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Apple Hit With Another Lawsuit Over AppleCare, This Time in Portugal

Apple is renowned for its marketing efficiency, but there are times when it seems to go to far: AppleCare for instance, is one example of this. The Cupertino company faces the second lawsuit in the last 12 months over its AppleCare Protection Plan. This time the lawsuit is in Portugal.

AppleCare Portugal
DECO, the Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection, announced its intentions to file a lawsuit against Apple recently. They are claiming that Apple mislead its customers into buying the add-on protection plan, AppleCare. It seems like Apple hasn’t heard about the European law, which says product defects are covered by a mandatory two years period. Apple will have to learn to follow this law, if it wants to continue doing business in the old continent.

Jorge Morgado, DECO’s Secretary General, points out that according to Portuguese law, a defect found within 24 months after the purchase, automatically presumes the defect was there at the time of delivery or sale. However, Apple tells its buyers that their warranty only applies to defects found at the time of the sale. This claim clearly suggests that Apple’s warranty doesn’t extend beyond the sale. Nevertheless if customers opt for AppleCare, for an additional fee, they can relax and have an additional two years of warranty coverage. Portuguese law does not allow for companies to misrepresent the mandated warranty.

This case is similar to what Apple faced several months ago in Italy over AppleCare. That lawsuit ended with a $1.2 million fine for the company, for unfair consumer practices. In that instance the Italian Antitrust Authority claimed something very similar to the Portuguese case. They claimed that Apple didn’t provide clear information to customers about product assistance and didn’t inform them about the no cost warranty covering each of its products, as mandated by EU law.

In the earlier case in Italy, the AppleCare suit was brought up by a government body, Italy’s Antitrust Authority. This latest case brought by the Portuguese DECO is a nonprofit group, so it is unclear if they will be able to seek damages like the Italian government did. [Via AppleInsider]

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