Judge certifies class in lawsuit over refurbished AppleCare replacements

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 17
A California judge on Tuesday certified a class of consumers accusing Apple of furnishing refurbished replacement products to AppleCare and AppleCare+ customers, a strategy that allegedly contradicts the company's advertised policies.




U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick issued the order granting plaintiffs' motion for class certification and denying Apple's motion for summary judgment. The case dates back to a 2016 complaint that takes issue with Apple's device replacement procedures.

Complainants, including class representative Vicky Maldonado, accuse Apple of breaching false advertising and unfair competition laws by replacing products covered by AppleCare and AppleCare+ warranties with refurbished equipment. According to plaintiffs, the practice conflicts with Apple's own documentation, which promises replacements that are "equivalent to new in performance and reliability."

Attorneys representing the claimants say Apple's strategy violates not only its own contracts, but consumer laws. Further, the company illegally profits from the scheme by charging customers premium prices for aftermarket services and not delivering on those promises.

"Judge Orrick has given a thorough and thoughtful review of our claims, and we are grateful to the court for allowing this consumer case against Apple to continue," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney leading the suit. "We look forward to proving our claims that Apple has been breaking its own established contracts with its AppleCare and AppleCare+ customers."

Hagens Berman in a press release said it seeks to determine the difference in value between devices that work like new and "inferior devices" Apple provided as replacements.

The lawsuit seeks damages for consumers and potentially other remedies including an option to reclaim the full purchase price for a broken device instead of sending it in for repair, and a change to the AppleCare+ service plan terms and conditions. As specified by Orrick, individuals included in the class are customers who purchased AppleCare or AppleCare+, either directly or through the iPhone Upgrade Program, on or after July 20, 2012, and received a "remanufactured" replacement device.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    Those products aren’t inferior. This has come up time and time again and it’s just a money grab. 

    I’ve never had an issue with any replaced product by Apple. I get that I am one person and can’t speak for the millions of customers but this one doesn’t feel right. 
    magman1979johnbsiriuspscooter63JWSCllamaGeorgeBMacbb-15
  • Reply 2 of 34
    Good luck finding that difference. 
    magman1979racerhomie3llamaGeorgeBMacbb-15
  • Reply 3 of 34
    OK now. How do the lawyers prove that the replacement devices are not "equivalent to new in performance and reliability." And then how do they assess what is owed? Do they use retail or the wholesale prices in the used iPhone market or some other valuation? 

    If a refurbed iPhone has a new battery and a clean screen, there is minimal difference in performance or reliability. Actually, a two year old refurbed iPhone is likely better than the iPhone that was replaced just by having a new battery.

    magman1979randominternetperson
  • Reply 4 of 34
    If all things are equal and resale value isn’t affected then it’s hard to see plaintiffs prove their claim.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    "According to plaintiffs, the practice conflicts with Apple's own documentation, which promises replacements that are "equivalent to new in performance and reliability."

    This, right here, is plain English as far as I can make out...

    Now, here is what Wikipedia says about refurbished electronics...

    "The main difference between "refurbished" and "used" products is that refurbished products have been tested and verified to function properly, and are thus free of defects, while "used" products may or may not be defective. Refurbished products may be unused customer returns that are essentially "new" items, or they may be defective products that were returned under warranty, and resold by the manufacturer after repairing the defects and ensuring proper function."

    Thus, there is ZERO false marketing by Apple to customers, as their statement of "equivalent to new in performance and reliability" EXACTLY describes what a refurbished item is!

    Another fucking pointless lawsuit by scumbag lawyers! When are these a-hats going to face prison time??? Oh, and throw in the idiots who bring forward these types of claims because they're too stupid to read ENGLISH and just want a quick buck!
    johnbsiriusJWSCmwhiteradarthekaturaharaGeorgeBMacrandominternetpersonbb-15
  • Reply 6 of 34
    A couple of weeks after I got my SE the battery started to swell. It was replaced under warranty and I probably got one of these "refurbished" products. It has never given me a bit of trouble, in fact after nearly four years I'm still on the original battery. So what I'm saying is if I get called by one of these lawyers to be in their class action suit, I'll tell them they can stuff it up their ***.
    mwhitemagman1979radarthekatGeorgeBMacbb-15
  • Reply 7 of 34
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,718member
    Damn lawyers. No where did Apple say they would give out brand new devices. 
    magman1979radarthekatllama
  • Reply 8 of 34
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,721member
    "According to plaintiffs, the practice conflicts with Apple's own documentation, which promises replacements that are "equivalent to new in performance and reliability."

    This, right here, is plain English as far as I can make out...

    Now, here is what Wikipedia says about refurbished electronics...

    "The main difference between "refurbished" and "used" products is that refurbished products have been tested and verified to function properly, and are thus free of defects, while "used" products may or may not be defective. Refurbished products may be unused customer returns that are essentially "new" items, or they may be defective products that were returned under warranty, and resold by the manufacturer after repairing the defects and ensuring proper function."

