Apple faces new class-action suit over refurbished AppleCare+ hardware replacements

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2015
A newly-filed class action lawsuit accuses Apple of breaching contract by failing to provide new -- or "equivalent to new" -- devices when offering up replacement hardware under AppleCare+ warranties.




The case was entered July 18 via the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, on behalf of Joanne McRight, a woman whose father bought her an iPhone 5 with AppleCare+ from an Apple Store in Friendswood, Texas in December 2012. Her screen later broke, and in September 2013 McRight paid AppleCare+'s then-$49 accidental damage fee to secure a replacement.

The new device's screen also broke, leading to her paying another $49 in May 2014. Lawyers for McRight said that neither of the devices were new or "equivalent to new in both performance and reliability," as promised in the official terms for AppleCare+. Specifically, McRight argues that refurbished devices -- something Apple frequently offers up in place of broken units -- do not qualify.

McRight's father later bought her an iPhone 6 with AppleCare+ in September 2014, but that device's screen broke as well, leading her to seek replacement in July of this year, this time at the increased accidental damage fee of $79. Once again Apple allegedly supplied her with a device that was not equivalent to new.

The proposed class covers anyone who bought an AppleCare or AppleCare+ plan between July 11, 2011 and the present, regardless of whether the device is an iPhone.

McNight's attorneys are asking for an injunction forcing Apple to provide new devices to people wanting replacements, as well as compensation in the form of legal fees and damages totaling at least $5 million, a minimum set by the Class Action Fairness Act.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,180member
    Sure. Break the screens repeatedly and every time receive something brand new as replacement. Sure.
  • Reply 2 of 64
    What kind of klutz is this person? Seriously, drops her phone annually?
  • Reply 3 of 64
    How is refurbished not equivalent to new in performance and reliability? The fact that the screen broke twice is an indicator that the user is a careless person, more than the replacement phone is the cause of the issue. 3 broken screens in 2 years? Yeah, let's sue Apple for millions because the spoiled brat daughter can't take care of her devices.
  • Reply 4 of 64
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 263member
    Gee I never thought of that, I want a new phone too!!...(Jeesh!!)
  • Reply 5 of 64
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,854member

    If you break your screen that many times, buy this to protect your asset, idiot.

  • Reply 6 of 64
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 666member

    Greedy, careless user. Poor Apple.

  • Reply 7 of 64
    aduzikaduzik Posts: 94member
    You have them a used, broken, phone. They gave you a used phone in better condition. Apple has brought you back to where you were before you broke your phone screen, which is what a warranty promises. You've been made whole. What's the problem?
  • Reply 8 of 64
    How ridiculous is this lawsuit? I have never broken a screen once in over five years. And how does one person constitute a class-action suit? Is she hoping that other klutzes will join, as well? Unbelievable!
  • Reply 9 of 64
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,854member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Steve_in_Austin View Post



    What kind of klutz is this person? Seriously, drops her phone annually?

    Sure, she is. I never broke any iPhone screen since 3G and I didn't use any case, but bumper (in iPhone 4to 5S) only.

  • Reply 10 of 64
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Steve_in_Austin View Post



    What kind of klutz is this person? Seriously, drops her phone annually?



    It's gotta be some serious drops (or impacts). Heck, I've dropped mine on asphalt (landed on the back, Apple GL case), on tile twice (landed flat on the glass) and on cement (landed on the bottom edge). Screen is still fine.

     

    (The 6 is a little harder to manuever than my 4 was, most of my drops have come from missing the shirt/pants pocket)

  • Reply 11 of 64
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    According to our Apple Business Representative, refurbished means that some of the internals have been replaced from returned devices but any of the parts that you touch are brand new. You will never see a scratch or blemish on a refurbished iPhone.

  • Reply 12 of 64
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,480member
    If she is so careless(not saying retarded) than her sugar dad should buy her good protection case. Plenty around. No company can replace brand new phone for the $49 or whatever under warranty. Typically, warranty tries to cover fixing product and ask you to ship it to them. Thankfully, Apple has retail presence in many places and you can just drive their and get it fix or replaced.

    I will get benefited by this law suit if won because I had several replacement. But in my humble opinion this law suit must be tossed out and court should charge this girl's dad court cost, wasted time, etc compensation to Apple. If Apple loose than that is bad example as the future price of Applecare (and other 3rd party warranty for android phones) will go very high that it won't be worth getting it and when screen or something breaks, we all will pay higher to fix or replace whole device.
  • Reply 13 of 64
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 599member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

     

    Sure, she is. I never broke any iPhone screen since 3G and I didn't use any case, but bumper (in iPhone 4to 5S) only.




    Likewise I've never broken an iPhone screen and I've had one since the original.  It is not hard to see what kind of klutz this person is.  However, this is a legal dispute so it seems to me that the terms of the agreement matter more than how klutzy someone is.  AppleCare+ covers damage from mishandling (really!).

