Apple accused of "unacceptable marketing practices"

The EU Justice Commission, which sounds like a comic book alliance of European super heroes but isn’t, is calling Apple out over its marketing.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has penned a stiff missive to member countries to ask them to check whether Apple retailers failed to let buyers know about the right to a minimum 2-year warranty for products such as the iPhone and iPad under EU law.

For years Apple and the EU have been battling it out because Cupertino really does not want its products to last longer than a year.

EU law says that if an iPhone or iPad breaks after 18 months, then Apple will have to fix or replace it. Apple resisted this move but finally agreed.

Now it seems that Apple got around the problem of a two year guarantee by not telling its users.

In a letter obtained by Bloomberg, Reding was furious that Apple seemed to believe it could market its way out of consumer law.

She said that Apple was prominently advertising 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.

She said that this was an unacceptable marketing practice.

Apple has its warranty obligations on its website which can be found here and it does honour it. It just does not tell consumers that the law exists and almost disguises it.

Some would argue that it is the consumer’s responsibility to know the law, but Reding said that it was also down to the merchant.

This is not the first time that Apple has fallen foul of EU law.

Last year Apple was found to be in breach of European Law by an Italian regulator, Apple appealed and still lost and had to pay $1.2 million.