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Apple fined for misleading customers in Australia

A iPhone held up next to the Apple logo

An Australian court has fined Apple A$9m (£5m;$6.5m) for refusing to fix iPhones and iPads that had been serviced by third parties.

The nation’s consumer watchdog took the tech giant to court last year following complaints from users about faulty devices.

Apple admitted that it misled 275 people about their rights to remedies such as repairs and replacements.

The Federal Court of Australia found those actions breached consumer law.

The investigation followed complaints about Apple’s so-called “error 53”.

The fault rendered iPhones and iPads inoperable, after users downloaded a software update.

But when customers sought repairs, Apple denied some of them assistance because their devices had previously been fixed by a third party, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.

In many cases, Apple refused remedies even when the third-party repair was for something like a cracked screen and not related to the fault, the ACCC said.

“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,” Commissioner Sarah Court said on Tuesday.

The watchdog said Apple had contacted about 5,000 customers to compensate them for the error.

In 2016, Apple was forced to issue a fix and apologise for error 53 after similar claims.


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