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.
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.