative titles (2)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#39548243)

An alternative title would be:

"Apple made to comply with existing laws that are quite reasonable, everyone else complies with and which aid the consumer."

So I don't really see what the fuss is about. If you're building expensive devices and putting them into people's hands, expecting them to last two years isn't a hardship, unless your business is BUILT upon their obsolescence. In which case, this is a win for the consumer is stopping you doing things like that.

"Apple FORCED to make devices that last more than a year on average". Gosh. The horror.

And every other electronics manufacturer trading in the EU has to do the same and has done for a while now. Hell, I can get CARS with a five year warranty, and there's no end of things that could go wrong on them and it costs the manufacturer 10 times as much if they do go wrong or they have a design flaw.

"Apple THREATENED WITH LAWSUIT if they don't give consumers a good deal"

Well.... bloody good job!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...