back to article Apple relents, doubles EU warranty (sort of)

Apple has quietly updated their warranty coverage in the European Union, extending it to two years as required by EU law. That's the good news. The bad news is that Apple's new EU warranty has a loophole large enough through which to drive a Scheuerle EuroCombi. As noted on Apple's website, Cupertino's own Apple One-Year …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Jeebus

    You can fool many all of the time. Maybe instead of adopting "it just works" as a completely false tagline they should have adopted "if it breaks buy a new one" their entire philosophy in everything they do, including workers.

    This is where apple fantards say that's what all companies do etcetera.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Buy a new one"? Not really.

      You don't need to buy a new one, since Apple offers a replacement for a reasonable fee.

      For the iPhone for example you can get an as-new replacement for 1/5 (£139) of the new price.

      You can also replace any model of the new iPad (even the top of the range WiFI+4G 64GB model worth £659) for just £249.

      In both cases you just make an appointment, drop by the store and in a few minutes you go out with a new device.

      I only wish other tech (and even non-tech) companies came close to doing something like this!

      1. Jeebus

        Re: "Buy a new one"? Not really.

        Nothing says awesome like replacing a product with exactly the same product for only £249.

        So when did the anon cowards just give up and start posting gibberish in the hope it passes as a legitimate reply due to post length, do they get away with this in all the threads, I mean the 2 or 3 people who are all the anon Pro-Apple posters on Reg?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Buy a new one"? Not really.

          > Nothing says awesome like replacing a product with exactly the same product for only £249.

          Erm yes it's pretty awesome, especially when you broke it yourself .Try doing it with another brand and see what you get...

          Whats with all the AC hate by the way? You take these things too personally, it's not healthy.

          1. James O'Brien

            Re: "Buy a new one"? Not really.

            "Try doing it with another brand and see what you get..."

            I have with a Western Digital raptor drive a few years back. Guess what? They replaced it no questions asked with a new one AND overnighted it to me at no extra cost. Sorry to say several tech companies are very good with customer service.

            Time for the iFans to flame/downvote me to hell.

          2. steward

            Re: "Buy a new one"? Not really.

            When the best thing that Apple can do for defenders are anonymous, it raises questions as to who's behind the mask: like maybe an Apple employee?

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Buy a new one"? Not really.

        Well that's great for people who actually break their devices, throw them around and want a replacement.

        However for devices that are genuinely breaking down beyond a year are also expected to pay up under the original policy.

        I used this EU law personally here in the UK to get them to replace my iPad without the fee. The fault it developed was something that could only have come up during manufacturing.

        It was escalated after me arguing with more than three different Apple drones (aka Geniuses), with them not giving an explanation as to how the fault could develop with user intervention. All I was told was that, I quote, "It should not happen" and "I've never seen anything like it." You'd think that would be a clue for them to at least escalate the matter on their own. No. I was expected to purchase Applecare warranty apparently or pay this fee and get a refurbished product.

        I refused to pony up. Then sent to telephone customer service. More refusal there, but they were nice. Escalated again to their Customer relations department.

        This department was interesting, they've got pretty good PR people in there I have to admit. Got the same stuff, was given the same drill, refused, gave explanation, then after a week an exception was approved with a callback spewing some BS about them misunderstanding that I wanted a refund. <sarcasm> because that would have happened under Applecare?! </sarcasm>

        Apple customer care is no better than average. You judge these things by how well they handle genuine customer issues, not where you pay up £249 for a refurbished product, that was probably someone else's faulty product to begin with, and they couldn't ever shift legally anyway.

        Somebody out there has my original iPad I bet :)

        1. Schultz
          Thumb Up

          Re: "Buy a new one"? Not really.

          Sounds like you wasted enough of their time that they decided it'll be cheaper to buy you off. Hope your day-job makes a better salary though!

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Buy a new one"? Not really.

            Well three 15 minute store appointments, one phone call and one call back.

            I've spent longer reading Apple fanboi comments over here, and pondering how silly some of there are, so not too shabby I'd say.

      3. h 2

        Re: "Buy a new one"? Not really.

        So they replace it at it's true Cost Price :)

      4. Jess

        Re: "Buy a new one"? Not really.

        > You don't need to buy a new one, since Apple offers a replacement for a reasonable fee.

        Do you have further information about this? Is it only current models?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      STILL at it

      Interestingly they still offered only one year and tried to sell me extra cover when I bought the new Ipad online a couple of weeks ago in the UK.

