APPLE has been ordered to pay $9 million in penalties for making false or misleading representations to customers with faulty iPhones and iPads.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission took the tech giant to court after investigating complaints that customers had been told by Apple that they were not entitled to a replacement phone or repair if their device had been repaired by a third party.
According to the watchdog, the customers had sought help from third parties after their devices were disabled by a new iOS software update.
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“If a product is faulty, customers are legally entitled to a repair or a replacement under the Australian Consumer Law, and sometimes even a refund,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.
“Apple’s representations led customers to believe they’d be denied a remedy for their faulty device because they used a third party repairer.”
In the end, the court declared the “mere fact that an iPhone or iPad had been repaired by someone other than Apple did not, and could not, result in the consumer guarantees ceasing to apply, or the consumer’s right to a remedy being extinguished.”
Apple has since implemented an outreach program to compensate approximately 5000 customers whose devices were disabled by the ‘iOS’ operating system update.