     

    The terms for that are: "If during the Plan Term you submit a valid claim notifying Apple that the Covered Device has failed due to accidental damage from handling (“ADH”), Apple will, subject to the service fee described below, either (i) repair the defect using new or refurbished parts that are equivalent to new in performance and reliability, or (ii) exchange the Covered Device with a replacement product that is new or equivalent to new in performance and reliability"

     

    So:  Apple promised a replacement that is new or as good as new.  Apple didn't promise new and the plaintiff doesn't claim that Apple did.  Plaintiff argues that the refurb parts or units that Apple provides are not as good as new. Apple did promise that.

     

    For another manufacturer, I think that is a reasonable point.  With Apple though, I think they are wrong.  Apple replaces so much of a refurb product that I do think it is as good as new in performance and reliability.  You get a new case, battery, accessories, and packaging.  Products with hard drives get new hard drives (according to Apple Tech I spoke with a couple weeks ago re: a failed Time Capsule).  My opposing argument would be that a refurb is a refurb for some reason.  It's not as good just because it has a bit of the stink of failure. Still I am with Apple on this.

  • Reply 14 of 64
    pjwilkinpjwilkin Posts: 73member

    If Apple guarantee the replacement, and it's refurbished to 'as-new' equivalent, then there is no real issue

     

    This sounds very much like the lawyers are trying a money-grab

     

    The lady (and her lawyers) should have read section 3.1 of the AppleCare agreement

     

    http://www.apple.com/legal/sales-support/applecare/appforiphonenaen.html

    http://images.apple.com/legal/sales-support/applecare/docs/applecareplus.pdf

     

    The same clause is present in Mac applecare too

     

    Quote:


     

    3. What is Covered? 

    3.1 Hardware Service

    If during the Plan Term, you submit a valid claim by notifying Apple that (i) a defect in materials and workmanship has arisen in the Covered iPhone or, (ii) the capacity of the Covered iPhone’s battery to hold an electrical charge has depleted fifty (50%) percent or more from its original specifications, Apple will either (a) repair the defect at no charge, using new or refurbished parts that are equivalent to new in performance and reliability, or (b) 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. If Apple exchanges the Covered iPhone, the original product becomes Apple’s property and the replacement product is your property, with coverage for the remaining period of the Plan. 





     

  • Reply 15 of 64
    drdrericdrdreric Posts: 10member
    If she couldn't tell it wasn't new, maybe it was equivalent after all.

    I have bought Apple refurbs for years. The only difference from new I could ever spot was the plain brown box instead of a white box.
  • Reply 16 of 64
    dh87dh87 Posts: 72member

    I'm generally on the side of the plaintiff.  I've taken several computers with problems to Apple, with Apple Care or under warranty, only to have them replace the defective parts with refurbs, regardless of the the age of the product.  One "fully-tested" refurb motherboard destroyed an external FW disk due to a defective controller--a problem readily found at the Genius Bar with Apple diagnostics.  One time Apple replaced the screen on a laptop with a screen with an obvious visual defect.  (Apple did this when I sent my computer in to test its WiFi card.)  If you break your phone, like the plaintiff here, the terms are pretty clear about what Apple is going to do.  However, if Apple supplies you with a defective part, Apple should replace it with a new part.

  • Reply 17 of 64
    cm477cm477 Posts: 95member

    Aren't Apple refurbished products each individually tested, where only a sample of the new products are tested?

  • Reply 18 of 64
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 203member
    Given what apple replaced my in warranty iMac motherboard with (it fried the entire system, including screen and ram and graphics card) I have to say: "equivalent of new is not necessarily same as refurbished. Some quick diagnosis don't necessarily show up a fault, as apple admitted to me.

    They eventually ended up and sending new iMac 3 months alter to compensate.
  • Reply 19 of 64
    razormaidrazormaid Posts: 299member
    What kind of klutz is this person? Seriously, drops her phone annually?

    I was thinking exactly the same thing. This family needs to buy a "free" Samsung where you buy 1 get 3 free" hell I think you get a tablet thrown in too.

    I've had ever phone since #1 and have not ever had a screen issue ever. Some people shouldn't own a computer because they just mess them up. Maybe some people should but nice things if they're not going to take care of them. 4 broken screens in 3 years?
  • Reply 20 of 64
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,854member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dh87 View Post

     

    I'm generally on the side of the plaintiff.  I've taken several computers with problems to Apple, with Apple Care or under warranty, only to have them replace the defective parts with refurbs, regardless of the the age of the product.  One "fully-tested" refurb motherboard destroyed an external FW disk due to a defective controller--a problem readily found at the Genius Bar with Apple diagnostics.  One time Apple replaced the screen on a laptop with a screen with an obvious visual defect.  (Apple did this when I sent my computer in to test its WiFi card.)  If you break your phone, like the plaintiff here, the terms are pretty clear about what Apple is going to do.  However, if Apple supplies you with a defective part, Apple should replace it with a new part.


    Parts need to be proven defective. Otherwise, you may get refurbished replacement.

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