Danish court rules Apple not allowed to dole out refurb iPhones for service swaps

Posted:
in iPhone
A Denmark court has ruled that in cases of iPhones purchased new, that Apple can't give a refurbished phone in exchange for new, as there is no guarantee that the resale value is retained with the exchange.




The ruling, handed down on Friday, is a literal reading of the Danish Sale of Goods Act by the three-judge panel, which requires that customers' devices be replaced with a new unit if they can't be repaired within a mandated 24-month warranty. Apple's refurbished units, which may consist of some or all used parts repaired to Apple's standards, have now been deemed unacceptable for customers in the country as a result of the mandate by the court.

The complainant, David Lysgaard, purchased an iPhone 4 in 2011. In 2012, he was given a replacement device for his broken iPhone, which he was reportedly told was new. At some point after receipt, he discovered that the phone was refurbished, and not new stock.

Apple argued that since it was the original device manufacturer, that it could certify repair parts as effectively the same as new, and still meet the requirements of Danish law.

The judge ruled that since the refurbished unit could contain recycled or re-built parts, that it can't qualify as a new phone, and as such, did not meet the customer's expectation. Additionally, the court apparently took no notice of the fact that the phone was already used by the customer before being brought in for service, and declared that resale value may be impacted by the refurbished state of the phone.

Lysgaard was supported by the Consumer Complaints Board throughout the entire process.

Apple currently has no comment on the matter. It will likely appeal the matter to the high court.

Apple faces the same battle in the U.S.

In July, Apple was hit with a class action suit filing in California, with the same complaint as Lysgaard -- that refurbished devices are not the same as new, and shouldn't be used as service exchanges. Lawyers for the claimants declare in the suit that refurbished means "a secondhand unit that has been modified to appear to be new" and therefore, cannot be equivalent in durability or functionality to a new unit.

The U.S. court case will also hinge on the definition of refurbished, and on how the court interprets "equivalent to new in performance and reliability," which was in Lysgaard's terms of service from the start of the process.

Parts that are replaced in a repair at an Apple authorized service location are required to be returned to Apple for evaluation and potential component level repair, with the goal of an eventual return to service stock.

While some parts on Apple iOS devices can't be refurbished, like the displays, damaged devices claimed by Apple during the repair process are often sent to a central depot for examination. They are repaired, or "refurbished," and either sent back into the service replacement process, or re-sold by Apple or an allied vendor directly to consumers as a refurbished product.
dysamoria
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    I don't even play a lawyer on TV, much less speak Danish, but what remedy would the judges suggest if someone brought in a one year, 364 day old phone for warranty replacement? A brand new phone, or a refurb?
    netmage
  • Reply 2 of 71
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,149member
    sog35 said:
    This is pretty dumb.

    This is like buying a car. Then your car has a recall 2 years latter. And you demand a brand new car.
    No such comparison. In the case of your car it’s still the same car you bought and is repaired by the manufacturer. Now if Apple were taking the original phone in and repairing THAT phone and returning it to the customer, no problem. But customer wouldn’t like that either as they might be without a phone for some period of time. So because actual repair of the phone is both difficult and time consuming (depending on what’s wrong) Apple decided to offer refurbished units for on-the-spot replacement. Most are probably fine with that arrangement because the original warranty is still in place. But as with anything there are those that won’t be satisfied no matter what unless they get what they want, namely a brand new phone. If this case goes against Apple then they should probably stop with replacements altogether and just repair the defective phones no matter how long it takes. Let the lemon laws dictate when they are required to replace a unit. I most lemon laws require three repair attempts before mandatory replacement. How well do you think that would go over?
    dysamoriateejay2012djkfisherwilliamhnetmageiqatedoicoco3jony0
  • Reply 3 of 71
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,149member
    sunman42 said:
    I don't even play a lawyer on TV, much less speak Danish, but what remedy would the judges suggest if someone brought in a one year, 364 day old phone for warranty replacement? A brand new phone, or a refurb?
    What about just repairing the device, no replacement needed? Hey, you might be without a phone for a few days but it honors the warranty. Most warranties state that repair or replacement is at the discretion of the manufacturer. All I’m saying is be careful of what you ask for.
    dysamoriamwhiteentropysericthehalfbeeZooMigoDeelronchaickawilliamhnetmageaaarrrgggh
  • Reply 4 of 71
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,207member
    Good. There's no telling what's potentially wrong with a refurb that's been missed and when you paid for a new device, you should not be given a not-new in exchange after finding out your brand new device has a defect.

