ACCC takes aim at Apple, sort of

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: The ACCC has taken a swipe at Apple, saying it is concerned about the company’s warranty situation in regards to its iPhone products.

This one-sentence dig was hidden at the bottom of a press release outlining Telstra’s new commitment to provide mobile phone warranties equal to the length of its phone contracts for all suppliers, except Apple.

“Although nearly all major handset manufacturers have agreed to honour full warranties, the ACCC continues to have concerns in relation to warranty issues with the Apple iPhone,” reads the ACCC press release.

The major point of this release was to essentially congratulate Telstra on improving its mobile phone warranty arrangements.

"Telstra has decided to do what's right and fair for consumers, and has been negotiating with manufacturers to bring in warranty periods that last for the length of a consumer's contract," said ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel.

"This is a good outcome for consumers and Telstra should continue its negotiation process. The primary obligation to provide remedies rests on Telstra and not the mobile phone manufacturers. It is reasonable for consumers to expect that any phone they buy will last for the length of the service contract they enter into. In the European Union, most consumer goods sold come with a minimum 24 month warranty."

That the ACCC believes it is the carrier’s responsibility to provide 24-month warranties makes its velvet attack on Apple slightly confusing. After all, Apple is a manufacturer, not a carrier.

The release also notes that the ACCC is in ongoing discussions with Optus to seek a similar arrangement. The ACCC has already reached an agreement on contract-length warranties with VHA.

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