New Zealand's Commerce Commission Sends Apple Formal Eight-Page Warning Letter about Misleading Consumers
New Zealand's Commerce Commission has warned Apple Sales New Zealand after misleading consumers about their Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) rights and about its replacement products being new.
Commissioner Anna Rawlings said Apple told some customers that their products were only covered by consumer law for 2 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.
"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.
Apple also led consumers to believe that their faulty products were being replaced with new products when they were in fact supplied with re-manufactured products.
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 Sales New Zealand
Below is a full copy of the warning letter sent to Apple courtesy of Patently Apple
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