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Topic # 236371 30-May-2018 09:51
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From Commerce Commission today... interesting.... (my EMPHASIS added, given the ongoing discussion around CGA in these forums)

 

Apple warned for misleading consumers about their rights

The Commission has warned Apple Sales New Zealand (Apple) after it likely misled consumers about their Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) rights and about its replacement products being new.

The CGA provides consumers with a range of guarantees about the goods that they buy for personal use. These include guarantees that goods are of an acceptable quality and that spare parts and repair facilities will be available for a reasonable time, unless the manufacturer tells them otherwise.

In the Commission’s view, Apple is likely to have breached the Fair Trading Act in a number of ways including by:

 

  • telling consumers that products are only covered by a guarantee for two years
  • referring consumers exclusively to the manufacturer of non-Apple branded products and excluding Apple’s liability for those products.

Commissioner Anna Rawlings said Apple told some customers that their products were only covered by consumer law for two years and the Commission considered that this was misleading as the guarantees in the CGA do not expire after a legally prescribed period of time.

“They apply for a reasonable period. What is reasonable depends on the nature of the goods, any statements made about the goods and how the consumer, in fact, uses the goods.”

“Although businesses may form a view about how long a product should generally last, they must assess each reported fault on its own merits. They should not base decisions solely on how long a consumer has owned a product. The reasonable lifespan of a product will depend very much on what the product is,” she said.

The Commission investigation also found Apple was likely to have misled consumers by trying to exclude its liability for non-Apple branded products when Apple is responsible, as a retailer, for compliance with the consumer guarantees applying to all products it sells, even if it is not the manufacturer.   

“It is natural that many retailers may wish to liaise with manufacturers to assess and remedy product defects but they must not point blank refuse to address consumer complaints and refer consumers exclusively to manufacturers for attention,” Ms Rawlings said.

The Commission also warned Apple in relation to:

 

  • telling consumers that they must accept a defined number of replacement goods before an alternative remedy would be made available when the CGA imposes no such limits on available remedies
  • excluding liability for consequential losses when consumers might be entitled to compensation for some losses of that kind under the CGA, depending on the circumstances
  • providing conflicting information on Apple’s website about whether spare parts and repairs would, or would not, be available for some products
  • leading consumers to believe that their faulty Apple products were being replaced with new products when they were in fact supplied with re-manufactured products.

Background

Consumer Guarantees Act
The Commerce Commission does not enforce the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) but it has a role to play when businesses mislead consumers about their rights because this breaches the Fair Trading Act. Manufacturers and retailers of consumer goods cannot opt out of their obligations under the CGA. Consumers can seek a remedy from the supplier who sold them the goods under the CGA whether or not they also seek a remedy under the CGA from the manufacturer.

If guarantees are breached, consumers may be entitled to have their goods repaired or replaced, depending on the nature of the problem, and they may also be entitled to compensation in some cases.  

Warning letter to Apple
You can read a copy of the Commission’s warning letter to Apple on our enforcement response register.





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396 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2025405 30-May-2018 10:20
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Here's Apples reaction:

 


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  Reply # 2025672 30-May-2018 13:22
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GZ'ers michaelmurphy and sbiddle have been spreading the information that the commerce commission says a phone should last 2 years . 

 

 

sbiddle (https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=76&topicid=212761)

 

FWIW 24 months is deemed an acceptable lifespan of a mobile phone. The Commerce Commission have ruled on this, and warranties have been adjusted by all 3 telcos as a result of this"

 

michaelmurphy (https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=39&topicid=216649)

 

Here we go again...Phones have moved from a 1 to a 2 year warranty very recently as per the obligations under the CGA - the CGA states specifically that the phones should last around 2 years. 

 

So, guys, now you are proven completely wrong by the very commission you quote as a source. Some chocolate fish would be good haha . 

 

My problem with the commerce commission is that they have taken so long to do anything about this. Their inaction allows for the spread of misinformation.

 

Spark (and under telecom) have been ignoring the CGA for years, as well as apple . 

