The ACCC is taking tech giant Apple to federal court over allegations the company has made “false, misleading, or deceptive representations about consumers’ rights under the Australian Consumer Law.”
The regulator says that a recent investigation into reports that a software update for Apple’s iOS disabled prevented customers from users their devices.
The ACCC say that 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 third party, “unauthorised repairers”.
However, the ACCC insists, “having a component of the Apple device serviced, repaired, or replaced by someone other than Apple cannot, by itself, extinguish the consumer’s right to a remedy for non-compliance with the consumer guarantees.”
“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.
“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.”
“As consumer goods become increasingly complex, businesses also need to remember that consumer rights extend to any software or software updates loaded onto those goods. Faults with software or software updates may entitle consumers to a free remedy under the Australian Consumer Law.”
The ACCC is seeking pecuniary penalties, injunctions, declarations, compliance program orders, corrective notices, and costs.
Apple has yet to issue a comment.