Saturday, March 4, 2017

Let's make Apple Inc. respect consumer rights!

I started a petition to ask attention for Apple not respecting consumer rights worldwide. I would appreciate if you could give this a go, sign the petition and spread the word!

Apple Inc. is violating consumer rights worldwide. While many countries require Apple to guarantee the proper functioning of its products for a period of at least two years, Apple still maintains a limited one year warranty period, and makes its customers believe they need to buy an expensive AppleCare plan, which adds as much as 25% to the already high price of its products. For instance, EU laws grant consumers a free of charge, two-year guarantee, which means that AppleCare effectively adds only one year of coverage, rendering the plan prohibitively expensive.

In addition, Apple rejects claims of guarantee with respect to repairs and parts on products it has chosen to declare 'vintage'. For instance, a consumer claim for a MacBook Pro logic board replacement (EUR 700) which lasted little longer than one year was rejected, for the reason that, by that time, the original MacBook Pro was more than five years old. This is illegal in most countries.
Apple happily provides notes to consumer laws, while, in practice, these laws are rarely respected, if ever, by Apple, its service providers and its resellers. Instead, Apple challenges its customers to sue them if they do not agree, trusting that the bulk of its customers do not have the resources to do so, while local authorities lack the drive to effectively take action.

To sum it up, Apple willfully violates the rights of consumers, leaves them ignorant about their rights, and manipulates its customers and local authorities worldwide into paying prohibitively high prices for its products and services. This must stop now!

(the petition can be found at

Friday, March 3, 2017

Call the police! - postscript

Two months after filing my complaint on Apple and accomplishes (see Call the police!) I decided to inquired about its status; I did so against my better judgment. The girl who answered the phone did not have the guts to answer me, and muttered about the complexity of the case. The person who handled my case would contact me.

The response came through email. It mainly referred to the standard letter which had reduced my original complaint to civil law, and although the sender of the email was the same girl who had filed my addendum, she conveniently avoided mentioning its existence. When I reminded her about the addendum she jotted down a quick email response. An official letter was obviously too much to ask.

She wrote me that I had accepted the replacement logic board, and should have complained right after the repair. Also, there was no way I could prove that a new logic board would have lasted longer than the patched up version I had received. So, this was not about criminal law, and I better ask attention for this case with the Dutch Consumentenbond or the tv show Tros Radar.

The response not only completely ignores the fact that a limitation period of twelve years applies to fraud, it also suggests that criminal law applies only if it can be proven that the victim was better off if the crime had never been committed. So, I can safely kill my 90-year old mother, as we will never know how many years the Good Lord had had in mind for her, and it is okay to rape a girl, as long as she cannot prove she would have been happier without rapist. This line of reasoning completely and utterly reduces criminal law to civil law, and shifts the burden of proof to the thin shoulders of the victim. In addition, as a sad case of economism it reduces each and every aspect of quality of life to monetary quantity. Also, it shifts the burden of solving cases like this from the police to institutions which are notorious for being only interested in audience ratings and magazine circulations.

It might be that it is just the Emmeloord girls of the police district Flevoland of unit Midden-Nederland who are incompetent, ignorant, lazy and, in one case, rude, but I am afraid these are the symptoms of a broader trend which has kicked off decades ago. It is one of the reasons I believe this country is completely lost.

I will bring this issue under the attention of the Public Prosecution Service, and give them a fair chance to sort this out. I will report about its progress, or lack of it, in this blog.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Shall I compare thee to a hand grenade?

One of our still lifes in art schools featured a pomegranate. I will never forget the face of my painting teacher when I addressed the fruit as 'a pomegrenade': "A WHAT?".

I had assumed that if it looks like a grenade, is written in Dutch like a grenade, it will be pronounced as such: not. The English 'pomegranate' comes from the Latin 'pomum granatum', or apple with many seeds.

Later I learnt the link between the two was not really far-fetched: in the old days, the explosives were named after the fruit, because they looked the same.  So, if your pomegranate has a pin, throw it directly after you pull it out...