Apple offers refunds to Australian iPad owners
March 27, 2012
Australian owners of the "new" iPad are being offered full refunds by Apple after the country's consumer watchdog found Apple had misled customers as to the device's 4G capabilities in the region. Though Telstra offers a 4G network in Australia, the frequencies used by Apple's third-generation device (700 MHz and 2100 MHz) are incompatible with this service.
The problem is that Apple specifically marketed the device as "iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G", which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said gave Australian customers the impression that the device "can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case."
The ACCC says it wrote to Apple a day before launch to raise its concerns with the marketing of the new iPad, which it now claims contravenes sections 18, 29(1)(a), 29(1)(g) and 33 of the Australian Consumer Law. It is now pressing for stickers to be placed on all packaging - a move resisted by Apple. However, Apple has agreed to email customers offering a full refund, and will clarify 4G capabilities at the point of sale. We'll be interested to see what, precisely, the latter involves.