Apple Agrees to Settle FTC's Deceptive-Ad Complaint

Share this article:
Apple Computer Inc. has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that an ad campaign promising free technical assistance to customers was deceptive.

The "Apple Assurance" campaign, which ran from September, 1992, to April, 1996, and covered most of the company's hardware products, included a claim that Apple would provide free technical support for as long as the buyer owned the machine. However, the FTC alleges that the Cupertino, CA-based computer maker had been charging those customers $35 for access to technical support services.

As part of the proposed settlement, which does not constitute an admission that it violated any laws, Apple would reimburse all those customers who had been charged for technical support and would reinstate the free service. "Thousands" of customers are affected, sources said.

"For prospective purchasers of computer products, free access to live technical support is especially enticing," said Jodie Bernstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a prepared statement. "Companies that make such offers have to live up to their promises."

Apple did not immediately return phone calls.

The FTC will make a final decision on the proposed settlement after a 60-day period for public comment.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in Agency

Are You Really Ready for Customer Experience?

Are You Really Ready for Customer Experience?

Marketers can talk a good game about customer centricity, but actions speak louder than words.

Essentials in Content Marketing: Think like a best-selling author

Essentials in Content Marketing: Think like a best-selling ...

Imagine if all the electronic content thrown your way daily was actually printed on paper. To stand out from those piles of worthless pixels, you must offer your audiences intriguing ...

The Mobile-Email Marriage

The Mobile-Email Marriage

Marketers who considered leaving email at the altar are finding renewed passion for the channel as an ever-increasing number of customers triage, read, and click-through email on their smartphones.