Apple forced to change refund policy in Australia in accordance with consumer law

An Australian consumer watchdog has forced Apply to change its refund policy down under for faulty products, as its previous one doesn't comply with new Australian consumer law. The report comes by way of the Sydney Morning Herald:

Apple misled consumers into thinking they were entitled to less recourse than the new Australian consumer law prescribes, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found.

Apple and its suppliers told Australian consumers they were only entitled to what Apple wanted to offer them when products failed, rather than what they should have been entitled to under Australia's new consumer laws.

If Apple fails to comply, then court proceedings can be instigated by the watchdog. As part of the changes, Apple will now reassess two years worth of claims, retrain its staff, and publish a consumer rights page on its Australian website. All this comes in to effect from January 6.

This is certainly important news for our friends in Australia. No company, no matter how large, is above the law, and ultimately consumer protection is crucial. It doesn't necessarily mean Apple was deliberately doing wrong, either, but happily a solution has been found and implemented.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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There are 7 comments. Add yours.

ridiculocity says:

I wrote about this earlier this year here in Oz. The thing is Apple are already proactively telling customers that they are able to replace devices after the 1 year is up. Recently my partners power button stopped working on her iPhone 5 15 months after purchase and the genius proactively said "We can exchange this for a refurb even tho it's outside the 1 year warranty. As Australian law states 2 years on electronic goods."

So I didn't even have to push on the subject. Always wondered how they got away with it so long.

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snookasnoo says:

Apple has great service but their warranty periods are too short. We have next to no consumer protections here as the corporations run the country and the politicians do their bidding.

stephen007 says:

Here in the US it's a one year limited warranty on the iPhone. That seems very reasonable for an electronic device that you use everyday.

zdn1042 says:

I agree that a one year limited warranty is a very reasonable time when it comes to electronic devices. I wish they are longer but it's enough. Plus, from all the electronic devices that I owned, Apple has the best customer service/return policy from my experience.

Becjr says:

Apple has a 1 year standard policy in the US. What are the policies for other countries... Didn't Apple have a run-in with some European countries about this same issue? I don't remember.
Do you think Apple trying to keep supporting older units down for encouraging the proliferation of newer models?

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Grobolo Salamanca says:

Earlier this year I had an issue with my iPhone 5. I was offered a refurb as replacement (no other options given). That too failed within 2 months. Their incompetent 'Genius' cried software fault, when in fact I was sure it was hardware.

After being led on a merry dance by Apple, my assertion was eventually vindicated, and they ultimately relented to my demand for a refund.

It should be noted, this was not without much cajoling from me, and much stalling and runaround from them. Needless to say, the ACCC were involved in the equation.

The stupid thing from Apple's point if view is that I was a loyal customer and advocate for some 20 years!!!

My experience was so excruciatingly bad, they essentially handed the Android OS a customer on a plate and created a hater out of a fanboy.

In the 2 months since my experience, our household now sports 2 galaxy notes and 1 HTC One, whereas they would almost certainly have been 2 iPad airs and 1 iPhone 5S prior to my experience. And you know what? I/we couldn't be happier with the switch.

Apple's fascist 'customer care' has opened my eyes to superior alternatives (IMO) and I no longer sing Apple's praises as I once did and they've only got themselves to blame.

I am so glad the ACCC brought them to account. They are Corporate Bullies in the extreme.

asuperstarr says:

Not a good thing to mislead the consumer. It's hard sometimes dealing with all the international laws. Good they will retrain staff and publish a consumer rights page.

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