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  • Apple Faces a New Class-Action Lawsuit over Refurbished AppleCare+ Replacements


    A recently filed class-action lawsuit accuses Apple of breaching a contract by failing to provide new or what would be considered as equivalent to new devices when offering up replacement hardware under AppleCare+ warranties. The case was entered on July 18th via the US District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of Joanne McRight, a woman who says her father bought her an iPhone 5 with AppleCare+ from an Apple Store in Friendswood, Texas in December 2012.

    McRight claims that her screen ended up breaking and in September 2013, McRight paid AppleCare’s then $49 accidental damage fee to secure a replacement. Her new replacement ended up also breaking, leading her to pay another $49 in May 2014. Lawyers for McRight said that neither of the devices were new nor were they equivalent to new in both performance and reliability as promised in the official terms for AppleCare+. More specifically, McRight is arguing that refurbished devices, something that Apple often offers in place of broken units, don’t qualify.

    McRight’s father later ended up buying her an iPhone 6 with AppleCare+ in September 2014 but that device’s screen broke as well, leading her to look for a replacement in July of 2015. This time, the fee was increased to $79 and once again, Apple allegedly supplied her with a device that wasn’t equivalent to a new one.

    The proposed class covers anyone who bought an AppleCare or AppleCare+ plan between July 11, 2011 and the present, regardless of whether the device was an iPhone or another one of Apple’s devices. The attorney’s fighting the case are asking for an injunction forcing Apple to provide new devices to people who are wanting replacements as well as compensation in the form of legal fees and damages totaling at least $5 million, a minimum which was set by the Class Action Fairness Act.

    We’ll have to wait and see how the legal battle pans out.

    Source: Apple
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. angerthosenear's Avatar
      angerthosenear -
      Sounds like she needs to stop using her phone as a hockey puck.
    1. repoman16's Avatar
      repoman16 -
      Nothing surprises me anymore.


      I guess carelessness is something you can sue for.

      here's an idea. Buy her an otterbox.

      better yet, make her buy her own phone when it breaks. I bet the screens stop shattering then.
    1. tridley68's Avatar
      tridley68 -
      Quote Originally Posted by repoman16 View Post
      Nothing surprises me anymore.


      I guess carelessness is something you can sue for.

      here's an idea. Buy her an otterbox.

      better yet, make her buy her own phone when it breaks. I bet the screens stop shattering then.
      This chick does not need a phone maybe Apple can counter sue for stupidity .
    1. roger1079's Avatar
      roger1079 -
      Quote Originally Posted by repoman16 View Post
      Nothing surprises me anymore.


      I guess carelessness is something you can sue for.

      here's an idea. Buy her an otterbox.

      better yet, make her buy her own phone when it breaks. I bet the screens stop shattering then.
      Apple fanboys at their finest as always. She may be careless and stupid, but that does not change the terms of Apple's own contract and the fact that they have willingly been breaching it forever. Apple specifies new or equivalent to new, which to be considered new or equivalent to new, the device can never have been used by anyone before you. Refurbished is just a fancy word for used.

      Is she careless? Absolutely. Is she stupid for not protecting the phone better after the first breakage? Again, yes. That still does not change the fact that Applecare+ specifies a new or equivalent to new (whatever the heck that means) and provides used reconditioned phones as new. If you all can't see how Apple is in the wrong here, maybe you should stop calling her stupid and start looking in the mirror instead.
    1. gedi223's Avatar
      gedi223 -
      The problem with electronic items, there is no industry wide standard definition of what a refurbished item is. For example;

      Best Buy defines it as "Products that have been repaired and restored and work as if brand new."

      Newegg states "Factory Serviced and Refurbished products are items which have been returned to an authorized factory repair facility for testing, inspection, and repair, or which have been repaired by certified technicians."

      Walmart "Refurbished electronics and computer components are items that have been purchased by customers and then returned to the store. The returned components are either sent back to the manufacturer or a third-party refurbishment company where they are restored to their original, new condition"

      Amazon "A refurbished product has been professionally restored to working order. Typically this means that the product has been inspected, cleaned, and repaired to meet manufacturer specifications. The item may or may not be in its original packaging. The manufacturer's or refurbisher's warranty must apply and should be included in the listing comments. Refurbished items are sometimes referred to as "remanufactured."

      Wikipedia "In various cases "refurbished" may be synonymous with "used", "reconditioned", "remanufactured", "refreshed", "recycled", "repaired", "recertified", or "like new"."

      As you can see, in a few examples above, refurbished is defined as being "like new or new condition"

      Essentially, the case is going to be determined by what apple defines as "refurbished".

      If you look at applecare policy for the iphone 6 bought 9/14 it reads "exchange the Covered Equipment, with a replacement product that is new or equivalent to new in performance and reliability. All replacement products provided under this Plan will at a minimum be functionally equivalent to the original product. " (AC+ - North America English meta title)
      For the iphone 5 purchased 12/12 it reads "repair the defect using new or refurbished parts that are equivalent to new in performance and reliability, or (ii) exchange the Covered iPhone with a replacement product that is new or equivalent to
      new in performance and reliability, and is at least functionally equivalent to the original product" (http://images.apple.com/legal/sales-...lecareplus.pdf)
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Apple should just stop penny pinching and just swap the damaged item for a brand new item.
    1. qumahlin's Avatar
      qumahlin -
      Quote Originally Posted by roger1079 View Post
      Apple fanboys at their finest as always. She may be careless and stupid, but that does not change the terms of Apple's own contract and the fact that they have willingly been breaching it forever. Apple specifies new or equivalent to new, which to be considered new or equivalent to new, the device can never have been used by anyone before you. Refurbished is just a fancy word for used.

      Is she careless? Absolutely. Is she stupid for not protecting the phone better after the first breakage? Again, yes. That still does not change the fact that Applecare+ specifies a new or equivalent to new (whatever the heck that means) and provides used reconditioned phones as new. If you all can't see how Apple is in the wrong here, maybe you should stop calling her stupid and start looking in the mirror instead.
      This isn't a fanboy thing. The woman is basically stating the screens are breaking because they were not as reliable as a "new" phone, yet she got a brand new phone and broke that screen as well.

      For this lawsuit to have merit, they would need to define what about the item she was provided made it any less reliable than a new device. The contract states if the item can be replaced with an "equivalent" device. Which means if she broke an iphone 5, and they replaced it with an iphone 5 and that replacement had no internal or otherwise cosmetic defects/damage, it is a valid replacement.

      This womans entire argument is predicated on the idea that the only reason her screens were breaking is because they were somehow inferior to the screen of a brand new device, yet she herself has no idea what was done to "refurbish" the device. For all she knows the device wasn't damaged at all and was labeled "refurbished" purely because the box had already been opened...which is something Apple as well as other replacement agencies such as Asurion do.
    1. PCYoda's Avatar
      PCYoda -
      Sounds like the stupid girl needs to stop dropping her phones and the stupid father needs to stop paying for replacements...