Australia: Apple fined $9m for misleading consumers
Tech giant Apple has been fined $9 million by a federal court for telling iPad and iPhone users it could not fix their devices because they had previously been repaired by third party companies.
The lawsuit was brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after it received complaints over “error 53”, which disabled some devices after an update was downloaded, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said: ” they were being refused a remedy of any kind by Apple on the basis that their device had had unauthorised repairs, and those repairs could be as minor as just having a cracked screen replaced on an iPhone or iPad, which all of us need to do from time to time.”
“So these consumers were being told, ‘because you’ve had this third party repair, you are not entitled to any remedy’.”
However, Ms Court said this is contrary to Australian consumer law.
“Customers and consumers are free to have screens and other repairs done on their devices by third-party repairers, so long as that repair doesn’t damage the underlying system of the phone,” she said.
Apple US admitted that it had made false and misleading statements to consumers between February 2015 and February 2016.
A spokesperson for Apple said: “We’re constantly looking for ways to enhance the service we deliver and we had very productive conversations with the ACCC about this.
“We will continue to do all we can to deliver excellent service to all of our customers in Australia.”