Apple has been in hot water with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over its policies on refunds and replacements of faulty Apple gadgets. The ACCC has found that Apple misled its customers in Australia into thinking they were entitled to less recourse than consumer protection laws in Australia provide to buyers.
The result of this misleading policy by Apple is that the tech giant has now promised to retrain staff and reassess claims going back for two years. The ACCC found that Apple told customers in Australia that they were entitled to only what Apple was willing to give them, rather than what the law provides in Australia. ACCC chairman Rod Sims noted that Apple was applying its own warranties and refund policies rather than following the letter of the law.
The ACCC also stated that the action against Apple serves to prove to companies in Australia that their own warranties and policies can add to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), but they can’t replace the ACL rights guaranteed to consumers. The ACCC says that it will take Apple to court if it fails to make good on its promises to reform its policies in the country.
Apple has promised to reassess all warranty or refund claims for the last two years and give the consumers what they are entitled to under the law. Apple will begin its reassessment on January 6 and will assess the old claims for 90 days. The main allegation against Apple appears to be its assertion to buyers that it didn’t have to replace or refund products that had a major failure, when the customer should have been allowed to choose a refund or replacement under Australian law. Apple was maintaining that consumers could only get a full refund if the item was returned within two weeks and for repair or refund if the item was damaged within one year of purchase.