• 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.
    Comments 52 Comments
    1. midnight_e's Avatar
      midnight_e -
      So an iPad bought last March and has had Apple Care applied to it, what happens with this ?
      There must be thousands in this situation.
    1. Peter Wells's Avatar
      Peter Wells -
      Quote Originally Posted by midnight_e View Post
      So an iPad bought last March and has had Apple Care applied to it, what happens with this ?
      There must be thousands in this situation.
      Indeed. I think that's why this is a silent change.
    1. baobab68's Avatar
      baobab68 -
      So pleased that I had to pay to have my home button fixed and under this change it would have been covered.
    1. bennyling's Avatar
      bennyling -
      Quote Originally Posted by baobab68 View Post
      So pleased that I had to pay to have my home button fixed and under this change it would have been covered.
      Not really much Apple can do in this regard, there's gotta be thousands in your situation.

      It's good news for those that didn't purchase AppleCare, but slightly worse news for those that didn't, and frankly, I can't really see how they could have done it differently without doing something like extending the warranties of those with AppleCare for an extra year.

    1. jayantpande's Avatar
      jayantpande -
      Quote Originally Posted by bennyling View Post
      Not really much Apple can do in this regard, there's gotta be thousands in your situation.

      It's good news for those that didn't purchase AppleCare, but slightly worse news for those that didn't, and frankly, I can't really see how they could have done it differently without doing something like extending the warranties of those with AppleCare for an extra year.

      I hope they also update the online warranty check to 24 months or how do we know when the 24 months finished ? My iPad warranty finished in May 2013 and that is not change on the website yet ?
    1. bennyling's Avatar
      bennyling -
      Quote Originally Posted by jayantpande View Post
      I hope they also update the online warranty check to 24 months or how do we know when the 24 months finished ? My iPad warranty finished in May 2013 and that is not change on the website yet ?
      Reading the news above suggests it won't be an official thing in that Apple won't suddenly be advertising (or even mentioning, maybe) the 24 month warranty on the Apple website or in store.

      Seems to me it'll be a very unofficial, hush-hush affair.
    1. alvinng's Avatar
      alvinng -
      Woo. Was about to start looking for Apple Care for my Macbook Pro Retina bought mid last year. Seems like I've got another year of cover to go then...good news for me.
    1. alvinng's Avatar
      alvinng -
      Quote Originally Posted by bennyling View Post
      Reading the news above suggests it won't be an official thing in that Apple won't suddenly be advertising (or even mentioning, maybe) the 24 month warranty on the Apple website or in store.

      Seems to me it'll be a very unofficial, hush-hush affair.
      Unofficial and hush hush? How is it fair if they have a policy like this and continue to sell the Apple Care under the pretense that we only have 12 months warranty and the Apple Care covers the next 24 months after that? Isn't that lying? I'd be pissed if I found out after forking out for Applecare after the first 12 months and then realized that I'm actually covered for 24 months.
    1. bennyling's Avatar
      bennyling -
      Quote Originally Posted by alvinng View Post
      Unofficial and hush hush? How is it fair if they have a policy like this and continue to sell the Apple Care under the pretense that we only have 12 months warranty and the Apple Care covers the next 24 months after that? Isn't that lying? I'd be pissed if I found out after forking out for Applecare after the first 12 months and then realized that I'm actually covered for 24 months.
      Good point actually, it'll mean Apple will be in a similar sort of position as they were in Italy until just recently, where there was a pretty big lawsuit and Apple were fined X million for misleading consumers over their statutory warranties.

      ...only because the ACCC's wording is not as clear-cut as Italian consumer law, they won't. Maybe? I'm not sure actually.

      Hmm. Should be interesting.
    1. Peter Wells's Avatar
      Peter Wells -
      Quote Originally Posted by alvinng View Post
      Unofficial and hush hush? How is it fair if they have a policy like this and continue to sell the Apple Care under the pretense that we only have 12 months warranty and the Apple Care covers the next 24 months after that? Isn't that lying? I'd be pissed if I found out after forking out for Applecare after the first 12 months and then realized that I'm actually covered for 24 months.
      Cos officially you get 3 years warranty with AppleCare, so you're still getting an extended warranty. Unofficially cos extended warranties are for chumps.
    1. Alec Fraser's Avatar
      Alec Fraser -
      Quote Originally Posted by alvinng View Post
      Woo. Was about to start looking for Apple Care for my Macbook Pro Retina bought mid last year. Seems like I've got another year of cover to go then...good news for me.
      I don't think this gives you an extra year to apply AppleCare. The AppleCare site still states 12 months.

