How Apple Short-Changes Customers With iPhone Warranty

Back in January, Vodafone agreed to ensure that customers got a decent warranty deal when they purchased phones on contract after striking a deal with the ACCC. At the time, we noted there was one glaring exception to that rule: the iPhone.

Brett Winterford at CRN did some further digging into why the Apple exception was allowed into the agreement, and discovered that the ACCC was none too happy about it. While the competition regulator accepted Vodafone's argument that Apple's refusal to allow it to service iPhones prevented it offering a 24-month warranty, ACCC head Graeme Samuel doesn't think it would necessarily stand up to a challenge by an individual consumer in court:

An exception was made in this undertaking, but I am not sure it is tenable in practice and not something I would condone in the future.

Apple has always imposed stringent conditions on carriers before allowing them to sell the iPhone, and most have been happy to go along with that in order to sell the device. However, the ACCC's keen interest might mean Apple needs to tread more carefully in future.

ACCC gives iPhone special treatment on handset warranties [CRN]


Comments

    You seem to be knocking Apple a bit lately?

    I got my iPhone on Optus and for a few dollars extra per month for 12 months, Optus will cover my phone for the full 24 months.

    When I had a problem with my phone, I rang Optus and they put me straight through to a special iPhone support centre. Without a doubt the best service I've ever had on any phone. They knew everything little detail about the device and were super helpful. This event alone made sure that I would buy another iPhone and from Optus. The Optus iPhone support team informed me that they existed because Apple demanded it. So I have to thank Apple as well as Optus.

    And that has NEVER been the case with any other phone I've ever had, especially Telstra, which has just go be be the worst support desk ever. They don't even understand english, let alone the products. I purchased a new Elite Home Gateway Modem, which wouldn't connect. The indian support desk didn't even know the device existed and had no info on it. I had to tell them all the details .... rubbish.

    Jesus Christ Angus, we get it, you don't like apple. Take the Axe off the grinder.

    This article is poorly researched. Apple themselves offer a 24 month warranty. If Vodaphone isn't on-selling that I don't see how that is Apple short-changing customers.

      I don't think, in this particular case, Angus is dissing Apple.

      This isn't about buying Applecare, or any other Apple-branded extended warranty.

      It's about the ACCC's view that, if a carrier is going to ask a customer to commit to a 24-month contract, the customer has a not unreasonable expectation that the phone will work for that period, and will be covered under warranty for the entire period.

      Agreed - the carriers could always on-sell Apple's extended warranty and build it into the total contract commitment.

      However, the point is they aren't, and customers are being locked into 2-year deals with phones that will only be repaired under warranty for the first 12 months.

      At the end of the day, it's about what's right and fair for the customers, and the ACCC's point is that carriers bear that responsibility, as they're the ones selling the phone AND providing the contracted service.

      Just my 2 cents.

      PS: BTW, Angus - I do agree you've been a bit anti-Apple of late. What gives? You used to be more pro when you were writing for AMW...

        Nice summary Dan. Note though I've never written for AMW -- I imagine you're thinking of my brother Alex Kidman, who is also a tech journo (and who, unlike me, owns a Mac and an iPhone and an iPad).

    Bernie you do realise that Optus warranty is a scam?

    Not only do they charge you $14/m for the warranty itself but you have to pay a premium on top of the phone if anything happens to it..which happens to be the same price as what it costs to replace your iphone through apple in the first place ($250).

    so for one your paying money for no reason, unless of course your phone is lost or stolen, in which you have to pay $450 to replace an 8gb model iphone. So $14x24 = $336 + premium $450 = $786.. You can almost buy an 8gb model for that much. And if you never lose your phone than you have been ripped off $336..

    Hope you now know to cancel your warranty.

      I confused here,

      are we talking about warranty or insurance? because i think a few people are getting confused.