    This should be standard, everywhere, for all "replacement as warranty service" situations. If you start with a new product that has a defect, you should end up with a new product without defect as warranty protection against defect.

    For mobile devices and laptops/desktops.

    No, I don't think it should be mandated for repair instigated by damage. Give the customer an option between actual repair or replacement with refurb. Oh wait, Apple doesn't have the will to do component level repair even though we know it's possible...
    HPDKlightknight
  • Reply 5 of 71
    The Eu has established MUCH better consumer protection laws than in the US. I think this is good. Either giver the guy a new phone and similar 2 year manufacturers warranty or tell him he has a refurbished phone which will be promptly refused, and Apple will then be required to issue a new phone regardless.
    HPDKlightknight
  • Reply 6 of 71
    nubusnubus Posts: 53member
    sunman42 said:
    I don't even play a lawyer on TV, much less speak Danish, but what remedy would the judges suggest if someone brought in a one year, 364 day old phone for warranty replacement? A brand new phone, or a refurb?
    Well... in EU (incl. Denmark) consumers are protected against most product problems for 24 months. First Apple decided not to go by the rules. The Consumer Complaints Board then forced Apple to do the repair at no cost. Apple gave in but used refurbished parts. Once again they lost in The Consumer Complaints Board. Apple then decided to sue the customer - and today Apple lost again. A summary of the court findings are available in Danish.

    The customer is btw. named... David 
    edited December 2016 HPDKspice-boy[Deleted User]
  • Reply 7 of 71
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,715member
    sog35 said:
    This is pretty dumb.

    This is like buying a car. Then your car has a recall 2 years latter. And you demand a brand new car.
    If your new car can't be repaired then doesn't Lemon Law require it be replaced with a new one? Not entirely sure but I thought so. 
  • Reply 8 of 71
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,149member
    The Eu has established MUCH better consumer protection laws than in the US. I think this is good. Either giver the guy a new phone and similar 2 year manufacturers warranty or tell him he has a refurbished phone which will be promptly refused, and Apple will then be required to issue a new phone regardless.
    Or repair the defective phone, period.
    netmage
  • Reply 9 of 71
    Good. If I was Apple, I would henceforth tell all Danes that instead of giving them a refurbished phone with a new battery, new shell, and completely reconditioned with a new warranty, we will simply hold on to your phone and repair it under warranty and then send your repaired phone back to you with its old, up to two year old battery, scratched case and non-reconditioned with whatever is left of your old warranty.   How many Danes do you think will be happy with the greed of this person causing all of them to suffer?  How many Danes are going to be happy knowing they have to pay more for Apple Care and phones since they are now guaranteed a brand new phone whenever anything goes wrong with it?

    Maybe this is was done in retaliation since Apple won't open a store in Denmark and the Danes are among the last in Europe to get new Apple products. 
    ericthehalfbeeteejay2012jbdragonDeelronpscooter63netmagejony0
  • Reply 10 of 71
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,715member
    Notsofast said:
    Good. If I was Apple, I would henceforth tell all Danes that instead of giving them a refurbished phone with a new battery, new shell, and completely reconditioned with a new warranty, we will simply hold on to your phone and repair it under warranty and then send your repaired phone back to you with its old, up to two year old battery, scratched case and non-reconditioned with whatever is left of your old warranty.   How many Danes do you think will be happy with the greed of this person causing all of them to suffer? 
    All those Danes will know is that Apple won't replace their defective phone and blame it on Apple which hardly seems like something that would make one happy about their premium Apple product purchase.  I'm sure you're familiar with the old "Cut off your nose..." meme. 
    edited December 2016 HPDK
  • Reply 11 of 71
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,747member
    Understandable if the iPhone was only a few weeks old (which I suspect is what happens anyway), but up to two years? What a joke!
    One approach is that Apple could issue the owner a beat up old iphone 4S loaner while they repaired the iphone with the problem. Just like a car dealership would do.
    jbdragonnetmage
  • Reply 12 of 71
    lkrupp said:
    sunman42 said:
    I don't even play a lawyer on TV, much less speak Danish, but what remedy would the judges suggest if someone brought in a one year, 364 day old phone for warranty replacement? A brand new phone, or a refurb?
    What about just repairing the device, no replacement needed? Hey, you might be without a phone for a few days but it honors the warranty. Most warranties state that repair or replacement is at the discretion of the manufacturer. All I’m saying is be careful of what you ask for.


