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My iPhone 4's button has stopped working properly. I went to the apple shop today to get it repaired, and was told I had to pay £119 as it was 22 months old and outside of the one year warranty. I then asked why it was not covered for a two year warranty due to EU law enforcing this, which then turned into a pointless argument of the guy at the genius bar continually saying "we only cover a one year warranty" in which I gave up and left. I just do not understand however if I am right or wrong - should it have been covered?

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2 Answers 2

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This is a legal question, not a technical one BUT... the EU 'law' you are referring to is the European Directive 1999/44/EC. In the UK, the Sale of Goods Act meets or exceeds most of the directive's requirements, overriding the directive. The bottom line is, you are almost surely covered, do check what the Sales of Good Act says, see if these chaps chan help you

and be ready to stir up as much trouble as you can. I once had to deal with a faulty screen in a new MBP, I did complain, they guys at Apple were not helpful, I kept complaining, calmly (you cannot ever lose it in these situations, because you give the opponent an excuse to stop dealing with you) and after 30 minutes the manager basically rolled belly up and did what I told him he had to do all along. Be prepared to ask to talk to mangers etc, and take note of times and names.

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I disagree about stirring up trouble. I've seen people bend over backwards to help anyone who is reasonable and doesn't turn every little event into a drama filled bully fest. I also disagree that a problem that arises at 22 months after purchase is "almost surely covered" since my reading of the Sale of Goods act intends to cover consumers that "have to be able to show there was something wrong with the goods at the time of sale." and that a fault at 22 months isn't wear and tear. I could imagine someone with a phone that is in rough shape at 22 months and would need a paid repair. – bmike Aug 13 at 15:31
The European directive specifies that, if the fault happens within 12 month from the sale, it is for the seller to prove the good is fit for purpose, if the fault happens between months 13 and 24 from the sale is for the buyer to prove the good is not fit for purpose and the flaw is covered by warranty. In my experience sellers do not bend over backwards to help, and the need a robust reminder of their legal duties, which has to be calm and polite, but relentless. It is a condition of sale they have to respect, and they should not be allowed to wriggle out of it even if they try – user1256923 Aug 14 at 7:07
In addition, the directive expects goods to be working properly for at least 24 month -- thus the fact the phone was 22 month is irrelevant if the flaw was ones covered by statutory warranty. – user1256923 Aug 14 at 7:09
Sounds like we're far more in agreement than not. Cheers and thanks for the added explanations. I missed those extra guideline terms when I was researching this. – bmike Aug 14 at 7:14

I would add, that Apple has stepped up in linking to consumer rights as well as their standard warranty.

Getting into an argument with store staff only weakens your case, since any reasonable person would back off and just ask for facts and what the person can do for them.

Even if you feel Apple is perfect and always does right by their customer, expecting the staff there to advise you on your rights seems like asking the fox to explain hen house access rules.

I would read up on what Apple says their policy is and if you feel a staff member isn't meeting that agreement, politely ask to get a second person to confirm that you don't have options in the store to get assistance.

You would be better off consulting a local consumer protection group or lawyer if you really feel your consumer rights are not being respected by any company.

A layman reading of the UK consumer rights is you need to contact the exact seller and not Apple Service to exercise your consumer rights instead of the 1 year Apple Warranty. From those rights:

Any defect or non-conformity of goods with the contract which becomes apparent within 6 months of delivery are presumed to have existed at the time of delivery. After the expiry of this 6 month period, the burden to prove that the defect or non-conformity of goods with the contract existed on delivery generally shifts to the consumer.

So, if you push it, you might have to prove you didn't damage the button if you don't request service for a button that was defective on initial purchase. Apple's warranty is actually more consumer friendly IMO than your consumer rights in this case so seeking service at 22 months looks like Apple was legally and technically correct to explain to you that they only perform warranty service at the genius bar and that you have exhausted that period where it's Apple's responsibility to perform service under warranty.

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