EU To Probe Apple Regarding Controversial Warranty Ads

Europe Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has penned letters to EU member states, requesting them to investigate the fashion through which Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been advertising its product warranties, reports Bloomberg.

EU To Probe Apple Regarding Controversial Warranty Ads

Reding’s stand comes after prolonged controversy over Apple’s alleged failure to advertize buyers’ rights to a minimum two-year warranty for its popular iPads and iPhones. A copy of the letter was retrieved by Bloomberg News. In the letter, Reding’s undisguised outlook on Apple’s ‘unacceptable’ warranty ads was clearly demonstrated. “Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) prominently advertised that its products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty, but failed to clearly indicate the consumers’ automatic and free-of-cost entitlement to a minimum two-year guarantee, under EU law,” noted the letter.

The contention rises from the fact that Apple doesn’t place notices on its packaging regarding the free minimum two-year guarantee imposed by EU law. Reding notes that the iPhone maker opts for boldly advertising its one year warranty, overlooking underlying EU laws that push for free minimum two-year warranties. In overt frustration, Reding’s letter notes that Apple is engaged in ‘unacceptable marketing practices.’

To aggravate the situation, Apple’s own website indirectly confirms that the company is not oblivious to the stringent EU laws. Apparently, the website has a Summary of EU Statutory Warranty. The summary is however, coupled with the AppleCare Protection Plan and the Apple One Year Limited warranty. The latter, in particular, justifies Apple’s long known tradition of giving free one year warranties to its European consumers.

Interestingly, Reding’s negative outlook on Apple’s warranty ads is not an isolated event. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is already tackling similar issues in Italy, among other European countries. Reding’s remarks therefore highlights an already existing situation, suggesting that things are getting more serious than before.

In Italy, the situation has already ballooned and Apple has been on the receiving end of hefty fines totaling to $1.2 million. The fines, though issued at the fall of 2011, highlight Apple’s crisis. July reports from well placed sources reveal that Apple has been reluctant in honoring its legal obligations to pay the fine. According to the reports, Apple could have to pay another fine of $381000 in relation to it’s the two year warranty ads.

While Reding’s call for probes doesn’t legally oblige Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to adhere to EU laws, it places pressure on ministers from different countries. The European Commission has the power to take legal action against countries that do not enforce its rules.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has managed to make the headlines for varied reasons over the past month. Expect us to keep you updated on every step that the tech big wig takes.