Apple has pulled AppleCare protection plans off their retail store shelves in Italy as well as advising authorized resellers not to offer them any further. Due to warranty protection set in place by the EU, Apple had recently faced the possibility of a temporary ban on their products in Italy. As of now, the only way for Italian customers to purchase AppleCare protection plans is online.
Apple was previously fined $1.2M for not making customers aware that they have a 2 year warranty period on their devices which is mandated by EU Law. A lot of the issue with Apple care and the manufacturer's warranty extended to the wording and the transparency they felt Apple was not providing to Italian customers regarding their rights.
The memo that went out to distributors read as follows:
Cork, 9th November 2012
Notice: AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) in Italy
As of November 9, 2012, Apple stopped selling AppleCare Protection Plan in Italian Apple Store and the distribution of the APP program at Apple Authorized Resellers (including Telephone Operators and Apple Authorized Service Centers).
The Apple Authorized Resellers in Italy can stop the sale of APP both box and auto-enroll (without box) versions, starting today you can return the stocked products back to Apple by 10 December 2012.
Customers wishing to purchase the AppleCare Protection Plan will continue to do so through the Apple Online Store.
It's unclear if the AppleCare changes will hit other countries at this point or if only Italian customers will be impacted. If you are an Italian iPhone user, do you see a benefit in purchasing AppleCare or is the 2 year warranty you are given reason enough not to purchase it?