The Federal Court of Australia on Tuesday fined Apple $6.5 million dollars for refusing to fix iPhones and iPads that had been serviced by third parties.
The court said Apple had breached the country’s consumer law by telling about 275 customers they were not eligible for a remedy if their device had been repaired by a third party.
The Australian Competitor and Consumer Commission (ACCC) sued Apple for bricking, or using a software update to disable hundreds of smartphones and tablet devices, then refusing to unlock them if the devices had been serviced by repairers not sanctioned by the company.
In some cases, Apple refused remedies even when the third-party repair was for something like a cracked screen and not related to the fault, the ACCC said.
“The mere fact that an iPhone or iPad had been repaired by someone other than Apple did not, and could not, result in the consumer guarantees ceasing to apply,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said in a statement.
“Global companies must ensure their returns policies are compliant with the Australian Consumer Law, or they will face ACCC action,” said Court.