At the crux of the watchdog’s argument is the allegation that Apple routinely misled consumers about their warranty rights and that the company refused to repair devices - iPhones and iPads - for free if they had already been fixed by another vendor, even when the repair was not related to the fault. 'Consumer guarantee rights under the Australian Consumer Law exist independently of any manufacturer's warranty and are not extinguished simply because a consumer has goods repaired by a third party,' ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.
The ACCC instituted proceedings against Apple in the Federal Court on Thursday. Mr Sims said having a component of an Apple device serviced, repaired, or replaced by someone other than Apple couldn’t by itself extinguish a consumer's right to a remedy for non-compliance with the consumer guarantees.
'Denying a consumer their consumer guarantee rights simply because they had chosen a third party repairer not only impacts those consumers but can dissuade other customers from making informed choices about their repair options, including where they may be offered at a lower cost than the manufacturer,' he said. Consumer rights also extend to any software or software updates loaded onto devices, and faults with software or software updates may entitle consumers to free repairs from the software provider, Mr Sims said.