Australian Court Orders Apple to Improve After-Sales Service
Published on: 19th Dec 2013
By: Ian Mansfield
Apple has been ordered to improve its after sales policies after an Australian consumer rights group secured a court order against the company.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that it took action following an investigation into Apple's consumer guarantees policies and practices, and representations about consumers' rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
The ACCC said was concerned that Apple had made a number of false or misleading representations to a number of consumers regarding their consumer guarantee rights, including that Apple was not required to provide a refund, replacement or repair to consumers in circumstances where these remedies were required by law.
The ACCC was concerned that on occasions these representations may have arisen from Apple staff and representatives misapplying Apple's policies, including its 14 day return policy and its 12 month limited manufacturer's warranty. The ACCC was also concerned that Apple staff were directing consumers with faulty non-Apple manufactured products purchased from Apple, to the manufacturer for resolution of the consumer's concerns.
Apple has since acknowledged the ACCC's concerns, and that some of these representations to consumers may have contravened the ACL. Apple has worked with the ACCC to resolve these concerns, and has now committed to taking a number of compliance measures.
In the undertaking Apple has publicly acknowledged that, without limiting consumers' rights, Apple will provide its own remedies equivalent to those remedies in the consumer guarantee provisions of the ACL at any time within 24 months of the date of purchase.
To avoid any doubt, Apple has also acknowledged that the Australian Consumer Law may provide for remedies beyond 24 months for a number of its products.
The ACL came into effect on 1 January 2011 and provides consumers with basic rights in relation to consumer goods sold in Australia. These basic rights operate in addition to any express or voluntary warranties offered by businesses and cannot be excluded by a business' terms and conditions of sale.