The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) has fined Apple AUD$9 million (R92 million) for misleading clients into believing they could not have their iOS devices repaired by an authorised Apple store if they had been previously handled by third-party repair companies.
The Sydney Morning Herald said the ACCC launched court action against Apple after it received complaints about “error 53,” which disabled certain Apple devices after an operating system update was downloaded.
Error 53 is a security test designed to check whether Touch ID works before the device leaves the factory. Apple states on its support pages that it was not intended to affect customers.
Apple has stated on its website that if you have your device repaired by an unauthorised third party, it will not help if something goes wrong – such as error 53.
However, under Australian Consumer Law this is not allowed.
“Customers and consumers are free to have screens and other repairs done on their devices by third-party repairers, so long as that repair doesn’t damage the underlying system of the phone,” said the ACCC.
An outreach programme launched after the ACCC contacted Apple found around 5,000 clients who were affected by the matter.