Having been fined $1.2 million by Italian regulators late last year over its marketing for AppleCare products, Apple has been forced to clarify its warranty coverage for customers in the European Union, and compare its extended warranty products against statutory EU warranty coverage.
Apple’s fine came after it was discovered that the company was not providing adequate disclosures about the two-year statutory warranty that is provided within the European Union by law. Instead, it was selling its customers AppleCare extended warranties knowing that the product simply overlapped many of the benefits they already received with their standard warranty.
The Cupertino company has now published new information pages on its localized sites for European countries, comparing these warranties. The biggest differences are:
- EU protection covers products for a minimum of two years, while Apple’s standard warranty only covers them for one.
- EU protection covers any product you purchase at an Apple store, including third-party products, while Apple’s warranty only covers its own products.
- To make a claim under the standard EU warranty, you must contact the retailer that sold you your goods. But to make a claim under Apple’s warranty, you can go directly to Apple.
- EU protection only covers defects that are present at the time a product is delivered, whereas Apple’s warranty covers defects that arise at any time during the warranty period.
That last point is arguably the most important one, and for me, it’s a big enough discrepancy to justify an AppleCare warranty. After all, how often do you take your Apple product to the Genius Bar because of a problem you had when it was delivered? Issues almost always arise after you start using the product.
Apple’s new information page also includes a number of links to help EU customers understand exactly how they’re covered by each warranty, which should allow them to better determine which is best for them, and whether or not AppleCare is necessary.