Apple under fire for providing refurbished replacements under AppleCare+

Apple under fire for providing refurbished replacements under AppleCare+

A new class action lawsuit has been filed in California alleging that Apple is not living up to the terms of its AppleCare+ service plan by providing refurbished service stock replacements to customers rather than new devices. The suit takes specific issue with Apple replacing damaged devices with refurbished devices, focusing on the clause in the AppleCare+ terms that state that devices replaced under the program are “equivalent to new in performance and reliability” with lawyers for the plaintiffs arguing that refurbished means “a secondhand unit that has been modified to appear to be new” and therefore can’t be considered to be equivalent to a new unit in durability or functionality.

One plaintiff in the lawsuit who had a device replaced by Apple stated that a replacement iPad she received “did not function properly, and as Bausch, was not equivalent to new” and that when she purchased AppleCare+ with her device, she was not advised by Apple that she would receive a refurbished device in the event of damage. After returning to the Apple Store a second time she was given another refurbished device, and although the court filings did not note any failures with the second device, the documents maintain that the replacement was unacceptable as “what [she] received was not a device that was new or equivalent to new in performance and reliability.”

It has long been Apple’s policy to swap out devices such as iPhones, iPads, and iPods that are too badly damaged for in-store replacement with refurbished service stock rather than new units. The original damaged devices are sent back to Apple for repair and refurbishment and either returned to a service stock pool to replace other damaged units or sold directly to consumers as refurbished products.

The complainants in the class action suit are seeking restitution and a change to the AppleCare+ service plan terms and conditions, along with a court injunction that would prevent Apple from giving refurbished devices to customers as service replacements in the future as well as forcing Apple to provide customers the option of receiving the full purchase price for a broken device instead of a repair. [via AppleInsider]

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