Australian watchdog slams Apple for misleading customers

An investigation conducted by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has revealed that Apple has been misleading its customers about its policy on refund, replacements and repair.

"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 (ACL)," said ACCC chairman Rod Sims. "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."

Apple now have to comply with the ACL under a court-enforceable undertaking.

The investigation accused Apple of misleading its customers by telling that the company was not bound to provide refunds or replace or even repair products when these guarantees were covered under the ACL.

Apple has also agreed to additionally improve its training for all its sales, managements and call center employees who deal with Australian customers. It will also maintain a consumer rights information page on its Australian website that will outline the differences between its warranty and ACL consumer guidelines.

Internal investigations for faulty products claims will also be carried out by the company. For the next three months, Apple will review returns and do the needful accordingly.

However, this is not the first time when the computer giant has come under scrutiny for its product warranty practices. Last year, the Italian government fined the company over $260,000 for forcing its customers two-year AppleCare warranty rather than the standard free one-year option.

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