A Dutch court has ruled in favour of a customer who sued Apple after rejecting the offer of a refurbished iPhone as a warranty replacement for an iPhone 6 Plus, rather than brand new device. A judge in Amsterdam ordered the Cupertino giant to refund the buyer the original and full retail price of €799 (£667), plus interest.
The unnamed woman purchased the smartphone in November 2014, but a fault arose with the device nine months later in August 2015. As per Apple's standard limited one-year warranty – which states "Apple may use parts or products that are new or refurbished and equivalent to new in performance and reliability" for replacement devices – the woman was offered a 'new' handset that had been refurbished by the manufacturer.
Rather than accept the 'refurb' device, the woman instead sued Apple, as reported in the court documents from the case after a public hearing on 8 July, 2016. On top of the full refund, the court also ordered that Apple must pay the woman's legal fees for the case in question.
The ruling could put pressure on Apple to amend its policies, as the documentation explicitly states that the buyer was within her consumer rights to demand a new replacement under the specific circumstances. Neither party has commented on the verdict, although Apple could still appeal the decision.
The documents note that the woman's iPhone 6 Plus would not start nine months after her original purchase, indicating that this could have been a software issue rather than physical damage or any other form of fault. It is also noted that Apple deemed the phone as being beyond repair during its testing of said fault, although it is not clear whether the iOS device was purchased directly from an Apple Store or a third-party.
This is not the first time Apple has been on the wrong side of court decisions brought on by unhappy customers. In February, a Welsh man won a six-month-long court case, after the company refused to repair his Apple Watch, which had a cracked display.