Apple was fined 9 million Australian dollars by an Australian court following a court challenge by a consumer rights group following iOS's update of masonry devices that had been repaired by some thirds.
The Australian Competitors and Consumers Commission (1945-19005) invested a series of complaints about an error ("Error 53") that prevented some iPhones and iPads from downloading an update from the system. Apple's iOS operation.
The ACCC claims that Apple has admitted that between February 2015 and February 2016 – via the US Web site Apple Australia's in-store phone calls and customer service – he had informed at least 275 Australian customers affected by the error 53 that they were no longer eligible for redress if their aircraft had been repaired by a third party .
The court ruled that Apple's action had violated the Australian law on consumption.
"If a product is defective, customers are legally entitled to a repair or replacement under Australian consumer law, and sometimes even a refund.Applications from Apple have led customers to believe that they would be denied a remedy for their defective device because they used a third-party repairer, "said ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court in a statement.
"The Court stated that the mere fact that an iPhone or iPad has been repaired by someone other than Apple has not resulted in the abandonment of consumer warranties or the extinction of the consumer's right to a remedy. "
The ACCC notes that after informing Apple of its investigation, the company has put in place an awareness program to compensate consumers whose devices have been rendered inoperative by the error 53. According to her, this program has been extended to around 5,000 consumers.
It also states that Apple Australia has proposed a jurisdictional commitment to improve the training of staff, to provide information on safeguards and Australian consumer law on its website and to improve its systems and procedures. to ensure future compliance with the law.
The ACCC also notes that a concern raised by the company is that Apple would have provided refurbished products as a replacement, after providing a product that suffered a major failure – saying that Apple is committed to providing new replacements in these circumstances if the consumer one.
"If people buy an iPhone or an iPad from Apple and it's a major failure, they're entitled to a refund.If customers prefer a replacement, they're entitled to a new device as opposed to refurbished, if one is available, "said the Court.
The court also held the parent company of Apple, Apple US, responsible for the behavior of its Australian subsidiary. "Global companies need to make sure their return policies are in line with Australian consumer law, or they will face ACCC action," added the Court. .
We reached out to Apple to comment on the court's decision and we will update this post with an answer.
A company spokesman told Reuters he had "very productive conversations with the ACCC about it," but declined to comment further on the court's findings.
More recently, Apple has found itself in hot water with consumer groups around the world for its use of a power management feature that limited performance old iPhones to avoid unexpected battery shutdowns.
The company apologized in December for not being more transparent about the feature, and added that it would add a control allowing consumers to turn it off. did not want the performance of their device to be affected.