The Sydney Morning Herald reports, Apple has been misleading customers about its return, replacement, and refund policies for faulty products in Australia according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Apple told its Australian consumers that they were only entitled to what Apple wanted to offer, as opposed to what the new Australian consumer laws allow.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s chairman, Rod Sims, said:
“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. 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.”
If necessary, the competition watchdog could have taken Apple to court if they failed to follow the undertaking. As a part of the undertaking, Apple has agreed to look at all the claims for faulty products purchased within the last two years and provide customers with any compensations they are legally entitled to. The undertaking takes effect as of January 6.
According to the undertaking, Apple will soon publish a statement on its website saying:
“If you believe that you have been denied a statutory right or remedy by Apple in the past in relation to a product sold to you by Apple or did not pursue a warranty claim because of representations made to you by Apple, please contact Apple … and your claim will be assessed.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission told Apple that consumers were entitled to a full refund if the product was returned to the store within two weeks. Apple has promised to retrain all its staff and provide them with more information about consumers rights under the new Australian consumer law.
Starting January 6, Apple will also have to stock ACCC brochures detailing consumer rights in all its retail store in Australia.