The New Zealand government has recently issued an eight-page warning to Apple. The warning said that Apple has misled its customers about replacement rights for both first- and third-party products sold through the online Apple store.
The warning was issued by New Zealand’s Commerce Commission after it found that Apple breached the country’s Consumer Guarantees Act and Fair Trading Act.
According to the report by NZ Herald, the commission is arguing that Apple, via Apple Sales New Zealand bypassed the law by “telling consumers that its products are covered by a guarantee for two years, and for referring them to the manufacturer of non-Apple branded products, excluding Apple’s liability for certain products.”
Commissioner Anna Rawlings noted the Consumer Guarantees Act does not specify such predetermined expiry periods or other requirements.
The letter was issued after complaints have been registered for two years regarding the regarding terms and conditions tied to purchases, as well as repairs and replacements of faulty products. Another criterion is Apple’s responsibility for third-party products sold through its online store.
“We consider that Apple is likely to be misleading consumers by trying to exclude its liability for non-Apple branded products, the letter said. “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.”
Apple agreed with the commission and made changes to conform with the commission’s findings. For example, Apple employees are now aware that consumer rights laws are not bound by time, the agency said.
The company has long operated in New Zealand. It activated Apple Pay last October and AppleCare and Mac warrantees in January, at the same time that Australia gained access to the same services.