Commerce Commission gives Apple warning after finding it 'likely' misled customers

The Commerce Commission has given a stern warning to tech giant Apple after finding it "likely" misled customers over replacement rights.

A person stands near the Apple logo at the company's store in Grand Central Terminal, in New York. Source: 1 NEWS

The Commission said it was concerned Apple had not met its obligations under the Consumer Guarantees Act and the Fair Trading Act after customers were told Apple would not repair non-Apple items sold by them.

"We consider that Apple is likely to be misleading consumers by trying to exclude its liability for non-Apple banded products," Commissioner Anna Rawlings said.

"It is natural that many retailers may wish to liaise with manufacturers to assess and remedy product defects but they must not point blank refuse to address consumer complaints and refer consumers exclusively to manufacturers for attention.

"If this behaviour is continuing, we recommend you take immediate action to address our concerns and seek legal advice about complying with the Fair Trading Act."

Ms Rawlings said Apple had also told some customers the products they sold to them were covered by consumer protection laws for a period of two years after the sale - under the Consumer Guarantees Act companies cannot stipulate an expiry period for the protection.

It was reported in January that Apple had revenue of $811m in New Zealand, and pre-tax profits of almost $30m.