Australia: Federal Court refers Apple and ACCC to mediation

Federal Court judge Mark Moshinsky has referred the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Apple to mediation over claims that the iPhone maker misled customers about their rights in relation to defective devices.

The mediation is to be concluded by March 2, 2018, before a future trial date is set.

The ACCC had initiated legal action against Apple in April for allegedly refusing to provide a free remedy if a faulty device has been taken to a non-approved repairer.

The consumer watchdog commenced its investigation following reports relating to “error 53”, which disabled some consumers’ iPads or iPhones after downloading an iOS update.

Many consumers who experienced the error had previously taken their devices to third-party repairers, usually to replace a cracked screen, the ACCC said.

The investigation led the ACCC to believe that Apple routinely refused to look at or service customers’ defective devices if the customers previously had the device fixed by “unauthorised repairers” even when the repair was unrelated to error 53.

Under Australian Consumer Law, consumers have a number of guarantees regarding the quality, suitability for purpose, and other characteristics of goods and services. If goods and services do not comply with consumer guarantees, consumers are entitled to certain remedies at no cost.

Full Content: SBS News

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