Apple's $95 Million Settlement Over Refurbished Replacement Devices Not Being 'Equivalent to New' Moves Forward

Back in October, Apple agreed to pay $95 million to settle an ongoing class action lawsuit that accused the company of violating various U.S. laws and regulations by providing customers with refurbished replacement devices instead of new devices when repairs were required under AppleCare.

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Administrators handling the case have now updated the "Replacement Device Lawsuit" website with details on the settlement, and have started sending out emails to customers who might be eligible for a payment after the settlement is finalized.

Customers who purchased an ‌AppleCare‌ Protection Plan or ‌AppleCare‌+ for an iPhone or iPad between July 20, 2012 and September, 30, 2021 and who received a refurbished replacement device from Apple are included in the lawsuit.

Apple's Repair Terms and Conditions in the United States make it clear that the company might use "parts or products that are new or refurbished and equivalent to new in performance and reliability" when repairing or replacing a device, but the lawsuit claimed that refurbished devices are "not equivalent to new in performance and reliability."

The lawsuit was seeking compensation for ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and iPod owners who purchased ‌AppleCare‌ or ‌AppleCare‌+ coverage and were unhappy with receiving an "inferior" refurbished device instead of a device that works "like new."

Apple has opted to settle the lawsuit with a $95 million payment because it has already spanned six years and would only result in additional legal fees, but the company has admitted no wrong doing and "vigorously" denies that refurbished devices are inferior to new devices.

The $95 million settlement has already received preliminary approval, and Apple customers now have an option to exclude themselves from the settlement or object, which can be done on the lawsuit website. The website also includes a form for those who are interested in making sure that they're included in the settlement.

A final fairness hearing is set to take place on April 27, 2022, and after that is when class members can expect to begin receiving payments. After attorneys' fees and other expenses, the class members could receive somewhere between $63.4 million and $68.1 million, with that amount split up between those affected.

(Thanks, Daniel!)

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Top Rated Comments

saudor Avatar
32 months ago
nice. So the lawyers get tens of millions as usual and everyone else gets $1.99 each
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
planteater Avatar
32 months ago
I’d be unhappy as hell if I received a refurbished machine replacement. Especially after paying for AppleCare. Apple is wrong on this one.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CWallace Avatar
32 months ago
My iPhone 6 Plus was replaced towards the final year of my AppleCare because the cellular modem died on it and I never expected them to hand me a new iPhone 6 Plus.

For the record, the refurb I received looked and worked flawlessly.

And I buy plenty of refurbished Mac desktops and laptops and they have all been cosmetically and functionally perfect.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
appleArticulate Avatar
32 months ago

I'd be bothered by this normally because most refurbishes suck, except that I usually buy refurb anyway from Apple because it's generally BETTER than new. I can't tell it's used at all and everything has been diagnosed and fixed so you can be sure nothing is wrong with it and still comes with a on year warranty. Even peeling off the factory sticky plastic still feels new.

But I still think replacements should be new.
I really can't imagine being upset by this, unless of course your device is brand new. Most people's devices are not brand new when seeking warranty replacement, so it hardly seems reasonable to expect a brand new device to replace your used device. Especially since Apple refurbished devices are in some cases better than new, as they've had various fixes applied that new devices don't have.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bandaman Avatar
32 months ago

I really can't imagine being upset by this, unless of course your device is brand new. Most people's devices are not brand new when seeking warranty replacement, so it hardly seems reasonable to expect a brand new device to replace your used device. Especially since Apple refurbished devices are in some cases better than new, as they've had various fixes applied that new devices don't have.
While I agree, I've always gotten new replacements when I use my warranty on literally anything from TVs to game consoles to whatever. In Apple's case, they can give me refurbs all day because I know how reliable in quality they are.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
buckwheet Avatar
32 months ago

I really can't imagine being upset by this, unless of course your device is brand new. Most people's devices are not brand new when seeking warranty replacement, so it hardly seems reasonable to expect a brand new device to replace your used device. Especially since Apple refurbished devices are in some cases better than new, as they've had various fixes applied that new devices don't have.
Yeah, having bought several refurbs in the past I know from experience that they really are equivalent to new. I've often recommended to friends that they buy refurbs—if the model they want is available—since it's really just a good way of getting a discount on a new machine.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)