      1. Euchrid

        Re: STILL at it

        The EU consumer law (European Directive 1999/44/EC) doesn’t replace the company’s warranty – they work side by side. The Apple warranty – and I sure this is the same for just about every company – says that it’s in addition to your statutory rights. Apple updated its web page about this last Friday, which the article linked to - - worth a look as it shows what each different protection is.

        The above has always been in force, but Apple’s kept quiet about it and a lot of people don’t know their consumer rights.

        Something that the article didn’t mention is if you claim under the EU consumer law, you have to go back to the seller, not the manufacturer. Obviously, I lot of people do buy from Apple (as you did), but not everyone does. If you buy AppleCare and have a problem in the second year, you would be able to go back to Apple, regardless of where you bought it. If the seller has gone out of business in the second year onwards, then there's nothing you can do – the manufacturer is not liable under this law.

        In the past, I’ve read people having to pay for an expert to prove that the defect was due to the manufacturing process, not the user. Under this EU law, if you have a problem within the first six months of purchase, it’s up to the seller to prove that it’s not a manufacturing defect – after that six months, the onus is on the buyer.

        The article mentioned the Sales of Good Act, this overrides European Directive 1999/44/EC as it exceeds or meets all the requirements. Something the article didn’t mention that’s worth knowing if you live in the UK is that the Act covers goods from the time of purchase for *six* years – you would have to prove that someone would reasonably expect the product to last longer, but with something like a DVD player or TV that’s not too difficult. However, proving that it had a manufacturing fault that was there when you bought it (as mentioned above), is obviously a little more problematic.

        1. Matthew 3

          Re: STILL at it

          " If the seller has gone out of business in the second year onwards, then there's nothing you can do"

          In the UK at least, buying it on a credit card makes the card company jointly liable for dodgy goods. Even if your supplier has gone out of business you're still able to get a refund from the card company. Here's a handy mnemonic for your (UK) rights:

          Satisfactory Quality



          Fit for purpose

          And last for a



          And, yes, for quoting this, I am one.

    3. jahill

      They are keeping the change very quiet: A quick call to Apple today showed that they are still only honouring a one year warranty, unless extended (and paid for).

  2. TheProf

    "We may have fewer consumer protections here in the U.S. of A., but we can say with pride that at least we're not mollycoddled "European Socialists". ®"

    So what are you implying? That it's better to have a one year warranty than a two year one?

    1. Notas Badoff

      'Joke' ?

      Hello. Have you heard of sarcasm?

      Or did you mis-click and meant to use the JOKE icon?

  3. Chad H.


    We may have fewer consumer protections here in the U.S. of A., but we can say with pride that at least we're not mollycoddled "European Socialists". ®


    You silly americans and you fighting for your freedom to buy crappy products....

  4. User McUser

    In defense of nobody...

    In defense of nobody, a one year warranty is pretty much the de facto standard for "consumer" computers in the US. I don't believe I've seen a consumer oriented unit from any manufacturer that included a warranty period longer than 1 year by default.

    Besides, if the manufacture warrants the device for much longer, stores couldn't sell them those highly profitable^H^H^H^H^H valuable "extended service plans."

    1. Gerhard Mack

      Re: In defense of nobody...

      10 Years ago I could count on every component of my system having at least a 2 year warranty. It is funny how that all changed right before they started offering "extended service" plans.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What on earth has socialism got to do with the duration of warranty?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Socialism?

      The fact that it is government mandated?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Socialism?

      Sit back, listen for dog whistles. It's, like, a hobby with us.

      1. nexsphil

        Re: Socialism?

        Typical tactic to have the masses toe the line against their own interests. Against the Vietnam war? Communist. Concerned about governmental corruption? Conspiracy theorist. Want healthcare? Socialist. It's much easier to use simple name calling than actually, you know, making an argument. After all, how well would the argument "because we want mo money at your expense" work, even taking the average American IQ into account? Nah, you won't go along with the latest scam from the rich? You're an -ist. And a smelly poo bum.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only Apple doing this?

    All the laptops I see on Dell UK's website only mention: "1Yr Collect & Returns Warranty"

    Even Dell Germany's website only says "1 Jahr Schutz im Lieferumfang des PCs mit enthalten"

    (means 1 year warranty coverage)

    No mention there of any 2 year EU-mandated coverage.

    1. petur

      Re: Only Apple doing this?

      As normal consumer or as company? The two years is for consumers, companies only get 1 year. And depending on how you got to the product you want on the dell website, it may think you are a company....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only Apple doing this?

