Australian consumer watchdog sues Apple for refusing to fix iPhones and iPads repaired by third parties
AUSTRALIA’S consumer watchdog is taking technology giant Apple to court, it revealed today, alleging the company is short-changing iPhone and iPad users and breaking the law by refusing to look at devices repaired by other companies.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission revealed it would take Apple to Federal Court seeking fines, injunctions, and corrective notices for allegedly refusing to look at faulty devices which had previously been repaired by outside firms.
The lawsuit comes after the ACCC investigated reports some Apple devices were disabled after a software update earlier this year, many of which had previously had their screen replaced.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said under Australian laws, Apple could not refuse to repair faulty products if they had been repaired previously by another company.
“Denying a consumer their consumer guarantee rights simply because they had chosen a third-party repairer not only impacts those consumers but can dissuade other customers from making informed choices about their repair options including where they may be offered at lower cost than the manufacturer,” he said.
“Consumer guarantee rights under the Australian Consumer Law exist independently of any manufacturer’s warranty.”
If successful, the case could allow anyone to have their broken iPhone or iPad screen replaced cheaply while retaining their rights to front up to Apple’s Genius Bars.
Apple currently charges up to $228.95 to repair an iPhone screen out of warranty.
The ACCC’s lawsuit followed an investigation into so-called “error 53” messages that appeared on unresponsive devices after an iOS software update in January.
However, the latest lawsuit is not the first time the ACCC has taken Apple to court.
The watchdog won another court case against Apple in December 2013 that alleged the company was applying its own warranties to Apple devices rather than Australian Consumer Law.
Apple subsequently undertook to service its devices in Australia for two years or longer.
Apple has yet to comment on the latest Australian lawsuit.