Apple fined $9m for misleading Australian customers with faulty iPhones and iPads

Apple fined $9 million for misleading iPhone and iPad owners in Australia over

Apple fined $9 million for misleading iPhone and iPad owners in Australia over

Apple US has been ordered to pay $9 million in penalties for making false or misleading representations to Australian customers about their consumer rights.

The competition watchdog took Apple Australia and its parent company Apple US to court after investigating complaints about how the tech giant had told customers they weren't entitled to a repair or replacement after they had a third party fix devices that were disabled by an iOS software update.

"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", said ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court, adding that having minor third-party repairs is no basis to reject services under Australian law.

The ACCC said after it told Apple about its investigation, the USA company sought to compensate customers whose devices were made inoperable by the software update, known as "error 53".

This error disabled some iPhones and iPads after customers downloaded an update to Apple's iOS operating system.

The ACCC said Apple will commit to providing new devices as replacements if the consumer requests one.

Apple has since admitted that from February 2015 to February 2016, its United States website and Apple staff in Australian stores and on customer service phone calls said to 275 Australian customers affected by Error 53 it wasn't responsible for a remedy.

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The court judged Apple's action to have breached the Australian consumer law.

A concern addressed by this undertaking is that Apple was allegedly providing refurbished goods as replacements, after supplying a good which suffered a major failure.

"If customers would prefer a replacement, they are entitled to a new device as opposed to refurbished, if one is available".

"Global companies must ensure their returns policies are compliant with the Australian Consumer Law, or they will face ACCC action".

"We will continue to do all we can to deliver excellent service to all of our customers in Australia".

Apple's Australian subsidiary has also made a court enforceable undertaking.

Apple's Australian arm also said that it would improve training of its staff, post information about its warranties and Australian Consumer Law on its web site, and improve systems and compliance with the consumer laws in the the country.

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