      It probably also says 'Your statutory rights are not affected'. Most companies hope you won't know what your rights are. I was once told 'The Sale of Goods act doesn't require me to refund you' in a shop notorious for its sharp practices.

      He baulked when I produced a copy of the act - anticipating their tactics pays dividends - and asked him to show me exactly where.

  7. saif

    Touch Screen or Touch Box?

    "Apple warrants the Apple-branded hardware product and accessories contained in the original packaging ("Apple Product") against defects in materials and workmanship when used normally in accordance with Apple's published guidelines for a period of ONE (1) YEAR from the date of original retail purchase by the end-user purchaser."

    I am confused...does this mean that taking the phone out of the original packaging invalidates the warranty?...Darn it...

    1. James O'Brien

      Re: Touch Screen or Touch Box?

      When did we get a fanboi icon?

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Re: Touch Screen or Touch Box?

      "does this mean that taking the phone out of the original packaging invalidates the warranty?..."

      Try to keep up at the back. Haven't you been watching? "Holding it wrong", or even worse, living in a cold country are all reasons for having no warranty.

      And if you've removed it from the packaging; that's like opening up a Dell laptop, ripping all the ICs off the board and saying that it doesn't work; the packaging is ¾ of an iProduct :)

  8. Bob H

    There is no such thing as a mandated cover in the EU, all the EU says is that a product must be fit for purpose and contain no defects at manufacture. If a product fails within six months then the burden of proof is on the manufacturer to prove it wasn't their fault, but after six months then the product is assumed to have been accepted by the consumer. Most manufacturers support a standard 1 year warranty but a few support for longer, mosty for a combination of convenience and good will. After the stated warranty the consumer must prove the product was defective at the point of manufacture.

    It is also worth noting that the contract of sale is with the retailer, not with the manufacturer. Manufacturers should only be approached if the retailer is unable to support.

    This is what the legislation ACTUALLY says, if you bother to read it.

    1. Alex 19


      Spot on. The cases with Apple in Italy were down to clarifications in small print. In essence Apple should have made it clear(er) that consumers have statutory rights which are enforceable against the RETAILER (Apple is also a retailer) and that the manufacturer's warranty is in addition to those rights. Worth pointing out that in the UK consumers have 6 years but as you can imagine, after the first 6 months and as you move further away in time from the date of purchaser, your rights dissipate pretty quickly as the standard of proof becomes more difficult to satisfy.

    2. Velv

      Which is why when it broke I took it back to the APPLE STORE

    3. Tim Parker

      "There is no such thing as a mandated cover in the EU, all the EU says is that a product must be fit for purpose and contain no defects at manufacture."

      Partly true, as I understand it. There is a mandated minimum level of protection, but that is not the same as a mandated cover and it is up to the nations to implement the directive (suitably translated) into national law. There are also other factors in determining conformity, see e.g. Article 2.2 especially 2.2 (d). DIRECTIVE 1999/44/EC Article 1 states

      "1. The purpose of this Directive is the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees in order to ensure a uniform minimum level of consumer protection in the context of the internal market."

      "If a product fails within six months then the burden of proof is on the manufacturer to prove it wasn't their fault, but after six months then the product is assumed to have been accepted by the consumer."

      Not necessarily, at least as far as I understand it. The last statement certainly does not appear in form or intent anywhere in the directive. DIRECTIVE 1999/44/EC Article 5 states

      "1. The seller shall be held liable under Article 3 where the lack of conformity becomes apparent within two years as from delivery of the goods. If, under national legislation, the rights laid down in Article 3(2) are subject to a limitation period, that period shall not expire within a period of two years from the time of delivery."

      [Note the use of 'becomes apparent']


      "3. Unless proved otherwise, any lack of conformity which becomes apparent within six months of delivery of the goods shall be presumed to have existed at the time of delivery unless this presumption is incompatible with the nature of the goods or the nature of the lack of conformity."

      i.e. within six months, with exceptions, the fault is automatically presumed to have existed at the time of delivery, and hence coverd (practically the same as you state) - but nothing is explicitly mentioned here, or elsewhere, about the burden of proof (in some cases this is done in the national legislation as far as I understand).

      The EU overview page for the legislation also says

      "The Directive on Sale of Consumer Goods and Guarantees aims to harmonise those parts of consumer sale contract law that concern legal guarantees (warranties) and, to a lesser extent, commercial guarantees.

      Its main element is that the seller has to guarantee the conformity of the goods with the contract for a period of two years after the delivery of the goods. Certain standards exist for assessing when conformity can be assumed and when not."

