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March 5, 2014

Apple websites could be blocked by Belgium court over AppleCare warranties

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A Belgian judge is considering ordering the countries ISPs to block access to all Apple websites in the country in response to a long-running dispute over the company’s promotion of AppleCare warranties, according to local newspapers cited by Tech.eu.

A case brought by the consumer protection group FPS Economy argued that Apple misleads consumers by claiming a standard warranty of one year, and selling an optional AppleCare extension, when EU law means that manufacturers are legally obliged to offer a minimum warranty of two years as standard.

Apple warrenty

The judge is said to be hesitating as this rather extreme proposal would caused grief to Apple customers in Belgium as they would be unable to access Apple services like iCloud and iTunes.

Apple previously hit similar troubles in Italy, resulting in AppleCare being withdrawn and total fines of almost $1.5M being levied. The case was settled when Apple changed its warranty pages on its websites across EU countries with a new table showing the different forms of warranty coverage available.

EU law provides protection against faults which were present at the time of sale. However, any fault occurring within two years (5 years in Scotland, 6 years rest of UK) is presumed to have been present when sold unless the retailer can prove otherwise.

Consumer groups in ten further EU countries launched cases requiring Apple to do more to advise consumers of their legal rights before selling them AppleCare. The Belgian case is one of these, with FPS Economy arguing that the change to the website was an inadequate response.

We can’t understand Apple’s reluctance to make the changers and be done with it.

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini