Apple agrees to take steps to address consumer protection concerns voiced by ACCC

Technology giant Apple has agreed to take a number of measures to avoid court action over its handling of consumer guarantees and warranties.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had been investigating Apple’s consumer guarantee policies and practices.

The ACCC was concerned Apple had made a number of false or misleading representations to consumers about their entitlements when their products were faulty or needed repairs.

Apple has acknowledged some of its practices may have contravened Australian Consumer Law (ACL), and is taking a number of compliance measures including retraining staff.

“The ACCC was concerned that Apple was applying its own warranties and refund policies effectively to the exclusion of the consumer guarantees contained in the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.

“This undertaking serves as an important reminder to businesses that while voluntary or express warranties can provide services in addition to the consumer guarantee rights of the ACL, they cannot replace or remove those ACL guarantee rights.”

The ACCC said in a statement that the undertaking also requires Apple to maintain a webpage providing clarification on the differences between ACL coverage and Apple’s voluntary limited manufacturer’s warranty, and to make copies of the ACCC’s brochure on consumer rights available at all Apple stores.

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