The ACCC Is Taking Apple To Court

Image: Gizmodo

Have you ever experienced the joy of getting "error 53" on your precious iOS device and taken it to Apple, only for them to refuse to look at it? Good news: an ACCC investigation allegedly uncovered the same thing, and they're taking Apple to court.

In a media release earlier this morning, the ACCC announced that they discovered Apple had "routinely refused to look at or service consumers' defective devices if a consumer had previously had the device repaired by a third party repairer, even where that repair was unrelated to the fault". The investigation was kicked off by the infamous "error 53", an error some users saw after downloading an update for iOS on their iPad or iPhone.

"The ACCC alleges Apple represented to consumers with faulty products that they were not entitled to a free remedy if their Apple device had previously been repaired by third party, 'unauthorised repairers'," the consumer watchdog argued. "However, having a component of the Apple device serviced, repaired, or replaced by someone other than Apple cannot, by itself, extinguish the consumer’s right to a remedy for non-compliance with the consumer guarantees."

Rod Sims, chairman of the ACCC, noted that Australian consumer guarantees cannot be voided "simply because a consumer has goods repaired by a third party" and that they remain independent of any warranty from a manufacturer. "As consumer goods become increasingly complex, businesses also need to remember that consumer rights extend to any software or software updates loaded onto those goods," Sims said in the release.

For more information about the dreaded error 53, and what you can do about it, here's some info from our friends at Gizmodo:

Apple's iPhone 'Error 53' Is A Security Feature, Not A Bug

Earlier today the Guardian reported on mounting "fury" over a mysterious "Error 53" appearing on iPhones repaired by unauthorised repair providers. The report includes a quote from an unnamed "specialist" journalist (whatever the hell that is) who claimed that Error 53 will "will kill your iPhone".

Read more

Apple's Error 53: Dodgy Repairs Will Brick Your iPhone

Following reports of bricked iPhones, Apple has confirmed that "error 53" is real — but it's not what is causing the bricking.

Read more

Apple Suddenly Decides That Error 53 Is No Longer A 'Security Feature'

After weeks of insisting Error 53 brickings were the result of bad repair jobs, Apple is now saying that it was a big goof and that the brickings were never supposed to happen. Come on Apple.

Read more

Apple Has Apologised, Released A Fix For 'Error 53'

Apple has apologised to iPhone owners whose devices were disabled after succumbing to the Error 53 malfunction.

Read more


    Apple are right shits when it comes to any sort of customer support. As someone that used to work on a Telstra techbar I can tell you that there is nothing worse than talking to apple support about account issues, they even narrowly beat out Bigpond business support for increasing blood pressure.

    A lot of American companies don't seem to accept that the ACL rights exist separately to their own warranty, making the concept of authorised repairs a bad joke. All those "Removing/Breaking this tag will void your warranty" stickers they use mean absolutely nothing to Australian customers, and in fact are actually illegal under US law too, although few enough people know that that the companies can get away with it normally. It is good that the ACCC officially acknowledges ACL right-to-repair extends to software, however, as that has strong implications for game developers/producers who routinely turn out dodgy products and offer substandard post-release support.

    Last edited 06/04/17 3:28 pm

      The issue with right to repair is a hot topic in North America and EU (john deer tractors case)... while in Australia we forget we already have that right and accept the tag line of authorised repairer with gullibility. I think Apple is going to choise the best tactic that wont interfere with their EU NA business... which is either sweep this quietly under the rug or fight it tooth and nail. Pribably the later.

    Apple's actions here were incredibly consumer unfriendly.

    It's one thing to decide that the fingerprint sensor is untrusted due to the repair and disable it: it's quite another to disable the entire phone. They could just as easily have decided that the phone could only be unlocked via password (which is also an option when the fingerprint sensor is working/trusted).

    Wouldn't it be nice if just once, an US company respected our laws without having to be dragged in front of a court first?

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