Lawsuit over refurbished Apple service replacements heading to trial in August

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 5
Five years after filing, a class action lawsuit accusing Apple of providing repair replacement devices that aren't "equivalent to new in reliability and performance" is set to go to trial in August.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The complaint was originally filed in 2016 and took issue with Apple replacing damaged devices with refurbished models. Although Apple says it provides replacement devices that are "equivalent to new in performance and reliability," the lawsuit alleges that "remanufactured," or refurbished, devices don't meet that definition.

The original plaintiff in the case allegedly received a replacement iPad that did not function properly. As such, the lawsuit claims that it was not "equivalent to new."

According to a notice sent by law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, first spotted by MacRumors, the case will proceed to trial on August 16, 2021.

The class covers U.S. customers who purchased an AppleCare or AppleCare+ plan for iPhone or iPad on or after July 20, 2012 and later received a "remanufactured" replacement device. Those who meet the description are automatically included in the class unless they opt out by May 3.

As AppleInsider reported at the time, the case will hinge on how the court defines "refurbished," or how it interprets the "equivalent to new in performance and reliability" clause in the AppleCare+ contract. The original filing also doesn't seem to consider wear and tear by the user prior to the repair, as it applies to what the user receives in exchange.

Per Apple repair program guidelines, parts that are replaced during repair at an authorized service location are required to be sent back to Apple for evaluation, repair, and a return to service stock. Once a damaged device claimed by Apple during a repair process is repaired, it too is sometimes repaired and sent back to the service replacement process or re-sold directly to consumers as a refurbished device.

Apple denies any wrongdoing in the case. The case is slated to be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. More details can be found at the lawsuit's website.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,881member
    So people who had their devices replaced by refurbished ones instead of a brand new one are pissed? Why? Where does the warranty agreement state that new replacements are guaranteed?
    viclauyyc
  • Reply 2 of 27
    This guy does know that even brand-new devices can also come dead out of the box too, right?
    hammeroftruth
  • Reply 3 of 27
    So they are upset that Apple replaced their used device with a used device and not new? Morons.
    viclauyycGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 27
    lkrupp said:
    So people who had their devices replaced by refurbished ones instead of a brand new one are pissed? Why? Where does the warranty agreement state that new replacements are guaranteed?
    It’s called something for nothing.
  • Reply 5 of 27
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,460member
    The level of entitlement that people have (and the lawyers) is just staggering.  

    I guess my mindset is just different.  If I received a refurbished model and it doesn't work, my wiring will have me go back to Apple and get another one that works.  Never would I seek a lawyer and expect a class-action lawsuit.  WTF?
    edited March 5 roakeroundaboutnowviclauyycBombdoe
  • Reply 6 of 27
    I purchased a new iPhone that was dead after 24 hours. When I went to the Apple Store they wanted to replace it with a refurbished one instead of a new one. You think that after forking out $2K where I’m at, I am somehow entitled for wanting a new replacement!????

    muthuk_vanalingamyuck9beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 7 of 27
    roakeroake Posts: 735member
    sflocal said:
    The level of entitlement that people have (and the lawyers) is just staggering.  

    I guess my mindset is just different.  If I received a refurbished model and it doesn't work, my wiring will have me go back to Apple and get another one that works.  Never would I seek a lawyer and expect a class-action lawsuit.  WTF?
    Yes, exactly!
  • Reply 8 of 27
    roakeroake Posts: 735member
    I purchased a new iPhone that was dead after 24 hours. When I went to the Apple Store they wanted to replace it with a refurbished one instead of a new one. You think that after forking out $2K where I’m at, I am somehow entitled for wanting a new replacement!????

    I had something like this happen when I bought a new iPhone right at release.  I asked if the replacement would be refurbished.  They said it took a few months before Apple had a significant stock of refurbished phones, so I would receive a new one.  Made sense.

    However, if your model iPhone had been on the market for several months, and died within 24 hours of you getting it, what then?  In this special case, I suspect you could request a new one and Apple would oblige.  Apple will work with people.

    Worst case scenario is that you get a refund, then buy a new one.  A tiny hassle, only necessary if they somehow won’t work with you, which I doubt would happen.
    roundaboutnowGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 27
    I have bought several refurbished iPods and iPads and 1 iPhone from Apple. ALL have a new battery and case. It seems only the electronic parts are used. Fyi
  • Reply 10 of 27
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 2,883member
    Totally agree with the comments above - If the warranty and/or Apple Care explicitly state that you may receive a remanufactured device then there shouldn't be much of a case. Besides - you're bringing in a used device to get it fixed, right? Why should you necessarily get a new device to replace a used one?

    The key point that I got out of the article was that the issue wasn't with the replacement being refurbished, rather the plaintiff allegedly received a replacement that "didn't function properly." Exactly how it didn't function properly isn't detailed in the article, but if the replacement wasn't fully functional then I would expect Apple to provide another replacement that was. If they didn't then they weren't abiding by the terms of the warranty, but that's not an issue with the warranty, it's breach of contract.
    edited March 5 elijahgrandominternetperson
  • Reply 11 of 27
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,382member
    MplsP said:
    Totally agree with the comments above - If the warranty and/or Apple Care explicitly state that you may receive a remanufactured device then there shouldn't be much of a case. Besides - you're bringing in a used device to get it fixed, right? Why should you necessarily get a new device to replace a used one?

