The Australian Consumer Law was passed in January of 2011, with one of the major stipulations being that companies must provide customers with a "reasonable" warranty period for products. For expensive items like computers, a period of two years is suggested. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Apple has increased the standard warranty on its products to two years to comply with the law, but is telling retail employees to not discuss those changes with customers.
The newspaper obtained an email from an Australian Apple retail store instructing staff not to talk about the new warranty with customers. In some cases, Australian customers who request repair or replacement for an item outside of the normal one-year Apple warranty end up paying for the support if they didn't purchase AppleCare.
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe was interviewed by the newspaper, and he agreed that electronic devices like Apple's products fall under the two-year "reasonable period." Stowe was quoted as saying that it was "rather surprising and disingenuous" for Apple Store managers to be instructing employees not to tell customers about the two-year warranties. "To instruct your staff to not let people know [about the change] is something that seems of quite concern and I don't understand why they wouldn't want to be upfront about it," said Stowe.
The new warranties are effective for iOS devices as of today, and will apply to Macs within two weeks. Australian consumers should be sure to be informed of their rights under the Australian Consumer Law before considering the purchase of AppleCare Protection Plans.
[via Apple Insider]