      Again, here it does not state who is responsible for the proof of the causes of the lack conformity - apart from where conformity can be assumed - merely that the seller has to guarantee conformity over the period. It may be required that the consumer has to prove lack of conformity after six months, but that is not mandated, and acceptance of continued conformity after that period has nothing to do with the legislation.

      In addition, the guarantee on the goods cannot be waived if it doesn't comply with the requirements of Article 6, paras 2-4 and people should be aware of the requirements in Article 7, first paragraph of which is

      "1. Any contractual terms or agreements concluded with the seller before the lack of conformity is brought to the seller's attention which directly or indirectly waive or restrict the rights resulting from this Directive shall, as provided for by national law, not be binding on the consumer.|"

      Further reading at and links to the related documents (particularly interesting in parts is the report on implementation).

  9. Nick Kew

    Power Cables

    So, will they now replace old-style power cables that fray away over time, as in the US?

  10. bazza Silver badge

    Apple's self confidence?

    It's at the very least inconsistent for Apple to say they manufacture quality goods but then express reluctance to dish out a standard warranty. Compare their attitude to that of some car manufacturers (Kia? Vauxhall/GM?) who are beginning to offer 7 year warranties. On a car!

    That's what consumers like to see in a product. Not some stingy deal from the world's wealthiest company. Especially when that deal doesn't last as long as the contract you've had to take out to buy the thing in the first place.

  11. Alan Denman

    UK Expanded protection - of the foaming kind!

    Smart phone buyers get one from Samsung, HTC or Sony.

    It should come with a 2 year UK warranty.

    Apple's 1 year only protection is enough to make you foam at the mouth.

    If everyone just boycotts UK Apple just for solitary week that 2 year waranty is no doubt yours!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: UK Expanded protection - of the foaming kind!

      Maybe they had a two year warranty for smart phones, but Samsung laptops and tablets only come with a one year one.

  12. Fihart

    You have rights beyond any warranty.

    Even UK manufacturers/importers and retailers propagate the misconception that the only protection you get is the manufacturers warranty.

    Trading Standards will tell you that consumer durables are expected to be durable -- rule of thumb 6 years. Not unreasonable as CRT televisions lasted 15 years before the power supply or tube failed. I have hifi nearly 40 years old that works fine.

    Several brands of LCD TVs and Monitors have been known to fail within 3 years due to crappy capacitors in the PSU -- a component fault entitling a UK customer to repair, replacement or a 50% refund. Instead, in recently months I've found three 19inch monitors dumped -- and repaired them for less than a quid each.

    As for Apple, (apparently) until recently anyone returning a failed iPod outside the 12 month warranty was only offered a 10% discount on a new one. I say "apparently" because I wouldn't buy an iPod as they suck compared with Sony's MP3 players (mainly due to iTunes). I've found two iPod Minis in the trash -- one with a failing battery the other with a failed drive -- either could have been fixed fairly simply had they been designed to be repaired.

    1. Annihilator

      Re: You have rights beyond any warranty.

      I believe that you (the consumer) have to prove to the retailer in question that the fault wasn't caused by expected wear/tear and was a genuine failure before its expected life. The 6 year rule is so vague as to be practically impossible to get any traction on.

      O/T, you don't buy into iPods due to iTunes, yet have forgiven Sony for their OpenMG Jukebox abomination? To each their own! :-)

      1. Mark 65

        Re: You have rights beyond any warranty.

        @Annihilator: I believe this comes down to the "fit for purpose" aspect of legislation. If you sell me a washing machine with a 2 year manufacturers warranty and the thing burns out at 3 years then I would be entitled to redress as the item wasn't fit for purpose as a consumer wouldn't expect to replace a washing machine every 3 years. It's a bit vague but then it has to be to avoid being over-prescriptive - it is the reasonable person argument. The underlying principle is what matters. Same goes for TVs etc. - a reasonable person would expect them to have at least a 5+ year lifespan.

        I think the Sony MP3 player comment is related to the fact their modern ones are drag-drop.

        1. Annihilator

          Re: You have rights beyond any warranty.

          @Mark 65 - I think it has to burn out "beyond economical repair" too (more vagueness ensues depending on "economical" and who's repairing it). A simple breakdown of a component is to be expected within the lifetime of the unit. You're right in that it's the reasonable person argument, but how many retailers allow their employees to be reasonable?

          I know modern Sony's are drag-drop, I'm talking about literally not forgiving them from 12 years ago when I owned a Net Walkman (NW-MS9). T'was a lovely little thing that was ruined by the software :-)

        2. Fihart

          @Mark 65 re You have rights beyond any warranty.