      If you want 3 years warranty you're still going to have to purchase AppleCare in the first year.
    1. glacierdave's Avatar
      glacierdave -
      My take on this is that Apple has moved towards a more recognised approach to statutory warranty. The laws around this are incredibly vague and there's little in the way of precedents to help clear it up.

      Essentially, statutory warranty coverage is related to the expectation of fault-free life span of the goods in question. As a general rule, the more you paid for something, the longer you'd expect it to last. But it's not as simple as that. You can pay a lot for something without necessarily getting quality (e.g. a super fast PC built with cheap components may not be expected to last many years in comparison to, say, a Mac Pro built to higher tolerances even if the two cost similar money).

      In terms of this being hush, hush. I believe you've still got to separate manufacturer warranty from statutory warranty.

      What Apple displays as your warranty coverage when you check online is your manufacturer warranty.

      This hasn't changed.

      Over and above this, though, Apple has now provided some guidance to their staff and authorised repairers on how they plan to handle statutory warranty liability.

      To the best of my knowledge, they're the first IT company in Australia to do this.

      Warranty (of any type) is always an area of contention. Many general IT consumers believe that warranty is a blanket cover for anything that goes wrong with their gear.

      It's not.

      It's there to cover manufacturing flaws and defects.

      Blanket cover for anything that goes wrong is called insurance and it's a whole different thing.

      David
    1. savas's Avatar
      savas -
      Great news, and a well overdue change in policy by Apple. Makes me even more proud I've never thrown away money on AppleCare.

      Hopefully this attitude to warranty is respected in Apple Stores. So far it's been easier obtaining out of warranty repairs through MSY.
    1. Oldmacs's Avatar
      Oldmacs -
      Hmmmmmm


      Not sure what I think. Good on Apple for finally recognising that their products should be lasting more than a year.

      I feel that I have wasted money on my Macbook Pro Apple Care :/ Then again Appe care does extend to the 3rd year.

      However on the flip side, I didn't get Apple care on my iPad so this is good i Device Apple Care only covers 2 years anyways.

    1. tinhead88's Avatar
      tinhead88 -
      And let's not forget that Apple Care also provides support for the full 3 years, which is a bit more than just a warranty.
    1. bennyling's Avatar
      bennyling -
      Quote Originally Posted by tinhead88 View Post
      And let's not forget that Apple Care also provides support for the full 3 years, which is a bit more than just a warranty.
      AND, let's not forget that you also get the full three years of telephone support and on-site repairs if you have a desktop machine with AppleCare.

      I'm not sure I would feel that I've "wasted" or "thrown away" money on AppleCare. I mean, is it a waste if you never had to use it? Is it a waste if your machine has numerous failures outside of the first year? What about if three years later, Apple replace your machine with the latest and greatest because of how many faults you've had with your previous machine?
    1. savas's Avatar
      savas -
      I'm not sure what value I'd get personally with telephone support. As a tech enthusiast I prefer to diagnose problems myself with online help. As for general users, each to their own.

      Regarding warranty, I do believe it is a wasted and unnecessary product regardless of whether it's used or not. As someone who has fought Apple many times over my rights, I have gotten an outcome every time. AppleCare as far as I'm concerned is for those who are unaware or unwilling to defend their rights.
    1. alvinng's Avatar
      alvinng -
      I'm confused. I do want to get Applecare so should I get it now or?
    1. nibbles's Avatar
      nibbles -
      For me when I got AppleCare it was for convenience, the closest repairer from previous experience was beyond slow and the only way to get my iMac repaired without having to carry it 500m and leave it for 3 weeks was to get AppleCare so they'd come and repair it onsite.

      Now though, there is a new repairer near me who are much more customer friendly so my next desktop certainly won't have it.

      It's good that they have clarified it, I recently had to have a MagSafe charger replaced just out of warranty and the resellers wouldn't touch it without a direct order from Apple, who when I called gave me what I needed after I explained the situation.
    1. db9's Avatar
      db9 -
      Cool! About time though!
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