After pressure from the ASA and consumers, Apple has amended its advertising to remove references to ‘4G’ on its iPad. But why won’t it offer refunds to UK consumers, as it has in Australia?
The saga of the iPad and its ‘4G’ support, or lack thereof, rumbles on. In March I wrote about why the new iPad won’t actually work on 4G networks in the UK, despite Apple referring to iPads with mobile chips as ‘Wi-Fi + 4G’.
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), which received numerous complaints, investigated and demanded that Apple change the messaging on its website. When Apple dragged its heels, the ASA announced it was reopening its investigation and reiterated its demands. Apple has now relented, removing references to ‘4G’ in favour of ‘Wi-Fi + Cellular’.
But is that enough? I don’t think so. In Australia, Apple was forced to offer refunds to customers who felt they were misled.
But in the UK, Apple is offering no such redress, sticking with the standard 14 days cooling-off period from the date purchase. That’s fine if you bought an iPad last week, but what about people who bought one when it was released and didn’t realise it wouldn’t support 4G?
Here’s what Apple had to say
While Apple has changed the wording on its website, Apple is sticking to the view that the iPad hasn’t changed. Its view is that the iPad does support networks in the UK that are considered as 4G by international standards. Apple told us:
‘The new iPad supports many high speed networks around the world, including LTE in the US and Canada and HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA in many countries. Carriers do not all refer to their high speed networks with the same terminology, therefore we’ve decided to use “Wi-Fi + Cellular” as a simple term which describes all the high speed networks supported by the new iPad. The advanced wireless features of the new iPad have not changed.’
But as Three and Everything Everywhere have already told us – they will never refer to the iPad’s version of ‘4G’ as 4G.
The fact remains: when Apple referred to the iPad as ‘4G’ on its website and on its packaging, this could have given UK customers a misleading impression of what they would be getting.
Apple isn’t at fault for the confusing nature of international standards, but it did know about the problem and chose to go ahead anyway. So now this mistake is plain for all to see, do you think it’s about time Apple put its hands up and did the decent thing?
Should Apple offer refunds to confused ’4G’ iPad owners?
Yes - if you bought the iPad for 4G you should be refunded (83%, 237 Votes)
Wait, the new iPad doesn't support 4G in the UK? (11%, 32 Votes)
No - Apple has done enough by removing '4G' from its site (5%, 15 Votes)
Total Voters: 285