Apple iPhone

Apple gets warning for misleading consumers

The Commerce Commission has warned Apple Sales New Zealand (Apple) for behaviour that’s likely to have misled customers about their rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA).

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Apple told some consumers its products were only covered by consumer law for two years. But there’s no time limit in the CGA.

The act requires retailers to guarantee their goods are of acceptable quality. This includes being durable and free from minor defects.

Commissioner Anna Rawlings said it considered Apple’s behaviour was misleading as the guarantees in the CGA 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,” she said. The commission’s investigation also found Apple was likely to have misled consumers by attempting to exclude its liability for non-Apple products that it sold.

Retailers must not “point blank refuse to address consumer complaints and refer consumers exclusively to manufacturers,” Ms Rawlings said.

The commission also warned Apple for:

  • telling consumers they must accept a defined number of replacement goods before an alternative remedy would be made available
  • excluding liability for consequential losses when consumers might be entitled to compensation for some losses under the CGA
  • 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.