Portugal sues Apple over mis-sold AppleCare

Karen Haslam
19 July, 2012
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The Portuguese are the latest to sue Apple over AppleCare, with the Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection (DECO) pursuing Apple for allegedly misleading buyers into buying its Apple Care Protection Plan.

DECO claims that it has made “several attempts” to get Apple to correct the allegedly deceptive wording relating to of AppleCare on its website.

Apple has already come under fire in Italy over AppleCare and the DECO notes that the Portuguese law is similar to Italy’s, as products with an intrinsic fault will be repaired or replaced within a two years, due to warranty regulations.

The main difference between Apple and Italy’s interpretation and that of Portugal, is that in Portugal it is presumed that a defect found within two years after a product is purchased was also present at time of delivery, reports Apple Insider.

Apple disagrees with the Italian regulators who are threatening the company with the closure of its Italian operation and fines, due to claims that it must offer a free two-year warranty. Apple said: “We have appealed the recent decision of the (Italian) court as it was, in our view, based upon an incorrect interpretation of the law. We have introduced a number of measures to address the Italian competition authority concerns and we disagree with their latest complaint.”

As outlined on the Apple website for European customers, the company offers a free one-year guarantee. This can be extended to two or three years with AppleCare (depending on the product). The two year warranty allowed by Italian law is also available, as indicated on the Apple website, but Apple makes it clear that this doesn’t include full cover in the way that AppleCare does. The distinction being between defects arising after delivery and defects present when taking delivery.

In a translated statement, DECO Secretary General Jorge Morgado believes “Apple does not recognise” that the “Portuguese and EU law gives a two-year guarantee for portables [and laptops],” said  Morgado in a Electronista report.

“After several attempts to enforce these rights, without success, we decided to proceed with legal action. We will require the court to restore legality because we have no doubt that the rights of consumers are being trampled.”

On its website Apple says: “When you purchase Apple products, European Union consumer law provides statutory warranty rights in addition to the coverage you receive from the Apple One-Year Limited Warranty and the optional AppleCare Protection Plan.”


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