Apple agrees to pay $53 million to settle iPhone warranty lawsuit

“Apple is agreeing to pay $53 million to settle a class action accusing the company of failing to honor warranties on iPhones and iPod Touches, according to an agreement obtained today by Wired,” David Kravets reports for Wired.

“According to several lawsuits combined in San Francisco, no matter what the problem, Apple refused to honor warranties if a white indicator tape embedded in the phone near the headphone or charging portals had turned pink or red,” Kravets reports. “However, the tape’s maker, 3M, said humidity, and not water contact, could have caused the color to at least turn pink.”

Kravets reports, “Affected devices include the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and the first-, second and third-generation iPod Touch. Payouts are around $200 and could be less or double based on the number of claims submitted.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ellis D” for the heads up.]

14 Comments

  1. Apple’s hardline approach to warranty issues is somewhat understandable: consumers the world over “try it on” at any opportunity. However, in cases where the consumer is not at fault, Apple’s arrogant attitude can leave a sour taste. Over the long term this can deplete the value of the brand.

    I believe that, in many cases, this arrogance stems from individuals at lower echelons of the company, who see working at Apple as a status symbol, and abuse their position to “lord it over” hapless consumers.

    I had an unpleasant experience with a faulty iPhone 3G some years ago. It was out of warranty, but the fault was clearly a software/firmware issue, and was identified as such by the Sydney Apple store using their diagnostic tools. Under Australian law a manufacturer is liable for such defects “for the life of the product” but I still had a great deal of difficulty persuading Apple to replace the phone. In the end, I told an Apple rep to go and get the most senior Apple person in the store before I started making very loud complaints. I had been promised a replacement, but the senior staffmember who had made that promise had not recorded this against the service history, and though he was in the store, he refused to come and sort it out.

    Sad to say, this incident was the very worst example of bad customer service I have ever encountered in my life. And I am not a young man…

    Along the way I was told by a junior member of staff that she could not put me through to anyone more senior with the authority to resolve my problem because there wasn’t anyone. I suggested to her that, if that was truly the case, I would email Steve Jobs and ask him to resolve my problem personally because apparently there was no-one in Apple Australia with the authority to do so.

    She found someone.

    1. “However, in cases where the consumer is not at fault, Apple’s arrogant attitude can leave a sour taste. Over the long term this can deplete the value of the brand.”

      Eat Me! You talk too much. Australia was all you had to say. You’re troubles don’t count for shit around here, especially where Apple is concerned;

      The brand of Apple you’re accustomed to has been distorted by your government. In fact, you our beloved company Apple Australia.

      Do you really think there is any comparison between your Apple Australia and America’s Apple, Inc.? There is None aside from the name you have already bastardized.

      What you should have said in the paragraph I dragged into my comment was, Australia Apple’s arrogant attitude, blah blah blah

      So learn it. Apple, Inc. serves America first, everyone else’s second.

      1. Apple online and on the ground stores in Australia are 100% owned by Apple inc, America. Apple Australia, which services the retail channel, is regarded as a rival. Clients are treated like school children. Appointments with the Genius(sic) bar must be made for any problem. 5 minutes late and it’s “sorry, you’re too late, you’ll have to make another appointment” Your allocation for your appointment is 15 minutes! The most favored solution seems to be “restore”.

        1. That’s unfortunate. I have never had anything but excellent results when dealing with Apple. Whether online, in the store or on the phone. But of course I pay for that. I expect great service. And I get it. So to me it’s simply getting what I pay for. That’s not true with many companies. But rather then Apple doing a great job it’s that most companies do a poor job. Expectations are so low anymore that when someone does their job properly it’s amazing. It hasn’t always been that way. But you have to remember, unlike most here who fail to do so, Apple is just a huge corporation. In fact it’s the biggest isn’t it? Well, okay it used to be. But it’s still huge. Readers here tend to think that Apple is some itsy-bitsy corner store that is their buddy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Try walking onto the Apple campus without proper admittance and see what happens. It’s a well-run moneymaking corporation. No more. No less. They make great stuff and treat their customers right. But they’re not your friend. They’re not your buddy. They’re not your TV pal. They’re not coming over for barbecue Sunday. They don’t care if you just lost your job. They make great stuff (except my new Mac Pros) and they sell it. It’s nothing personal it’s just business.

  2. Whoa! Apple blunder!

    They required a solution to the real-life-problem of people dropping their iOS devices into lakes, sinks, bathtubs, toilets… then expecting Apple to replace them. I don’t think so.

    But this was blatantly NOT the solution. OOPS. Gotta pay for that blunder Apple.

    Since this BS colored tape ‘solution’, Apple has come up with much more accurate detection of iOS device submersion, thankfully.

    Apple: Never perfect. Just better than the alternatives (almost always).

  3. Go sit in an Apple Store some time and listen to what passes for Apple’s responsibility at the Genius Bar. I do, every time I visit looking for something stocked on the accessory wals back near the Genius Bar. I’ve been so impressed with the gentle but firm (and reasonable) handling I’ve seen store management afford what I’ll call freeloaders that I’ve complimented them after the effort ended. They shouldn’t become cynical but its easy enough to see how that could happen.

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