Summary:

Apple’s warranty practices come under fire again in Europe as EU Justice Commissioner calls for better enforcement of current consumer protection laws.

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The European Union is still unhappy with how Apple is handling its standard consumer warranty offering. But it also hasn’t yet taken any steps to enforce the body’s laws requiring automatic, free two-year protection for consumer purchases. On Tuesday, the head of the EU’s Justice Commission, Viviane Reding, reiterated Apple’s failings to properly inform its customers in member states about their rights and the need for better enforcement.

According to Dow Jones Business News, Reding said:

“This case and the responses I received since I sent my letter have highlighted rather clearly just why the Commission cannot sit on the side-lines on enforcement issues,” she said. “The approaches to enforcement in these types of cases turn out to be very diversified and inconsistent at a national level. In at least 21 EU Member States Apple is not informing consumers correctly about the legal warranty rights they have. This is simply not good enough.”

Reding’s remarks echo comments she made in October 2012, in which she called Apple’s standard free offering of one year of warranty protection to its customers “unacceptable marketing practices” according to EU laws. The EU requires that companies not only offer a two-year warranty for free, but companies also need to inform their customers of this right.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Italy has been the most aggressive EU member state in enforcing this law against Apple: It has fined the company for only advertising a free one-year warranty when selling iPhones, iPads and other electronics to customers, while selling AppleCare, a paid extended warranty option.

But Italy isn’t the only country Apple has run afoul of in this respect: earlier this week Apple informed its retail staff in Australia to start honoring free two-year warranties for its customers in the country to bring its practices in line with local consumer protection law.

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