Apple Faces Retail Store Shutdowns in Italy Over Warranty Confusion

Apple may have to shut down its stores in Italy for 30 days, according to this BBC report. Apple's troubles stem from warranties and disclosing them properly to customers in Italy – a problem that earned them a 900,000 euros fine in late 2011. Instead of that standard warranty, Apple has been telling customers about its own paid-for service contract.

Apple's own warranty program is free for a year but can be extended to two years for a fee. The company tried to appeal the decision earlier this year, but that appeal was rejected in Italian court in May.

The biggest problem with the warranties – at least in the eyes of Italian authorities – is that the standard warranty and Apple's Apple Care program do not offer the same protection to customers; The standard Italian warranty means firms have to replace a product if it proves defective as soon as it is taken out of the box; Apple Care is for problems that may occur after the product has started to be used.

If Apple does not comply with Italian law, Italian authorities say that its stores and other operations in the country will be shut down for 30 days and Apple could face an additional fine of 300,000 euros.

In a statement to the BBC Apple said: "We've appealed the recent decision of the court as it was, in our view, based upon an incorrect interpretation of the law. We've introduced a number of measures to address the [Italian authorities'] concerns and we disagree with their latest complaint."

Source: BBC

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