Thursday, 14 April 2011

Know your Consumer Rights!!!

Good afternoon Citizens of the world.

As I previously wrote, ignorance is definitely not bliss!

On the 27th March 2011, my very expensive 14 month old Apple Macbook Pro decided to take early retirement. Apple! The one gadget range I was told supposedly lasts a lifetime; just quit working; after 14 months!

Apparently, its ailment is it needs a new logic board, which, for all you PC users out there means it needs the equivalent of a Mother board.

Well, that was a blow to the Apple reputation as far as I am concerned. I'd only switched to Apple Mac because I'd heard nothing but wonderful things about it from a very good friend of mine, and I've never had much luck with computers in general.
So, the logic was make a greater investment for a better product that is more durable in the long run. How wrong could I be.

Here's my story so far and it comes with a warning for all Euriopean consumers. My warning is: "Know your consumer rights!" because as I wrote yesterday, ignorance definitely is not bliss; especially when it could potentially cost you a small fortune.

So, the laptop broke down on the 27th. On the 31st March 2011 it was handed over to the only authorised Apple Care centre in madeira. The person who kindly took the laptop in for repairing was quoted 498 Euros (including VAT.) At this time, I was in the United Kingdom, so I decided to give Apple (Ireland) a call and ask for confirmation of my date of purchase and issues regarding the guarantee.

The unhelpful person I spoke to informed me that without the serial number of my laptop, he could not answer any questions. But, he was very quick to say that my one year warranty would have expired and that it would be very expensive to replace the logic board.

Yesterday was the 13th April 2011 and I still have no laptop. It still hasn't been repaired. But, and here it gets interesting, I was having a conversation with a friend who informed me that all articles purchased within the European Union come under a 2 year Garantee and that I shouldn't be paying a penny for the laptop to be fixed; regardless of my Apple warranty having expired after 12 months.

So today, 14th April 2011, with another very good friend, I had the opportunity of speaking to the manager of the Consumer Rights Association in Funchal. Low and behold, and to my complete delight and amazement, it's true!

Any product purchased within the European Union has an automatic consumer protection warranty of 2 years, which means that if our beloved goods break down before the 24 months is up, we DO NOT PAY to have it repaired; regardless of whether the manufacturer only issues a 12 month guarantee!

This little snippet of information saved me a whopping 498€. Yet, nobody I'd "professionally" spoken to was willing to inform me of my rights.; especially Apple. I understand though that it is not within their best economical interest.

This is the "nutshell" version quoted online and it's available for all of us to know:

<<...a two year guarantee applies for the sale of all consumer goods everywhere in the EU (Directive 1999/44/EC). In some countries, this may be more, and some manufacturers also choose to offer a longer warranty period.>>

I'd recommend anyone, anywhere in the world to check their rights as a consumer.

Going back to the Apple Care, I was stunned into silence today when I learned that Apple Ireland sent Madeira two, not one, but yes TWO faulty replacement logic baords! Hence the reason why my laptop hasn't been fixed. How is this possible? How can a company that is reputedly one of the best in the world send faulty parts to their Care centres?

So, here I am still computerless, a little better off because I won't have to pay for any repairs, a little richer in knowledge about my rights as a consumer ... and wait for it ... if Apple don't return my fixed laptop to me within 30 days, I will be entitled to a complete refund or a new computer. Roll on May the 2nd!

Be informed, be aware and be safe!

No comments: