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Australian consumer law forces Apple to adopt new refund policy

News   •   Dec 20, 2013 21:33 GMT

Australian consumer law has forced Apple to adopt a new refund policy.

SydneyMorningHerald reports, “Apple has been lying to consumers about its obligation to replace or repair faulty computers, iPhones, iPads and iPods, but has now promised to retrain staff and reassess claims stretching back two years following action by the competition watchdog.

“Apple misled consumers into thinking they were entitled to less recourse than the new Australian consumer law prescribes, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found.

“Apple and its suppliers told Australian consumers they were only entitled to what Apple wanted to offer them when products failed, rather than what they should have been entitled to under Australia's new consumer laws.”

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said, “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.

“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."

ACCC has the option of taking Apple to court if it failed to comply.

Apple’s spokeswoman said, “In Australia, we have been working closely with the ACCC to make sure our customers understand their local consumer rights and receive the industry leading customer service they expect.”

The site adds, “As part of the undertaking, Apple has promised to reassess all claims about faulty products purchased over the past two years and provide consumers with what they should be legally entitled to. The undertaking takes effect on January 6 and Apple will assess old claims for the next 90 days.”

Apple is required to publish on its website, “If you believe that you have been denied a statutory right or remedy by Apple in the past in relation to a product sold to you by Apple or did not pursue a warranty claim because of representations made to you by Apple, please contact Apple ... and your claim will be assessed.”

What do you make of Apple misleading customers in Australia? Share your thoughts through a comment below.