          Exactly. I only got a Sony a couple of years ago after being driven to fury by iTunes' illogicality while "managing" a girl friend's iPod -- and with the result that my computer is clogged with Julio Iglesias and Barbra Streisand tracks that I can't dump because they relate to her iPod. With the Sony I have no reason to duplicate its inventory on my hard drive. Loading stuff is d&d using Windows and (like the iPod) it supports folders so I can avoid the chore of tagging.

          You are also right about UK consumer protection and reasonableness. In a small claims case I took against a repair guy who failed to pack a monitor properly on its return to me, the District Judge used his own experience of the lifetime of his TV as a benchmark for my loss of the few years old monitor. Actually ruled I had overclaimed and reduced damages but I was happy because I could see the logic.

  13. KAMiKZ

    wtf is socialism?

    no warranty must be the most unsocialism then? I live in the US, and can't understand what the fukc does socialism have to do with anything. -- they are probably projecting whatever the hell they are feeling (they being good god fearing americans) about Obama's health care laws towards electronic devices. Health care and people. Warranty and electronics. Bammm. Mustn't allow companies to force us down our throat free warranties. How dare they.

    If they don't want it in the US, take that one year off of their products and add it to the European one's to even out. Hey, it's win-win-win-win-win-win-....

    1. jason 7

      Re: wtf is socialism?

      Yeah, I always find it amazing how US folks have been convinced/brainwashed that anything designed to protect/help or improve their consumer rights is 'Socialist'.

      It's terrible how much the big mega corps/media have indoctrinated that.

      I've always felt that an 80/20 mix of capitalism with socialism is a good thing. The current 99% capitalism model only benefits a very small minority.

  14. bart

    The warranty shell game - is it under 1, 2, or 3?

    The EU stipulates that, as Apple’s warranty states, the two year guarantee is for defects which existed at the time of sale, and that burden of proof shifts to the buyer after 6 mos. However, especially since Apple locks up their boxes so tightly, it becomes easy to argue that most defects that reveal themselves after 6 mos. existed previous to the sale if there is no obvious physical breach or damage. And the fact that existing defects do not always appear immediately, and may present themselves at any time during the two year period and still be covered, is altogether lost in translation.

    For example, if the drive in an Imac fails after 18 mos., and the user has not physically accessed the drive, Apple (or the seller) is liable. The wording in Apple’s warranty may lead one to believe otherwise, but because the Imac ceases to work because of the drive failure, the guarantee takes effect: regardless of the fact that the Mac showed no apparent signs of defect up to that 18th month.

    Some devices, such as iphones and Ipods, bristle with tamper proofing, making extremely unlikely any defect arising during the two year period could be anything but an existing defect (again, provided there is no apparent breach or damage.)

    Apple really can’t escape their ultimate liability for the EU “2 year guarantee” law. It’s more than a bit more complicated than Apple lets on. In fact, I believe the language used in Apple’s “new” warranty is worded in such a way as to obfuscate EU buyers rights, with the goal of potentially picking up a few more Applecare contracts through fear.

    And don’t even get me started on the UK’s “Sale of Goods Act” In many instances it could be argued that Apple products could be expected to last well more than two years. Why else would they push their own 3 year extended warranty for such relatively low cost?

    Ahh, Apple - bite me!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: The warranty shell game - is it under 1, 2, or 3?

      What you have said is partly what I used with Apple to make them honour their obligation under this law. The others were a very technical explanation on solder joint failure and an offer to contradict my statement and prove me wrong :)

      They try to force you into getting the £249 refurbished replacement, that I think a lot of people, certainly non-techies, end up paying, even in cases where they don't need to. That £249 for a device they would otherwise have to discard adds healthily to their bottom line.

      The weakness in this law (for consumer goods) is that a non-embedded engineer probably could not argue their case on their own without hiring pretty expensive help.

  15. David Haworth

    practically speaking

    what does this mean then?

    can I now take my 21 month old iphone 4 back to the apple store and get them to replace it due to the "getting increasingly sketchy" home button? is that not the case at all, only the case if it's bought from an apple store rather than any other shop, or true all the time?

    or does it only count going forward?

    what's the end-user practical upshot of this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: practically speaking

      I was thinking the point of the 2 year EU warranty was to force manufacturers to make more decent quality products in the first place and to get away from the cheap "planned obsolence" products we have now that tend to die a few days after they're a year old...



    Buy your I-Device from John Lewis and get a 2 year guarantee (3 years on I-Macs) and better customer service as well.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like