AppleCare

I bought a new iPad directly from Apple a few days ago, (my invoice dates from the 21st of July), having it delivered by post. Today I get 2 emails, one says the iPad will be delivered on the 28th of July, the other says my free 7 days of Apple Care run out on the 28th of July. Not useful. On enquiry the Apple rep says that sorry, but Apple care starts on the day of sale, and government regulations mean there is nothing they can do.
What a disgrace.

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Welcome to the Community @ruedi

You should ask them to cite the specific government regulation. That sounds dodgy or worse, clearly a fob off and an unfair term from my view, and Apple policy rather than any regulation prohibiting them from offering a more fair term.

I would suggest you write a formal Letter of Complaint to Apple but the time for that to turn around is often weeks so not helpful.

Contact the call centre again or stop at an Apple Store if there is one convenient and advise the agent that (it appears to be) is an unfair contract term according to the Australian Consumer Law and because Apple sold the product but did not deliver it until 28 July, the free Applecare should start on 28 July. If they cannot adjust the start date you will necessarily make a formal complaint to your state Fair Trading organisation.

A basic issue many face is that when something is free by whatever measure, it is not a purchase, so it is not a crisp issue. Companies offering ‘free’ can often do whatever with ‘free’.

Fair Trading will probably not be helpful but the reference often jogs Apple into action.

Please let us know what you do and how it goes. A last option would be, if the T&C of your purchase allows, is to return the unopened iPad for a full refund.

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Hi @ruedi, welcome to the community. While I empathise with your predicament, the advice I have won’t be what you are possibly after.

Warranties and the Australian Consumer Guarantee start from the time of purchase, which in your case this is the 21 July 2022.

Looking online, the complementary 7 day AppleCare (all AppleCare) starts from the time of purchase (no differently to warranties or the Australian Consumer Guarantee). So the 7 day complementary AppleCare also started on the 21 July 2022. This is reasonable, like that for warranties/consumer guarantees.

As it is a free addition (‘gift’) to the purchase, Apple can chose the conditions associated with its provision…such as being valid 7 days from purchase.

There won’t be any government regulations. It will come under conditions of sale. As you would have agreed to the complementary 7 day AppleCare commencing from the day or purchase, there is little you will be able to do. Unfortunately if you try and challenge Apple’s stance, they will point to the conditions of sale associated with the complementary 7 day AppleCare and advise that you accepted these conditions and should have been aware that delivered goods (namely not those purchased and picked up in store) would have additional timeframes which you would have been aware of on purchase.

It is also worth noting a 7 day delivery timeframe wouldn’t be unreasonable, unless you specifically paid for and requested an express/fast type delivery. If you did pay for such a delivery, you may have grounds to request refund of the delivery fees as this part wasn’t honoured by Apple.

If you plan to return the product for a refund, this will come under a change of mind. Apples change of mind policy will apply and returning for a refund will only be possible if you meet the associated conditions. It is worth reading this as it has time limitations and other prescriptive conditions which must be complied with.

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While this option I suggest isn’t AppleCare, have you considered adding your phone to your Home Contents Insurance? Even more so adding Accidental Damage Coverage for contents? This may be a cheaper option than paying for ongoing AppleCare (a monthly or yearly amount is payable). For iPhone 13 versions AppleCare+ is around $12 a month to help in comparing value of insurance coverage.

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Thanks PhilT, very helpful, will get stuck into them asap

Re other posts, a (say) 1 year warranty with a 2 week delivery variation is not quite the same as a 7 day promotion with a 7 day delivery so the promotion expires before the product is in hand; but when something is ‘free’ the company can do whatever it wants.

Good luck - it is a long shot but nothing ventured.

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FWIW My recent experience:

19 May. Placed an order online for an iPad.

2 June. Invoice that payment had been received.

3 June. Notification that iPad was ready to be picked up.

6 June. iPad picked up from Apple store.

6 June. Email re: complimentary Apple Care would end on the 13th.

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This may be reasonable for the retailer/business?
It may not be reasonable in the eyes of the average consumer?
It is certainly not reasonable or fair in the eyes of this consumer.

