Apple’s one-year standard warranty is a pretty good deal for U.S. consumers, but for their European counterparts the glass is half empty.
The standard warranty in the E.U. for consumer goods is two years and that’s what is getting the Cupertino company into trouble with AppleCare, the paid extended warranty program.
Cult of Mac talked to Carlo Piana, a lawyer who worked on the EU anti-trust case against Microsoft, about why Italian regulators are after Apple now.
Regulators have already forced European big-box retailers to overhaul their extended warranty services in light of the two-year guarantee.
To wit, the Antitrust Authority announced in the same press release that it was opening the procedure against Apple that it had secured compliance for better consumer information about the standard 24-month guarantee from seven large chains.
Piana, who was directly involved in what he calls the “first wave” of disputes from the Italian Antitrust Authority over paid extended warranties, says they see it as making the consumer pay for something they are already guaranteed by law.
“The Antitrust Authority clearly maintains that any company selling extended warranties during the two-year E.U. guarantee is actually making the consumer pay for something that they are already entitled to. You can challenge the assumptions…but that must apply to everyone, or else it provides some companies with an unfair advantage.”
Piana says his clients, then leaders on the Italian market, were also forced to change the name of the product. He expects that Apple should do the same as well as informing customers that they are paying for something that, in effect, they are already entitled to.
“It can’t be different for Apple. Either it’s the same for everyone, or no one.”