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

Marketers are driving our innovation ecosystem

The Government's newly released National Innovation and Science Agenda shows that for economic growth to continue within Australia, an 'innovation ecosystem' must be fostered, where new businesses with new ideas are encouraged to grow and flourish. With every company wanting to increase, retain or improve their customers’ experiences, this makes marketing vital to fuelling Australia's ideas boom.

Lee Tonitto

CEO, Australian Marketing Institute

Putting experience design and strategy in the spotlight

​A few years ago, there was lots of chatter about the elusive UX unicorn; a mythical person capable of delivering everything from research to design to development. It became an obsession for the industry, sparking debate about whether this was the metaphor for how unreasonable our expectations of designers had become, while some felt it was what all designers should be aspiring to.

Tracy Brown

Experience design strategy director, DT

Making sense of artificial intelligence

When new trends and technologies burst onto the marketing scene, there’s always a frantic effort to either keep up or provide guidance, especially when serious amounts of money are involved. It happened with social media, it happened with personalisation and big data, and it’s happening now with artificial intelligence.

Phil Whitehouse

Asia-Pacific innovation lead, DigitasLB

Martech will definitely make everything better especially when it comes to marketing and sales. Any business not comfortable with it shou...

TapAnalytics

Marketo’s CEO talks martech industry consolidation and his enterprise customer ambitions

Read more

You can also try this leads to revenue calculator tool (it's free): https://www.strategic-ic.co.uk...

Fes Askari

​The dangers of misaligning your marketing budget with business goals

Read more

“We wanted to provide was a way for a customer to have a seamless experience as they went across channels,” Marrocco added. “So if your c...

Sarah

​Telstra’s mission to match the offline experience with online customer service

Read more

You have the right to know what happened that made AI possible, after all these years.I discovered and patented statistics on unstructure...

Ilya Geller

Making sense artificial intelligence - Food for thought - CMO Australia

Read more

I hope this trickles down to job opportunities and more analytics based careers on the government.

Ale Xandra

Australian Open details data analytics improvements driving digital fan engagement

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in