New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has issued an eight-page warning to Apple alleging that the company “likely” breached that country’s Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act. The commission is arguing that Apple, through Apple Sales New Zealand, circumvented that law and said “We consider that Apple is likely to be misleading consumers by trying to exclude its liability for non-Apple branded products.
The Commission went on to say “If this behaviour is continuing, we recommend you take immediate action to address our concerns and seek legal advice about complying with the Fair Trading Act.” The regulator began investigating complaints from consumers in April 2016 who had sought remedies for faulty Apple products, information on Apple’s website, sales and refund terms and conditions for online Apple Store purchases, and documents provided with replacement products.
“What is reasonable depends on the nature of the goods, any statements made about the goods and how the consumer, in fact, uses the goods,” Rawlings said.
“Although businesses may form a view about how long a product should generally last, they must assess each reported fault on its own merits. They should not base decisions solely on how long a consumer has owned a product. The reasonable lifespan of a product will depend very much on what the product is.”
It also looked into a complaint from a customer after three iPhone 6 Plus devices failed in different ways and was told by an Apple representative that Apple had a policy of providing four replacements before considering an alternative remedy when the CGA contains no requirement on a set number of faults.
The commission also found Apple provided conflicting information about the availability of spare parts and repairs and in making misleading statements that replacement products.
The commission said Apple had cooperated during its investigation.
“Apple voluntarily made changes to respond to our concerns, including making clear to its staff that consumer law rights are not time-bound,” the regulator said.
“We expect Apple to consider the other issues identified in our warning and amend its practices accordingly.”
You can read the full letter here.
Original Source New Zeland Herald