The European Union’s Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has written a letter to all 27 member countries of the EU regarding AppleCare’s product warranties. The chief justice has said that the countries should examine whether Apple’s advertisements comply with the law.
Reding, in her letter, wrote “Apple prominently advertised that its products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty but failed to indicate the consumers’ automatic and free-of-cost entitlement to a minimum two-year guarantee under EU law.”
Earlier this year, the Italian government fined Apple $1.2 million for failing to provide accurate information regarding the mandated length of product guarantees and warranty stipulations. That was the result of an “unfair commercial practices” investigation. Apple was found to have pushed its paid two-year AppleCare warranty onto customers, despite the fact EU laws say that it is free of charge as expressed in the letter obtained via Bloomburg.
Apple has, in response, featured a “communication to protect consumers” in Italy this January. They have been complying with the court order and began informing customers at its online store about the legally mandated minimum two-year warranty.
While Apple’s problem is, so far, localized to Italy, Reding in the letter suggest that these issues could spread to other countries in the EU. The EU itself cannot investigate a company for misleading advertising due to the variety of different sanctions for violations of consumer protection laws in each country. It can, however, take legal action against a country that fails to enforce EU law.