It’s a poor argument that a warranty and other provisions start from the date of order, and not the date of receipt or delivery. In effect the seller gains through such an outcome at the expense of the purchaser, if that is indeed how the seller chooses to act. Thanks to @ruedi for raising this and @phb for suggesting this needs to be looked at more closely.

Hardly a fair deal, and something Choice needs to campaign for with the ACCC assuming that is in fact how it is, @BrendanMays. Perhaps the ACCC or other has clarified in previous decisions?

It is perhaps made worse if a retailer requires payment in full up front and does not deliver the goods until weeks, or with the current delays in supply months.

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In my case Apple asked for card details but did not withdraw payment from the bank account until iPad was in their store, ready to be picked up. And the free care did not start until I picked up the iPad on the 6th, 4 days after full payment.

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Warranties/consumer guarantees start from the date if purchase. AppleCare also starts from the day of purchase. I can’t see the issue and it is an established convention and has been accepted widely to be very reasonable. If you think it should be a later date (date it is received/date opened or first used), then this will be open to abuse and potentially unverifiable. Should warranty start 4 years after purchase as this is when a consumer alleges it is first used? Or how about the date of a birthday where the product was a gift? See what problems using a date other than date of purchase will cause.

The AppleCare was free/complementary and not purchased. Whether one thinks the 7 days complementary AppleCare is unreasonable is irrelevant. When one purchased the products, they are aware it is complementary (to get a ‘taste’ if the service with Apple hoping more customers will sign up and pay for the ongoing service) and also aware the complementary period starts from purchase. They are also aware delivery after purchase can take some time. If one specifically purchased the product only because if the 7 day complementary AppleCare offer, then they should have investigated its limitations (which is consistent with advice from the ACCC for other ‘free’ or cash back type offers) before purchase and seen how these limitations could be overcome to maximise the ‘free’ offer.

Thinking it is unreasonable is like purchasing a product which has a free offer, such as to win something, after the competition closes. Should a consumer think it is unreasonable and therefore get some sort if resolution…or compensation? It isn’t going to happen. Likewise with the AppleCare 7 day offer. Apple can nominate any conditions it choses in relation to the ‘free’ offer and a consumer needs to understand these if they wish to redeem. They can also cancel or change the ‘free’ offer at anytime.

If Apple only offered a 7 day manufacturers warranty for a purchased product or the consumer purchased a 7 day AppleCare package which expired before it could be practicably used, then this would be a different matter and would be seen as being unreasonable and would conflict with the Australian Consumer Law.

It appears that Apple uses a fairly standard method to establish the date of purchase. That being when it has left their (physical) possession…either in store when given to the customer or placed in the despatch area of a warehouse/store in readiness for collection by a freight carrier.

The same applies for items on back order. Say buying a product which is out of stock but will take a month to get store. While the product was ‘purchased’ a month earlier, the purchase date for warranty or consumer guarantee purposes is the date the product leaves the stores possession - a month later.

Most businesses provide a docket of some sort (generally an update of the original purchase order/invoice) dated with the collection date. Did Apple do this for you? Or the AppleCare email may have been the form Apple use since their website confirms it commences on the purchase date.

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There is NO PROBLEM with the dates here. Apple sent both the email saying the iPad is to arrive on the 28th and an email saying the free (btw nothing is free, we know that) Applecare would run out on that same day. i see nothing reasonable in that.

Please read the link in an earlier post about when AppleCare commences. It is from the date of purchase which was the 21 July 2022…and not from the day of delivery (28 July 2022). With complementary offers, one needs to understand the terms and conditions of the offers before taking the offer up. Such is consistent with the advice on the ACCC website.

If Apple didn’t provide the complementary 7 day AppleCare, then this is a different matter and would be seen as false or misleading advertising under the ACL. As they provided the offer from the date of purchase, and the consumer’s chosen delivery method resulted in the offer expiring before the product was received, then this falls outside the Australian Consumer Law.

