• Apple Australia Quietly Extends Warranties to 24 Months


    Apple Australia have quietly changed the way it will be treating iPhone, iPad and Mac repairs at its Genius bars and Authorised Apple Repair Centres. Apple are introducing a "variable warranty" to its main line of products, which effectively extends the warranty of Apple products to 24 months, to bring it in line with Australian Consumer Law.

    Until now, Apple Australia have given a 12 Month Warranty on all it's flagship items, a practice that seems to contradict the (albeit vague) ACCC Warranties and Refunds Guide:

    How long do consumers’ statutory rights apply?

    Statutory rights are not limited to a set time period. Instead, they apply for the amount of time that is reasonable to expect, given the cost and quality of the item.

    This means a consumer may be entitled to a remedy under their statutory rights after any manufacturer’s voluntary or extended warranty has expired.

    For example, it is reasonable to expect that an expensive television should not develop a serious fault after 13 months of normal use. In this case, the consumer could argue the item was not of merchantable quality and ask for it to be repaired, even if the manufacturer’s voluntary warranty had expired.
    The new policy was introduced via an internal email sent to Apple Australia Retail staff. Any iPhone, iPad or Mac brought to a Genius bar that is between 13 and 24 months old and has not been subject to abuse or accidental damage, will automatically be flagged as eligible for repair or replacement via the iRepair or MobileGenius software.

    Authorised Apple Repair Centres were given similar instructions, with Apple suggesting if there was no noticeable damage to a product, a repair or replacement should be given up to 24 Months after purchase.

    This is a great move for Apple customers and retail staff in Australia. There has long been a discussion here and elsewhere on Apple's 12 Month Warranty versus the implied warranty under Australian consumer law.

    Last August, Jason Discount wrote article here on MacTalk explaining how to get Apple to replace or repair an iPhone under these guidelines. More recently, Apple added a page on it's UK site to explain products sold there were covered by the minimum 2 year EU Consumer Law, after a court in Italy fined the company $1.4million for misleading consumers.
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