A Dutch judge has ruled that Apple must replace a faulty iPad that qualifies for its warranty service with a new iPad and not use a ‘remanufactured’ device instead. The ruling was in a case in which a Dutch citizen had sued the Cupertino, California-based tech giant after getting an unsatisfactory AppleCare service.
The Dutch citizen had acquired an iPad Air 2 two years ago but it developed Wi-Fi connection problems less than four months later. When she took the tablet back to Apple, she was handed a remanufactured device as a replacement. That is when the Dutch citizen filed a lawsuit against Apple. According to Apple a remanufactured device is one that has been reconstituted using inspection and production procedures similar to those employed for new products.
Not good enough
In his ruling, the judge said that a remanufactured device was not an adequate replacement adding that when determining what to replace with, the state of purchase of the original device ought to have been the consideration. This was to mean that a new device should have been replaced with a brand new device and not anything less.
“If a plaintiff had purchased a refurbished or replacement iPad, Apple may replace it with a refurbished or replacement copy, but if the consumer … purchased a new iPad, she is entitled to a new iPad…” wrote the judge in the ruling.
The plaintiff will also be compensated by Apple for the number of days that she waited for an adequate replacement. For each of those days, she will $109.25 which should translate to more than the amount she spent on purchasing the device.
This was not the first case of a similar nature against Apple in The Netherlands. Last summer, another Dutch citizen filed a lawsuit against Apple after the tech giant declined to provide her with a new iPhone 6 Plus replacement. In the ruling, the purchase agreement was nullified and Apple ordered to give back the money the woman had spent acquiring the iPhone 6 Plus. This set a precedent in the European country and which has had ramifications to this day.
Worryingly for Apple, a trial in a similar civil lawsuit is set to start next year in December. Arguments for and against the case are likely to hinge on how ‘refurbished’ or ‘remanufactured’ is defined and whether such a remanufacture or refurbished device can be allowed in service swaps.