Apple forced to adopt new warranty policy after ACCC investigation

Australian vendor business agrees to a number of compliance measures after its returns and warranty conditions failed to meet Australian Consumer Law guidelines

Apple Australia has admitted to misleading consumers around returns and warranty conditions and been forced to adopt a new warranty policy following an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation.

The watchdog began scrutinising Apple’s consumer guarantee policies and practices after becoming concerned that the vendor was not meeting guaranteed obligations around refunds, replacement or repair conditions under Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The law came into effect on 1 January 2011 and provides consumers with a basic set of rights in relation to consumer goods sold in Australia.

An ACCC statement said it suspected the false and misleading claims were the result of staff and representatives misapplying Apple’s policies including its 14-day return policy and 12-month limited manufacturer’s warranty.

Apple products implicated are iPods, iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, iMacs and peripherals. Thirty-party products including headphones and printers, along with software available through iTunes and App stores, are also affected.

Under a court enforceable undertaking, Apple has acknowledged the ACCC’s concerns and is now committed to taking a number of compliance measures.

These include not making representations to consumers contrary to the ACL; continuing to offer a consumer redress program to allow those affected to have their claims reassessed; clarifying the differences between the coverage provided by the ACL and Apple’s voluntary limited manufacturer’s warranty; and making available copies of the ACCC’s Repair, Replace, Refund in its retail stores.

Apple has also agreed to implement a program to improve ACL compliance training for Apple sales and management staff; ongoing monitoring of ACL compliance; and maintaining a webpage aimed at providing information. In addition, Apple accepted the ACL may provide for remedies beyond 24 months for a number of its products.

“The ACCC was concerned that Apple was applying its own warranties and refund policies effectively to the exclusion of the consumer guarantees contained in the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, stated.

“This undertaking serves as an important reminder to businesses that while voluntary or express warranties can provide services in addition to the consumer guarantee rights of the ACL, they cannot replace or remove those ACL guarantee rights.”

Read more: Apple buys Beats Electronics for US$3bn

The Apple win comes off the back of a busy month for the ACCC. Last week, the watchdog won an appeal in the High Court of Australia which saw a $2 million penalty against TPG for misleading advertising reinstated.

The ACCC’s investigation into misconduct by Excite Mobile around its mobile phone services already reached a successful conclusion in late November after the company was fined $455,000 by the Federal Court.

More on Apple

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Data privacy, ethics, and the moving goal posts

Customers are becoming increasingly concerned with how businesses use their data. This has meant organisations need to take extra steps to allay the concerns their customers have with what data they are collecting, how is it stored, and how is it then used.

Why there’s more to content marketing ROI than just numbers

Most brands are producing more content than ever before. Even those still operating predominantly in campaign mode are finding social media demands an always-on content pipeline.

Jacki James

strategic planner, Zuni

Six lessons from Mobilegeddon

Google’s Mobilegeddon is the lesson many big companies and their marketers are learning the hard way.

Rob Marston

Managing director, Zeus Unwired

The next Advertising medium is Augmented Reality, Just when individuals thought promotions couldn't get any more interactive and close to...

Siddhu

The old billboard gets the flick as digital OOH advertising takes over

Read more

Augmented Reality is the most immersive and interactive medium at today and that works for all kinds of real world requirements. It allow...

Siddhu

Sunny Queen launches egg-citing augmented reality collectible cards

Read more

It's really helpful that you were able to share this kind of information in order for some people to know on what is this kind of word re...

best essay sites

It's time for CMOs to embrace ‘agile’ as a noun - Technology chief - CMO Australia

Read more

You nailed it Mark, not nice, not popular but true.

CruiseFactoryData

CMO Council: Marketers lack right customer metrics for digital transformation

Read more

An insightful post and I wholeheartedly agree that without clearly defined business goals any content strategy will be ineffective. The d...

Alastair Kane

Why there’s more to content marketing ROI than just numbers

Read more

Sign in