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back to article Apple tweaks T&Cs for Blighty customers

Apple has agreed to rejig its terms and conditions to make them "clearer and fairer" for UK consumers, after the Office of Fair Trading raised concerns about them. The OFT confirmed in a statement this morning that it had identified a number of areas where the Mac, iPod and iPhone vendor's contracts of agreement with its …


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Jobs Halo

Distance Selling

Does this mean I can buy a tune on itunes and then return it within 7 days then?



The cooling off period and right to cancel do not apply to contracts for:

• goods made to the customer's specification;

• perishable goods (flowers, fresh food);

• CDs, DVDs, and tapes with software, audio or video if unsealed;

• newspapers and magazines;

• betting, gaming and lotteries

Thumb Up

no longer exclude liability for faulty or mis-described goods

I'm surprised they did this. I thought that they* normally say that what they sold you was a license, and that there was nothing wrong with the license that they sold you. The fact that the license is for something that is faulty doesn't matter. The license is still fine.

Also since the license includes software, it would be impossible to give you a refund, don't you know.

*They not being limited to Apple at all, but all software companies.

Gates Horns

In the name of accuracy

"The move comes a few months after Apple was accused of attempting to gag a traumatised iPod user from Liverpool, whose MP3 player burst into flames after being dropped."

Actually, it was thrown.

Jobs Halo

Prompt filtering down

I just had my Time Capsule replaced, despite it being out-of-warranty, after quoting the law at Apple regarding Sale of Goods. Actually good customer service!

Bad Steve for taking so long to comply but now Good Steve...



I wonder if the EU mandated 24 month minimum warranty will be nforced at the same time as O2 only offer 12 months as they allege that Apple refuses to do the full 24 months. I do not know its true, but I have seen many people refused replacements or repairs on iPhones just over 12 months with the member of Apple store staff lying through their teeth that "it doesn't apply as Apple have proven the EU rules don't apply". Somehow I doubt it ..... unless it appears in writing.

Silver badge

@ Individual #6/42

Re: faulty Time Capsules

Did you have one of the original ones which has died a death - and if so, did they replace it with one of the new models?

'Cos if so, I think I might try that with my Apple Store who've been promising me a replacement Mark I TC for nearly 2 weeks now, but singularly failing to get their fingers out.

Jobs Horns

Suck on statute (and caselaw) Apple!

Honestly if Apple particularly were compelled by direct order from above, to respect the Sale Of Goods Act (SOGA), with customers en masse, they wouldn't know what had hit them. This is because their super-premium pricing makes them particularly vulnerable to claims under SOGA where due to product failure post-warranty, customers might well and rightly feel that one or two grand entitles them to five years or more worth of computer. As it stands that's what you're entitled to at these prices.

From the unwritten to the written policies, really it comes as no surprise that their Ts&Cs are mean as hell and in contravention of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations. But I'm heartened to hear the OFT weren't going to overlook it. Consumer protection in the UK is actually awesome - but consumers aren't aware of their rights, and companies, even supposedly nice ones, such as Apple, or, say, John Lewis, take the piss completely. The latter all play a nasty game and it's called British Retail Today.

@ewan 3 - no, the Distance Selling Regulations specifically exclude goods where they're just made of data, e.g. digital downloads - PROVIDING they have been accurately described and so on (although the latter kind of thing would be covered by other statutes such as SOGA). So you can't send back that song you don't like I'm afraid. Have you tried listening on Spotify first?


Good service in my experience

I give Apple good marks for service in Switzerland and England.

1. I misused a USB port on my PowerBook in the last month of its guarantee. No details, but I rather think it was my foolishness that did it and said so to the Apple people. They made no remark, simply replaced the whole mother board and charged me NOTHING.

2. With the device by now eighteen months old, no applicable guarantee, I got the oft reported cracked plastic case, where the small, raised notch on the lid touches the case when the lid is closed (I suspect I had been shutting it with a bit too much enthusiasm). Before I finished explaining, the technician told me they replace it gratis, no questions asked and that in one or two cases they had had to do this two or three times. (I note the absence of the offending notches on the new, white MacBooks)

Everyone I know with an Apple machine who has had to get some service (most have had no need) is content with it. So, perhaps most of the moaners are unlucky or just those kinds of people who seem always to have problems with things they buy, people they employ, jobs ....

So, I do not know about Apple's conditions in detail; but I am more than happy with their practice.


re: Warranty

The written warranty is only the promise of the retailer over and above the key part of their contract with you - the latter is implied by the the Sale of Goods Act. It gives you powerful rights if you've bought even a moderately costly item. And it doesn't just 'run out' after the 1 year warranty. This is the one really fascinating part of contract law - and not many people know about it.

Even if you sign in blood, as a consumer, something promising that you agree you have no rights post-warranty, that is normally what's called a 'void exclusion clause' - as is if the retailer attempts to tell you anything which might exclude your rights under SOGA - such as 'oh it's out of warranty'... IF you've not just bought a dead cheap item - it depends on the price. Consumer Direct are the ones to go to for advice on these things. There are incredibly powerful statutes protecting UK consumers, such as the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations - but not many folk know about them.

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