By Keri Algar
SYDNEY, NSW: Under duress from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Optus has become the only telco in Australia to provide 24 month warranties for the Apple iPhone.
As reported on Current.com.au, Optus has undertaken to offer consumers who purchase a mobile phone on a fixed contract – iPhone included – a handset warranty for the life of the contract, in most cases this is 24 months.
In 2010, both Vodafone and Telstra were investigated by the ACCC and negotiated separate undertakings, which resulted in similar consumer warranty rights for mobile handsets as that of Optus, however, neither Vodafone or Telstra have extended the warranty to Apple products. The ACCC conceeded the exclusion.
In October 2010, the ACCC announced Telstra’s intention to “strengthen” handset warrantees. ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said it was important for consumers and suppliers to realise that the Trade Practices Act implies certain rights into consumer contracts.
"Just because the manufacturer's warranty period is up, it does not mean that consumers can be hung out to dry if they are left with a faulty product and ongoing service contract," said Samuel in October.
Nevertheless, the ACCC does not currently have an official undertaking with Vodafone or Telstra to rectify the iPhone warranty inconsistency, though they are accepting and recording consumer complaints in relation to warranty issues for Apple products.