Here’s Why Apple’s Websites Might Be Blocked in Belgium
Belgium may block all Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) websites in an effort to hammer home its laws regarding warranties. A Belgian judge is considering ordering all local IPSs to block Apple websites in order to protect consumers, VentureBeat reports.
Belgium has been part of a long-running argument regarding Apple’s promotion of its AppleCare warranties. The European Union requires that tech retailers like Apple provide a minimum two-year free warranty on their consumer electronic goods. Apple, which does provide two years of free warranty in the EU in order to comply with regulations, only informs its customers that it will provide one year of free warranty and then encourages its customers to choose the option to buy an extended warranty called AppleCare, which EU customers might not even need.
Last year, Belgium had enough. A consumer protection group, the Federal Public Service Economy, filed suit against Apple, claiming that the company was misinforming its customers, per 9to5Mac.
The Belgian magistrate is considering blocking Apple websites in the country as a way of “protecting” its consumers from purchasing items they are not properly informed about, although the final decision is being stalled due to the complications the move would create for Belgium’s Apple users who regularly access services like iCloud and iTunes.
Apparently, this isn’t the first time that Apple has run into trouble in Europe. In Italy, AppleCare packages were pulled off the shelves and the country levied fines against the company to the tune of almost $1.5 million. The case was finally settled when Apple agreed to change its websites related to its warranty policies in the EU.
EU law provides protection against any fault that occurs within two years of purchase. Faults that occur within that timeframe are presumed to be the fault of the retailer and present at the time of sale unless the company can prove otherwise.
Apple has also faced similar pressures in Australia and has since upped warranties on its products there from one year to two years, VentureBeat reports.