Offbeat

Apple, Proposing a Refund to Unhappy Australian Customers

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Apple’s new iPad boasts a Wi-Fi + connection, although it cannot access Australia’s existing 4G networks that uses an 1800 MHz frequency. Thus, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission plans to bring the Cupertino-based company to court. In response to this, company representatives revealed that they’re willing to offer refunds to buyers who think they were misled by 4G LTE connection advertisements.

ACCC Goes to Federal Court

The ACCC made an application to the Federal Court in Melbourne today, stating that Apple misled its Australian customers with their new iPad’s 4G advertisements. Although the latest tablet features 4G LTE on some carriers in North America, it’s not compatible with Australia’s 1800 MHz 4G network. Thus, the ACCC wants “injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected” by the Cupertino-based company.

According to the commission’s statement:

“The ACCC alleges that Apple’s recent promotion of the ‘new iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G’ is misleading because it represents to Australian customers that the product ‘iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G’ can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case.”

ACCC also wants Apple to ensure that consumers “are made aware of the correct technical capabilities” of Apple’s latest tablet.

What Apple has to Say

In response to the commission’s appeal, Apple’s legal representative Paul Anastassiou revealed that the company is proposing to offer refunds to Australian consumers who think they were misled into thinking that the new iPad works on the country’s 4G network. He also shared that they’re willing to post disclaimers on websites and retail stores, informing customers that the new iPad is incompatible with the 4G networks in Australia.

However, the senior counsel told the court that the country’s high-speed connection were equivalent to overseas 4G networks by international standards, and that they should not be bound by the definition of Australian telecom company Telstra.

 

On March 16, Australia was one of the first ten countries to receive the new iPad, together with US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Switzerland. It reached a record of 3 million units sold, just three days after it was launched. ACCC lawyer Colin Golvan said that the commission has expressed its concerns to the company, a day before the new iPad was released. They are hoping for a trial with Apple sometime in April.

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