While I was on holiday with my family in Bridport I reversed our recently purchase car into a sign post. I got the silent treatment from my wife which was hard to deal with. In the end, I yelled at her to “just say something!” I can’t remember what she said but it’s safe to say she wasn’t happy with me. So, I then had a reasonable dent in the back of the car and the question was raised about the warranty we have on the car. It was a simple answer for this one. “Of course, your warranty still stands, you don’t even have to get Mitsubishi to do the repair!”
But this type of situation is being challenged by tech companies like Apple who are seemingly enforcing their own warranties ahead of the consumer guarantee rights we have in Australia. Furthermore, there has been some issues with this type of scenario in the United States as well.
To cut an extremely long story as short as we can, in Australia, “In December 2013, the ACCC accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Apple Pty Limited following an investigation into Apple’s consumer guarantees policies and practices, and representations about consumers’ rights under the ACL.” (https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-takes-action-against-apple-over-alleged-misleading-consumer-guarantee-representations). In lay-persons terms they were caught out enforcing 14-day return policies and its 12 month limited manufacturer’s warranties as well as Apple staff were directing consumers with faulty products purchased from Apple but repaired by third parties, to the repairers for resolution of the consumer’s concerns.
Now this year, in April, we have seen the ACCC take more action against Apple for “alleging that Apple made false, misleading, or deceptive representations about consumers’ rights under the Australian Consumer Law.” ( https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-takes-action-against-apple-over-alleged-misleading-consumer-guarantee-representations ).
“The ACCC investigation revealed that Apple appears to have routinely refused to look at or service consumers’ defective devices if a consumer had previously had the device repaired by a third-party repairer, even where that repair was unrelated to the fault.”
And this is the killer quote:
“The ACCC alleges Apple represented to consumers with faulty products that they were not entitled to a free remedy if their Apple device had previously been repaired by third party, “unauthorised repairers”. However, having a component of the Apple device serviced, repaired, or replaced by someone other than Apple cannot, by itself, extinguish the consumer’s right to a remedy for non-compliance with the consumer guarantees.”
“Denying a consumer their consumer guarantee rights simply because they had chosen a third-party repairer not only impacts those consumers but can dissuade other customers from making informed choices about their repair options including where they may be offered at lower cost than the manufacturer.”
What if our repair is just as good and we can do it at a much cheaper price and you don’t have to be without your phone for 2 weeks!
From the choice group:
“Evidence will be submitted by the ACCC before the Federal Court from the cases of 275 Apple customers. CHOICE understands this represents a fraction of the complaints made against the company for this issue.
We wait for comment or reaction from Apple on this one. Post your comments if you have something to add.
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