    Bingo. People just don't understand that complaining about something can result in making things worse for everyone. When faced with giving everyone more or taking it away, many companies will simply go the route of taking things away (in this case, over the counter replacements).
    jbdragonpscooter63
  • Reply 13 of 71
    That's not how this works.  The civil court is making the choice, not Apple.  

    When you take your phone in to the Apple store now, they don't have to give you a refurbished phone. They can simply repair it.  As a customer service add on, Apple has generally done this because 99% of the people realize this is better than simply getting a phone repaired under warranty. If, however, Apple can no longer legally give the refurbished phone in Denmark, then I don't see what choice Apple will have because there's no way they are going to give everyone a new phone every time it needs a repair.  It's not economically feasible and would lead to enormous fraud as many people would look to get a brand new phone at the end of their warranty period.  I'm sure the  rest of the Danes don't want to have to pay the extra costs to cover that when they buy an Apple product or buy Apple Care. 
    jbdragonstompypscooter63netmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 71
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,715member
    Didn't the court simply "define" what Apple's responsibilities were in their warranty docs and under the law? If giving the customer used market value in cash isn't there in writing then that's not an option. Am I mistaken?
    edited December 2016 netmage[Deleted User]
  • Reply 15 of 71
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member
    Apple's refurbs are among the best in the business.

    I've purchased a few Apple refurbs from Apple.com throughout the years, and all of them were basically flawless, like new.

    If that is not good enough for the danes, or any other euroheads, then Apple should just repair their iPhone, and give it back exactly like it came in, scratches and all, and with the same damn battery. Then nobody will have anything to complain about.
    macxpressjbdragonDeelronchaickapscooter63entropysnetmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 71
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,968member
    Best for Apple to just to hold, repair the phone and send it back to customer..Sometime, niceness, better corporate thingy doesn't work in real world.
    edited December 2016 lkruppjbdragonchaickanetmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 71
    Apple has not designed its phones for easy repair.  Why not?  Because that would not maximize their profit.  I've purchased several refurbs & they worked flawlessly.  I've purchased a couple of new Macs and ... both were defective.  Go figure.  Maybe Apple should charge more for refurb, and not less, eh?

    Pretty sure I am gonna get a Mac Pro 2, my question is this: should I get a new one or wait for a refurb? ;-)
    HPDKchaickapscooter63
  • Reply 18 of 71
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member
    Pretty sure I am gonna get a Mac Pro 2, my question is this: should I get a new one or wait for a refurb? ;-)
    That would depend upon if you want one right away or if you are willing to wait.

    When Apple releases a brand new product, from what I've seen, it takes a while before you're going to see Apple offering any refurb units for sale on their site.

    So maybe if you have no problem waiting 6 months perhaps, and you have no problem with an Apple refurb, and you have no problem with saving some money, then maybe you could wait.
  • Reply 19 of 71
    HPDKHPDK Posts: 7member
    sog35 said:
    This is pretty dumb.

    This is like buying a car. Then your car has a recall 2 years latter. And you demand a brand new car.
    No it's not.

    If your car is recalled the car dealer is obligated to fix it. (but if he can't then you get your money back - I think that is fair, don't you?)
  • Reply 20 of 71
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member
    By the way, the first Apple refurb that I ever purchased was 15 years ago, a G4 tower, the 933.

    I obviously don't use it much anymore today, but it still works flawlessly and perfectly, and I wouldn't be surprised if it still works in 15 years from now. Maybe I'll drop dead before the machine will, who knows.
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.