While you may be disappointed that you missed the complementary 7 day AppleCare offer, the information about when it starts and also when the date of purchase is clear.

I also think it would be ‘nice’ for the AppleCare complementary offer to be longer, but in this case Apple made it clear it was (a short) 7 days from the purchase date which won’t suit all types of purchases or customers.

Did you pay an additional charge for the 7 days complementary AppleCare? If you did, then it would also be misleading as it was complementary/free offer when the product was purchased.

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From the Web it seem that the 7 days free coverage was brought about
Aus consumers laws warranty protection which calls for a pause between
‘Sale of a product and any add-on insurance for that product’.
Apple offers the free insurance from day one to cover that gap.
(And hoping that the insurance package would then be taken up, which would start at the end of the free period?)

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It sounds very like a money making exercise, trying to get more signups to AppleCare. The 7 days does sound like a stop gap for those sitting on the fence thinking about whether or not to take up the AppleCare service…rather than a meaningful AppleCare service and support. It extends the decision making period by 7 days. The 7 days may also allow for postage times etc.

@grahroll advice about adding it to contents insurance as a specified item might be a practicable solution and significantly cheaper.

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I agree. In my case it started when I picked up the device from the store,
in Ruedi’s when it was posted… I think that Ruedi’s would have been covered by AppleCare if anything happened during that week?

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A warranty could start on the date of sale without consequence for shipping time. If a product had a 1 year warranty and there was evidence it was not delivered for 3 weeks, that 3 weeks could easily be argued - eg 1 year from date of documented receipt under the ACL.

A free item or service might be taken as an incentive to purchase, although AppleCare probably does not fall into this category, but if an item is purchased with any form of incentive, that expired prior to product receipt, regardless of precedent or ‘how it is and always has been,’ it seems problematic to me.

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I think he meant that Aus government regulations don’t allow insurance to be offered on the day of sale: there must be a four day pause.
Seven days free Apple care starts from day one but it is an Apple promotion and sidesteps the regulations by being ‘free’.
(You are right that nothing is free, I love Apple products but I’m aware of ‘paying’ for it :laughing:)

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It can’t be argued under the ACL. The proof of purchase advice by the ACCC is clear it is based on the date of purchase, which includes the date of supply…

The date of supply is what @Gaby has indicated above as the date the goods are supplied and no longer in possession of the retailer…which would include the date the goods were despatched in the case of freighted goods. It doesn’t include the date that one received the goods.

The challenge with using the delivered date is often the delivery services is engaged by the customer, and the customer’s contractor is in control of the timeliness of the delivery. A business shouldn’t be responsible for timeliness of another party outside their control such as goods sitting for days/weeks/months in a freight company warehouse/Australia Post agency because of a failure to deliver waiting for collection by the customer. A business that controls the delivery is possibly captured by the ACL for timely delivery of services. This is different to a warranty or consumer guarantee.

I think you has hit the bull’s eye - the 7 days complementary AppleCare is to cover the stop gap period when goods are in transit (despatched from Apple but yet to be received by the customer)…to give some form of insurance cover.

Looking deeper, there is also other complementary support Apple provides in addition to AppleCare…

which includes assistance with setups, installations etc and dependent on the product purchased.

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By argue I intended that if the product failed 1 year and 1 weeks beyond the written warranty, it could be argued the ACL rights apply as a consumer guarantee. eg the customer had some protection.

If a promotional come on is lost because of design or misadventure, there is no ‘protection’; it is lost.

It is possible to look at T&C as they are as the litmus test for things, or to consider how it might be better. We each have our own way of looking at those issues.

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That occurs anyway and the consumer guarantee are rights defined by law and not necessarily prescriptive of time. 52 or 53 weeks will be irrelevant to a high end consumer product like Apple. Months or years will be a deciding times.

Notwithstanding this, a consumer can’t argue the purchase date is the date they received the product (even though the dates may be the same for retailer collected goods) This is inconsistent with the ACL.

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