Company or individual details
- Apple Pty Ltd002510054
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Apple Pty Ltd (Apple) in relation to claims about representations that were likely to contravene sections 18 and 29(1)(m) of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
Apple Pty Ltd is a subsidiary of Apple Inc. and carries on business in Australia as an importer, distributor and supplier to consumers of Apple-branded computer equipment, portable media players, mobile phones, tablets and accessories.
On 6 April 2017, the ACCC commenced litigation against Apple in the Federal Court of Australia (VID339/2017) alleging that Apple had at various times made certain false and misleading representations to consumers about the availability of remedies for non-compliance with the consumer guarantees in Part 3-2 of the ACL. The parties agreed to resolve the proceedings upon admissions made by Apple Inc. in the proceedings that it had engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct. The parties have agreed to submit consent orders that Apple Inc. pay a pecuniary penalty and a contribution to the ACCC’s costs.
Separately, the ACCC had received complaints alleging that:
- the provision by Apple of refurbished goods as replacements to remedy failures of goods supplied by Apple to comply with consumer guarantees may not be sufficient to meet the requirements of sections 261 and 263 of the ACL;
- Apple may have refused to provide a refund to a consumer in circumstances where:
- Apple had supplied a device to the consumer;
- there had been a major failure with the Apple device; and
- the consumer requested a refund from Apple;
- in providing an estimated repair cost and requiring consumers to provide credit card details to Apple prior to sending an Apple device to Apple for remote repair without stating that no payment will be required if the repair is covered by the ACL, Apple may have led customers to believe that consumers must pay to have their devices repaired when the devices are outside of Apple’s one-year express warranty period where in fact no payment would be required if the repair was required by the ACL.
To address the ACCC’s concerns, Apple Pty Ltd provided the ACCC with a section 87B undertaking that it will:
- comprehensively review its internal and external materials so as to ensure it is clearly stated that Australian consumers’ statutory rights under the ACL are in addition to the contractual rights under Apple’s express warranties;
- improve its ACL compliance training for staff;
- engage in further empirical data verification of the effectiveness of its ACL compliance and training program;
- deploy enhanced computer systems for customer facing staff;
- improve its transparency when offering customers remanufactured devices as remedies.