      Optus sells insurance at $14 mouth,not warranty.
      yes there is an excess, but thats the same with any insurance policy.

      if a customer of optus smashes their iPhone and they are paying for insurance, then for $250 they can receive a brand new iphone...simple as that.

      insurance = fault due to customer
      warranty = fault due to manufacture

      all iPhones are covered by a 12mth warranty

      if you want your phone cover for a full 2 years
      then you have to pay an extra $50 in the first mouth of you 24mth contracted.

      also note that the only phones sold by optus that have a 24mth warranty are blackberrys. no other phone on the market come with a 24th warrany period (unless you pay for it).

        Ed,
        Yes I meant their insurance but I had warranty in my head due to above comments.. it is still a scam..

        My gf smashed her iphone.. she has the insurance under Optus but they said it will cost us $250 and take around 2+ weeks to be replaced.. this is the same price as what apple store charges to replace your iphone in the first place and their replacement is instant.

        Soo.. their is no reason to pay optus an insurance fee for your phone when Apple itself will just replace the phone to begin with. And I was trying to note that if you pay for insurance over a 24month period and include the $450 replacement fee if you lost your phone, then you would have almost payed off a new iphone in the first place.

        What I am trying to say is Optus iphone insurance is a scam but if it is not, please explain.

        This is true. I see it every day and it is disgusting. They are charging extra per month for insurance. If somebody takes a phone in, they refer them to Apple firstly, telling them it will be 'cheaper', and if the customer refuses they replace the phone, $250 excess, which exceeds Apples replacement price, and they are still only receiving a refurbished iPhone.

      @Keat,

      No I didn't take up the insurance. I was talking about warranty. It was $9/month for only 12 months (not 24) and it covered the phone in case it was faulty.

      If I lose it or smash it, it's my fault.

      And by the way, the outright cost of the phone was over $800.

    I would presume statutory warranty would be able to cover the 2nd year's warranty, with the cost of the iPhone i would expect at least 2 to 3 years coverage of under SW (though it may be a pain to get it enforced).

    God! Sorry Angus. Allow me to rephrase, then...

    PS: BTW, Angus – I do agree you’ve been a bit anti-Apple of late. What gives? Your brother was more pro when he was writing for AMW... ;)

    HELLO I BROUGHT MY IPHONE 16 GB....I AM PRETTY PISSED OFF.FIRST I HAD DRAMAS WITH MY OLD IPHONE IT BROKE AFTER FALLING.TOOK IT TO THE ROCKHAMPTON OPTUS STORE GOT IT SENT AWAY THEY RECON IT WAS WET I TOLD THEM WHAT HAD HAPPEN TOLD THEM HOW I HAD TO GO BACK TO LOOK FOR MY PHONE SIM CARRIER.OPTUS ENDED UP DOING A FREE UPGRADE I WAS VERY MAD.ANY WAY I AM NOW TALKING ABOUT MY FREE UP GRADE PHONE I TOOK IT TO THE ROCKHAMPTON STORE I HAVE THE INSURANCE.I GAVE THE OPTUS STORE MY IPHONE AND RECEPT PROOF OF PURCHASE SO FAR IT HAS BEEN AWAY FOR 1 MONTH AND 3 WEEK WE HAVE BEEN TO THE STORE 7 TIMES BEN THE GUY THAT TOOK MY PHONE LOST THE PAPER WORK AND THE PHONE AFTER EASTER STILL HASNT BEEN FIXED.THIS PHONE IS LIKE NEW THE INTURNAL SPEAKER HAS FAILED ON A BRAND NEW OUT OF THE BOX FOR A WEEK IPHONE.AND YES OPTUS CAN SIGN A CONTRACT BUT CANT GET A PHONE FIXED ITS BULLSHIT.NOW ON TUESDAY I HAVE TO GO BACK IN WITH THE BROKEN PHONE AND GET THEM TO FAX CANNONVALE WHERE I BROUGHT THE PHONE BECAUSE THEY LOST MY PAPER WORK.GRRRRRRRRRRRRR WHAT A LOAD OF [email protected]#KING AROUND I HATE IPHONE 4 AND I HATE OPTUS

      COOL STORY BRO!

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