    Thus, there is ZERO false marketing by Apple to customers, as their statement of "equivalent to new in performance and reliability" EXACTLY describes what a refurbished item is!

    Another fucking pointless lawsuit by scumbag lawyers! When are these a-hats going to face prison time??? Oh, and throw in the idiots who bring forward these types of claims because they're too stupid to read ENGLISH and just want a quick buck!
    That was my thought as well - they never say they'll give you a new device. They explicitly say 'equivalent to new in performance and reliability,' so just how can the plaintiffs claim breach of contract or fraud? If they are arguing that the devices have inferior performance, they'd have to show systemic inferiority, not simply an isolated case.

    I cracked the back of my Xs a few weeks after getting it and had it replaced under Apple Care. I'm pretty sure they told me I may get a refurbished model. Whatever it is, it still works perfectly, so I have no complaints.
    GeorgeBMacmagman1979bb-15
  • Reply 9 of 34
    I have tried to sell an iPhone that I had before buying the new one. there are many people out there who do not want a refurbished iPhone, the number needs to match the box that you are selling it with, so some people see the inferiority of a refurbished phone. 

    however the phone works exactly the same, 100% fine and being refurbished has the same warranty. I like apple refurbished--they are not dinged up, or in a weird "as is" status. they look and feel like a brand new one.


  • Reply 10 of 34
    Apple’s refurbished products are identical to their new products. I have purchased several and there is no way anyone could determine they were refurbished. 
    GeorgeBMacmagman1979bb-15
  • Reply 11 of 34
    jimh2 said:
    Apple’s refurbished products are identical to their new products. I have purchased several and there is no way anyone could determine they were refurbished. 
    Only one way:

    If the model number of the iPhone starts with the letter 'M,' then it is a NEW iPhone. If on the other hand, the model number starts with letter 'F,' it's a carrier-refurbished model and when it starts with the letter 'N,' it indicates that it is an Apple Replacement device.
    airnerdmagman1979
  • Reply 12 of 34
    If the items were refurbished by Apple and not marketed or claimed to be "new" then based on the language of the Applecare contract I don't see this being an issue.  Granting class action doesn't mean anything other than the courts dont want a bunch of individual cases to be heard.  Apple can wipe this fear mongering out with one ruling.  
    magman1979randominternetperson
  • Reply 13 of 34
    Aside from promises and contractual language, there's something else going on here:   So, you use for phone for a year and a half, then want a brand new phone if it breaks?   That's just stupid -- or maybe greedy might be more accurate.

    Also:   My experience has been that Apple's support under AppleCare has been nothing but consistently stellar!
    edited September 18 magman1979bb-15
  • Reply 14 of 34
    Good luck finding that difference. 
    This is about a contact Apple has with its customers, Apple did not follow its own agreement. 
    chemengin1
  • Reply 15 of 34
    Aside from promises and contractual language, there's something else going on here:   So, you use for phone for a year and a half, then want a brand new phone if it breaks?   That's just stupid -- or maybe greedy might be more accurate.

    Also:   My experience has been that Apple's support under AppleCare has been nothing but consistently stellar!
    Odd you would put it like that. I got my SE through my carrier. Part of the salesman’s pitch to sell me AppleCare, which I was going to buy anyway, was the replacement potential. “So you can keep this for a year or year and a half, and if the screen “accidentally” breaks (wink wink) Apple will send you a replacement for free.”
    I still have the SE, but don’t do business with that carrier any more.”
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 16 of 34
    Let's review what Apple exactly says in the terms of service for Applecare+ in context. They haven't changed the language.

    "Apple will either: (i) repair the defect at no charge, using new parts or parts that are equivalent to new in performance and reliability, or (ii) 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."

    Of course, the HB lawyer's web page didn't mention, "a replacement product that is new or equivalent to new" In fact, if you google "equivalent to new" -apple warranty, you'll see nearly a million results, ergo it's industry-standard boilerplate warranty verbiage. If this lawsuit is won, these HB lawyers will have a lifetime career going forward.
    GeorgeBMacmagman1979randominternetperson
  • Reply 17 of 34
    Yeah, I'm not understanding the basis for this class action suit. Perhaps the judge feels they met the threshold to have their day in court, but based on the phrase the plaintiffs have singled out as their justification for a lawsuit leaves me a little perplexed.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,721member
    spice-boy said:
    Good luck finding that difference. 
    This is about a contact Apple has with its customers, Apple did not follow its own agreement. 
    Please read the verbiage and tell us how they did not follow the contract. 
    magman1979randominternetpersonJWSC
  • Reply 19 of 34
    I buy mainly refurbished Apple products.  Many people, including myself, believe that refurbished items are superior to new, because they have been individually inspected and tested.  These are not used cars, where it is "certified pre-owned".  These are, for all practical purposes, new units.
  • Reply 20 of 34
    GulaakGulaak Posts: 12unconfirmed, member
    It's interesting to see how Apple fans turn on Apple customers when they may have been wronged. The Apple apologists sure do come out in droves when their reverent Apple is "attacked".
    chemengin1
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