    The key point that I got out of the article was that the issue wasn't with the replacement being refurbished, rather the plaintiff allegedly received a replacement that "didn't function properly." Exactly how it didn't function properly isn't detailed in the article, but if the replacement wasn't fully functional then I would expect Apple to provide another replacement that was. If they didn't then they weren't abiding by the terms of the warranty, but that's not an issue with the warranty, it's breach of contract.
    I’ve had remanufactured replacement phones.  Never had an issue.  And I agree it would seem Apple is covered by their warranty terms.  On the other hand, I do think it’s reasonable to expect a truly new replacement if the unit fails within a given window and can’t be repaired on site, perhaps 14-30 days. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 27
    seankillseankill Posts: 537member
    If it fails in 3 months..... I want a new one (because I bought a NEW phone). After that, refurb is fine.
    edited March 5 FrancescoBmuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 13 of 27
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 437member
    sflocal said:
    The level of entitlement that people have (and the lawyers) is just staggering.  

    I guess my mindset is just different.  If I received a refurbished model and it doesn't work, my wiring will have me go back to Apple and get another one that works.  Never would I seek a lawyer and expect a class-action lawsuit.  WTF?
    These people did not go looking for a lawyer. The lawyers got an idea for a lawsuit and then went looking/recruiting for a plaintiff whose name they could use to file. Scum of the earth who costs everyone of us significant money every time we buy anything.
  • Reply 14 of 27
    A friend of mine worked as a genius for a few years, I lost touch with him, so I don’t know if this is still the case or not, but this was how he explained it to me. 

    An Apple “Refurbished” device, is basically a totally new devices with a recycled main board that was cleaned and certified. All of the other components are recycled and as well. 

    There’s also 2 sets of “Refurb” stock as well, when a device is brand new, the stores get a stock of brand new devices meant specifically for swaps if something doesn’t work. They are the same devices as in the retail boxes, just in a generic box, so the first few months a device is out, the likely hood of it actually being refurbished is slim to none. 
    edited March 5
  • Reply 15 of 27
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 2,883member
    sdw2001 said:
    MplsP said:
    Totally agree with the comments above - If the warranty and/or Apple Care explicitly state that you may receive a remanufactured device then there shouldn't be much of a case. Besides - you're bringing in a used device to get it fixed, right? Why should you necessarily get a new device to replace a used one?

    The key point that I got out of the article was that the issue wasn't with the replacement being refurbished, rather the plaintiff allegedly received a replacement that "didn't function properly." Exactly how it didn't function properly isn't detailed in the article, but if the replacement wasn't fully functional then I would expect Apple to provide another replacement that was. If they didn't then they weren't abiding by the terms of the warranty, but that's not an issue with the warranty, it's breach of contract.
    I’ve had remanufactured replacement phones.  Never had an issue.  And I agree it would seem Apple is covered by their warranty terms.  On the other hand, I do think it’s reasonable to expect a truly new replacement if the unit fails within a given window and can’t be repaired on site, perhaps 14-30 days. 
    Ditto - the back broke on my Xs within a month of getting it, despite having a case. I had apple care so I brought it in to the store - they swapped it out for another one. I can't be positive, but I believe they said it may have been refurbished. either way, I got a perfectly functional phone with no blemishes that is still working fine today.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 16 of 27
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,315member
    The plaintiffs are almost totally wrong in filing this suit and the basis on which they did so, but they did get one thing right: refurbished is not the same as new.

    Refurbished is better than new.

    A new device has only been through the normal inspection/QC process. A refurbished item has been through that same process at least twice.

    With one exception, I can't think of any Mac product I have ever bought new. This has not been the case with most of my iPhones and iPads, but I would have no hesitation about buying a refurb one of those. 30+ years and I have yet to require a call to Apple to fix a warranty-type issue with any of my Apple products, new or refurb. Almost did during the iPhone 6s battery thing, but the cheap-battery replacement program was in place by the time mine was starting to fail.
    badmonk
  • Reply 17 of 27
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,285member
    lkrupp said:
    So people who had their devices replaced by refurbished ones instead of a brand new one are pissed? Why? Where does the warranty agreement state that new replacements are guaranteed?
    It’s called something for nothing.
    But are the “chicks for free”?
    mobirdroakeMplsP
  • Reply 18 of 27
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 960member
    chasm said:
    The plaintiffs are almost totally wrong in filing this suit and the basis on which they did so, but they did get one thing right: refurbished is not the same as new.

    Refurbished is better than new.

    A new device has only been through the normal inspection/QC process. A refurbished item has been through that same process at least twice.

    With one exception, I can't think of any Mac product I have ever bought new. This has not been the case with most of my iPhones and iPads, but I would have no hesitation about buying a refurb one of those. 30+ years and I have yet to require a call to Apple to fix a warranty-type issue with any of my Apple products, new or refurb. Almost did during the iPhone 6s battery thing, but the cheap-battery replacement program was in place by the time mine was starting to fail.

    Agree with Chasm, for awhile I would only purchase (and recommended the same to others) refurbished Macs.  In my life, they were more trouble free than the new Macs i have purchased.  Granted the sample size is small (probably ten Macs, 4 refurbs vs 6 new) over 25 years), but my refurbs have been more dependable.  I suspect they are subjected to more stringent QC.

  • Reply 19 of 27
    mobirdmobird Posts: 529member
    chadbag said:
    lkrupp said:
    So people who had their devices replaced by refurbished ones instead of a brand new one are pissed? Why? Where does the warranty agreement state that new replacements are guaranteed?
    It’s called something for nothing.
    But are the “chicks for free”?
    Good music acumen.
    chadbag
  • Reply 20 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 8,964member
    I purchased a new iPhone that was dead after 24 hours. When I went to the Apple Store they wanted to replace it with a refurbished one instead of a new one. You think that after forking out $2K where I’m at, I am somehow entitled for wanting a new replacement!????


    While it is ridiculous that a person would want to replace, say, a one year old device with a brand new one, likewise, replacing a brand new device with a used one is equally as ridiculous.

    Perhaps common sense and a sense of fairness on both sides is needed.
    elijahg
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