Monday, October 1, 2012

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) May be Probed by EU over Deficient After-sales service Info

The European Union has very stringent consumer protection laws and makes sure that the companies, which sells products, offers adequate warranties and guarantees on them.

Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) has once been fined in Italy for not providing information about manufacturers' warranty on its products. And it is running afoul of the EU regulators again.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has written a letter to member countries to investigate and find out whether Apple has been notifying customers of their "automatic and free-of-cost entitlement to a minimum two-year guarantee under EU law."

Consumer groups in 11 EU countries have complained that the iPhone maker has been stressing on its own after-care service over statutory requirements.

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Reding said that in many cases it had been seen that Apple was only mentioning its own after-care service rather than the free two-year manufacturer warranty that companies had to provide to customers free of cost.

"These are unacceptable practices," she said in her letter, according to Bloomberg, which quoted the letter.

In late 2011, Apple was fined 750,000 pounds or $1.21m by Italian competition authorities who argued in court that it had not done enough to let people know about their rights under EU consumer laws.

Apple does offer a paid-for service that provides replacement for a product after it has been used. The EU warranty, that is offered free, provides for replacement only if the device is defective at the time of purchase.

U.S. firms such as Apple, Microsoft and Google have been frequently pulled up by European regulators for deficiency in services or not complying with EU laws.

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