 

eg, here is my experience from early 2016...

 

https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=76&topicid=192154

 

This is vodafone in 2013..

 

"Vodafone provides a 2 year warranty on their handsets. I have checked this with Samsung NZ and they have also confirmed it." 

 

So why no rebuke for spark? Or, have they changed their policy?  At least, spark should have fired the lawyers who provided them with terrible legal advice. 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 


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  Reply # 2025679 30-May-2018 13:42
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There are so many breeches, a biggie being failing to explain the differences between their extended warranty and the CGA provisions.

 

Bought a headphone from HN the other day and was told it was covered by a manufacturer's warranty for one year but I could buy an extended warranty covering two years and if anything went wrong the product would just be replaced. There was no mention of CGA at all.


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  Reply # 2025683 30-May-2018 13:53
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I called Apple regarding my iPhone 7 Plus malfunctioning a couple months ago and they said my warranty was only for one year.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2025689 30-May-2018 14:10
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dacraka:

 

I called Apple regarding my iPhone 7 Plus malfunctioning a couple months ago and they said my warranty was only for one year.

 

 

From what I've heard you really need to push their CGA obligations on them, or they'll give you the 'one year only' warranty - especially if you get through to someone in an overseas contact centre. 


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  Reply # 2025691 30-May-2018 14:13
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Whenever I have called, as soon as you mention CGA they are all 'oh of course we will look after you'


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  Reply # 2025720 30-May-2018 15:13
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dacraka:

 

I called Apple regarding my iPhone 7 Plus malfunctioning a couple months ago and they said my warranty was only for one year.

 

 

 

 

You most likely got an Apple Customer support person from overseas, they never know about our CGA.

 

I can tell you that Apple here in NZ automatically cover all iOS devices for two years, if the device was originally sold in NZ.

 

1st year is the Apple warranty and 2nd year is CGA.

 

Now that doesn't mean that you wouldn't be entitled to further coverage after two years, they just do it automatically for two years.

 

And for Macs it is three years, again only for those Macs that were originally sold in NZ.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 2025723 30-May-2018 15:27
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What exactly is the "non-Apple branded products and excluding Appleā€™s liability" bit about?

 

 

Do we have Apple stores in NZ?



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  Reply # 2025727 30-May-2018 15:49
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yitz: What exactly is the "non-Apple branded products and excluding Apple’s liability" bit about? Do we have Apple stores in NZ?

 

Apple sells in NZ via their online portal (apple.com/nz), and they sometimes sell other products via the store eg 3rd party cases.

 

Point is if you sold it, you're responsible for it as the seller - and if this was employed in non consumer settings, would be quite an interesting impact on the market (I think of all the "solutions" being sold)

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 2025764 30-May-2018 16:56
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CYaBro:

 

Now that doesn't mean that you wouldn't be entitled to further coverage after two years, they just do it automatically for two years.

 

 

I think the point is that apple have been saying 2 years and thats all . 

 

The last time I used the CGA with apple directly, they made it difficult to honour my rights. 

 

Sparks position was worse, they said that spark legal has directed that phones last 2 years, and beyond that the CGA categorically does not apply. 

 

That is, until you take them to the TLDR or disputes. Then they fold like a lawn chair. 

 

 


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  Reply # 2026610 1-Jun-2018 01:21
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To be fair, it's a bit hopeless to say "the timeframe you gave is wrong, but we won't tell you what it should be"... how is anybody supposed to do business like that? It's worse for consumers as we don't really know where we stand, and we can't afford lawyers to tell us like Apple can.


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  Reply # 2040530 19-Jun-2018 15:09
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  Reply # 2040619 19-Jun-2018 16:23
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I have just been through this now and it has taken since May 28th for Apple to send me a 'new' replacement.  The agent also confirmed it's 'factory refurbished' not new.

 

Of course I have a $1600 hold on my credit card while I wait for them to receive my iPhone 7 Plus back.  it's suffering from the 'I can't hear you' from other callers unless you use a headset (which seems to be a common fault with iPhone 7 Plus and 6s units).





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