It seems there’s a new class action lawsuit filed against Apple at least once every few months nowadays, alleging various questionable repair practices, negligence in updating software and even intentional destruction of property.
But sometimes, when regular consumers fail to convince judges of their legal cases’ merit, a government authority will come in and seek justice on behalf of an entire country. Unfortunately for US-based plaintiffs in the infamous Error 53 litigation, whatever the Australian Federal Court decides in response to proceedings instituted by the ACCC, it won’t apply to them.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission guns for local pecuniary penalties, injunctions, declarations, compliance program orders, corrective notices, and costs, claiming Apple made “false, misleading, or deceptive representations about consumers’ rights under the Australian Consumer Law.”
Said law apparently guarantees consumer rights that “exist independently of any manufacturer’s warranty and are not extinguished simply because a consumer has goods repaired by a third party.”
If you need a quick refresher, the egregious Error 53 message popped up on many iPhone screens around the world following a routine iOS update, rendering “tainted” devices completely unusable. Initially, Apple called the bricking debacle a necessary security measure, ultimately admitting it was wrong to essentially blacklist users who got their faulty Touch ID modules fixed at “unauthorized” shops.
The ACCC isn’t happy about the scandal’s resolution, and especially the time required to reach a partially satisfactory conclusion. Its view is that not only consumers denied their basic rights were impacted by Apple’s abusive behavior, but also others who may be dissuaded from making “informed choices about their repair options including where they may be offered at lower cost than the manufacturer.” You have to admit, that argument makes a lot of sense.