Apple Staff Allegedly Caught Misleading Customers Over iPhone ‘Error 53’ Repairs
At issue here is a security check that iOS performs on mobile devices to ensure they have not been compromised. Where things get tricky is when turning to an unauthorized repair shop to fix a broken iPhone or iPad, as might be the case if the screen cracks from dropping the device. Screen replacements are often come as all-in-one kits that include the display panel, front glass, front camera, Home button, and Touch ID sensor to make repairs easier.
Apple implemented the security check on Touch ID sensors is to protect consumers from fraudulent components and transactions. At the time this all came to light, Apple said that only certain service centers can validate a Touch ID sensor. Since then, Apple has since issued an iOS update that restores bricked handsets and tablets, while keeping the Touch ID sensor disabled.
"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or would, remedy the defective speaker at no cost under the [Australian consumer law] if the screen of the iPhone had been replaced by someone other than Apple Australia or an Apple-authorized service provider,” ACCC alleges in court documents.
Under Australian law, consumers have the right to a replacement or free repair if a product is faulty or otherwise deemed unacceptable. That is really the crux of the lawsuit.
Apple's response to the lawsuit is that no wrongdoing occurred because undercover calls made by the AOCC cannot be considered breaches, as consumer law does not exist in "hypothetical circumstances." The company further claims that real customers would have received accurate information from Apple in regards to their rights under consumer law.