We’ve come across a couple of recent examples of Apple employees telling consumers with faulty products that the Australian Consumer Law gives them a 2 year warranty on Apple products, and to get any more they should have bought an extended warranty (which is incorrect).
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
Yes. They used to do this and say it was only 12 months, however after an ACCC action they revised this to 24 months. If your apple product fails within 24 months they have an internal process to automatically approve the warranty. This is called an “ACL Claim”. This only applies to Apple products bought in Australia. If you bought it in any other country they instruct to refuse the claim over 12 months.
Notwithstanding the official policy, staff are “encouraged” to tell customers that there is no warranty after 12 months, and if the customer complains or mentions acl they are told to say something along the lines of “even though the product is out of warranty Apple values you as a customer so out of goodwill we will make an exception this time”. Basically using the ACCC loss they fought against to pretend they have the customers best interests at heart.
Anyone who knows ACL knows that an expensive apple product (which is priced at a premium in the market) should last longer than 2 years, and if you push you should be able to get them to issues a “CS Code exception” and still have your product repaired under warranty.
Incidentally, you have to be wary of replacements from Apple. Even if your new product is doa, or dies within a week or 2 there’s a good chance you will receive a refurbished product as a replacement. These can be over 12 months old! So it’s very important that you insist on a boxed sealed replacement from new stock if you have a doa or relatively early failure.
Thanks @DrSpock, appreciate the tips on the protocol codes here too.
In regards to Apple providing refurbished items as “replacement” under warranty, a court in Holland ruled at the end of April that “Refurbished or remanufactured” devices can’t be supplied as warranty replacements - https://9to5mac.com/2017/04/25/can-apple-provide-a-refurbished-remanufactured-ipad-under-warranty-netherlands-holland/
Honestly, total new replacement instead of refurb/remanu device is something we should have as a protected right here, in addition to the devices not having an absurdly tiny warranty period for how flipping expensive they can be for “quality”.
Replacing an item bought new with a refurbish one is like saying “Oh, that thing you bought new from us broke on you because we cheaped out on parts and overcharged you? Here, have a pre-owned thing that’ll probably die on you within 3 months and without warranty to cover such an event!”
My pair of EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SC+ GAMING ACX 2.0+ purchased in early/mid-2016 each come with a 3-year warranty that EVGA will honour through early/mid-2019 if something goes wrong with them, even if I replace the stock aircooling heatsink/fan setup with waterblocks from a company such as EKWB (who themselves have a 2 years limited international warranty on the waterblocks), as long as I reinstall the original aircooling parts before shipping the cards to EVGA for the RMA process under warranty.
Now, I can understand that if they see fit to give me a replacement card under warranty through the RMA, it has the possibility of being either old stock from the warehouse that didn't manage to be sold before the new cards came out, or it might be a pre-used card that they had open for testing or as a review sample (sometimes reviewers get to keep the samples, other times they are returned), but it is highly unlikely that EVGA would send out a 'refurb' card that had been traded in as part of an upgrade process (eg: the 900-series to 1000-series promotion EVGA ran when the GTX 1080/Titan X (2016) launched) due to their internal quality standards (cards traded in are likely to have been heavily used and possibly abused by their owners prior to trade-in, thus cutting some life off of them depending on how they were taken card of).
The other possibly option EVGA might provide if they are unable to directly replace my RMA'd card with a new one of the same make and model, is (as part of consumer reputation) offer to replace it with a card from a new series of the same place in the GPU's family (eg: replace a dead 980 Ti for a fresh 1080 Ti) for some value of the difference in price between the cards (either launch price, or current retail prices for the cards).
I generally agree that the use of refurb parts is not acceptable, but only to a point. If they are replacing the item after a few years I feel that a refurb part is acceptable. I think there should be a minimum period where you are guaranteed new replacement, and I feel that the supplier should be required to disclose whether you are receiving a refurb or not (rather than just hiding behind the compulsory repair notice).
I think there would be more outrage/pushback from customers if they knew they were receiving refurb items for near new purchases.
There is a counter argument to refurb parts that one does not have to agree with, and the legal system does not but.
If you have a 100% new part it has been tested. Sometimes the test itself is enough to degrade or cause a premature failure if the part is marginal to begin with. The new part could last days or forever. Most people are comfortable with new because it is new, and because most things have DOA return/replace, no hassles, and things are normally reliable.
OTOH, a refurb could be a working part harvested from a product that had a failure unrelated to that part, which has now been burnt in for reliability and tested, or it could be a part that had failed, was repaired and tested, OR never properly repaired because they only fix the symptom and rarely if ever look for the underlying cause. For example a bad power supply could keep damaging various electronics and the electronics will be replaced/repaired but the power supply problem will never be noticed while the product will continue to fail. (This is often the real problem with single unreliable TVs - they will keep changing out a failed module but the power supply will keep damaging them.)
Luck of the draw, a refurb part might be as good or better than a new one but sometimes pretty ordinary or worse.
After many years of dealing with large exotic systems I found the best outcome for contract price and performance (reliability) was letting the supplier repair with whatever he wanted, as long as it was warranted as if new. Catching the real problem when it wasn’t the symptomatic one was achieved by requiring any unit be replaced if it had a repetitive fault in an FRU (field replaceable unit, eg the replaceable part); that would catch a faulty power supply, for example.
It would be interesting if this method could be applied to consumer goods.