Apple’s ongoing dispute with Italy’s AGCM competition and marketing authority is finally coming to a head. The company is in trouble for failing to comply with the Italian government’s previous order to stop promoting the warranty-extending Apple Care service in lieu of the country’s required two-year coverage on consumer electronics products. Reuters explains Italy’s stance this way:
The AGCM alleges that information provided by Apple about an extra guarantee scheme encourages customers to buy the service without clearly explaining that the company is obliged to offer a two-year free warranty…
Of course, Apple Care is not merely a warranty-extender, which is undoubtedly the distinction Apple is trying to make to Italian authorities. Instead, the service offers a number of other valuable features that aren’t part of Apple’s standard (or Italy’s required) warranty against hardware defects, including over-the-phone troubleshooting, 24-7 customer assistance, and full hardware and software support. Is it really Apple’s implied duty to inform Italian customers of their country’s various consumer-protection laws while at the same time neglecting the promotion and sale of its own completely legal supplementary services?
Apparently, though, that question — and the logical reasoning behind it — has fallen on deaf ears.
Should Apple continue to ignore the AGCM’s request, the Cupertino company faces a 30-day suspension of all Italian business operations and up to $377,500 in fines.
Cook and company have 30 days to respond.