Apple fined 1.2 million for misleading warranties in Italy

| Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Italy’s anti-trust authority has fined Apple 1.2-million dollars for misleading warranties and guarantees for its products. According to a report from The Economic Times and Reuters, Apple has failed to inform consumers of the free two-year assistance that they are entitled to in Italy.

From Reuters:
[quote]The authority said Apple Sales International, Apple Italia and Apple Retail Italia did not properly inform customers that they were entitled to two years of free assistance under Italian law. Three Apple spokesmen contacted by Reuters weren’t immediately available for comment. Information provided about an extra guarantee scheme, the “AppleCare Protection Plan,” encouraged customers to buy the service without clearly explaining that it overlapped with the free assistance required by law, the competition authority said.[/quote]

While Apple has the right to offer extra service plans like AppleCare, it must also comply with local and regional laws where appropriate. If you spend some time reading through Apple’s terms and conditions for AppleCare you’ll notice that the company points out that its conditions do not circumvent state and regional law.

The question here is whether or not Apple, and by extension other companies, are responsible for educating the public about their consumer rights. Every where you look in North America companies hock their extended warranties and conveniently neglect to educate consumers on standard manufacturer warranties. While it would be nice for Apple to tell people how they’re covered by warranties before asking them to purchase AppleCare, it should ultimately fall on the consumers’ shoulders.

If you’re too lazy to research warranties before you buy a product, maybe the penalty should be wasting cash on extended, and often dubious warranties, from both Apple and other companies that try and shove them down consumers’ throats every time they head to the cash register.

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