The competition and consumer law watchdog is taking action against Apple over allegations it misled consumers about their warranty rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted proceedings against Apple in the Federal Court after an investigation into “error 53”, which saw iPads or iPhones disabled after users downloaded an Apple IOS update.
The ACCC alleges Apple represented to consumers with faulty products that they were not entitled to a free remedy if their Apple device had previously been repaired by an unauthorised third party repairer.
The regulator is arguing that the law is clear that consumer rights are not void because a consumer has had their goods repaired by a third party.
“Consumer guarantee rights under the Australian Consumer Law exist independently of any manufacturer’s warranty and are not extinguished simply because a consumer has goods repaired by a third party,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.
“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.”
Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers are entitled to have their goods fixed or replaced at no cost to them in situations where the goods or services are not of an acceptable quality – that is where they have faults, visible damage or do not do what you would normally expect them to.
Mr Sims said those consumer guarantees extend to software or software updates loaded onto a product, which means any problems caused by software updates may entitle consumers to a free substitute under the Australian Consumer Law.