Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Morning Brief - Belgian edition: Watchdog group files complaint about Apple Care; Le Soir updates tablet edition

It seems like the Belgians like to stay in the news. Just last month Belgian newspapers were fighting with Google over search results and linking to newspaper content – that was settled with a few dollars passed on to the newspapers, but without any real changes initiated.

Now the Belgian consumer watchdog group, Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats, has filed a complaint against Apple. The issue revolves around Apple Care, the warranty and service agreement offered on Apple products. The complaint (in Dutch) states that the care package does not conform to European law because a two year agreement must be offered on Apple products free of charge – so only after that period of time would Apple care be warranted.

The complaint states that since March of last year Test-Aankoop has been pushing Apple to comply with the two-year requirement but that "Apple remained deaf to the demands of Test-Aankoop." In its complaint the Belgian group mentions a similar dispute with Italian authorities that led to penalties against Apple.

"The commercial practices of Apple were found to be misleading. Apple by the Italian competition authorities on 21-12-2011 sentenced to pay € 900,000 and was obliged to the consumer on their contractual legal warranty and guarantees to change. Apple appealed against this decision, but the decision of the competition authority was confirmed on June 6, 2012."
Meanwhile, Belgian newspapers continue to work with Apple. Today Le Soir issued an app update for its tablet edition found inside the Apple Newsstand.

The app is a reformatted version of the newspaper's website with PDF versions of the two editions of the newspaper available for purchase. The update now allows the app to automatically refresh the PDF versions of the paper and fixes bugs tied to the subscription process.

More from Belgium: Apparently Belgium has quite a violence problem – or Ann Coulter seems to think so. According to the Fox News commentator "if you compare while populations, we have the same murder rate as Belgium," Coulter says. "So perhaps it's not a gun problem, it is a demographic problem– which liberals are pushing, pushing, pushing, let's get more Colin Fergusons, and more whoever the guy was who shot up Fort Hood."