Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Sting operation caught Apple misleading customers over right to repair

Published Jun 6th, 2017 8:00PM EDT

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

It’s no secret that Apple isn’t a huge fan of the “right to repair” movement, or the laws that support consumers’ decisions to have their Apple hardware fixed by anyone but Apple itself. The company has been to court on the issue before, but recently released court documents pertaining to a right to repair case in Australia reveal that the company was caught red handed denying consumers repairs that were guaranteed under the country’s laws.

As Guardian reports, Australian officials, working undercover and posing as Apple customers, contacted all 13 Apple retail locations in the country and asked for iPhone repairs related to the now infamous Error 53 failure.

“In each call, Apple Australia represented to the ACCC caller that no Apple entity … was required to, or would, remedy the defective speaker at no cost under the [Australian consumer law] if the screen of the iPhone had been replaced by someone other than Apple Australia or an Apple-authorised service provider,” according to court filings.

The responses went directly against what the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s protections provide, which should have covered the repairs in full. However, Apple has fired back, stating that the fake calls shouldn’t be counted against them because they were “hypothetical circumstances.”

Apple’s Error 53 woes are largely behind them, with the company doing its best to clean up the mess it left by releasing an update to address the issue and replacing affected phones via outreach programs. Still, the “sting” operation and its findings aren’t a particularly good look for the company, especially when many consumers already see the brand in a not-so-flattering light in regards to consumer rights.