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QLD Apple Robina Won’t Replace Recalled Faulty iPhone 5S Battery

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by ChopperChuckie, 27 August 2014.

  1. ChopperChuckie

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    My wife's iPhone 5S battery was playing up so I booked her in at the Apple Robina Genius bar (Gold Coast). They said there was water damage in there and they won't touch it. Her iPhone is faultless apart from battery - approx. 18 months old iPhone 5S from Telstra.

    My wife told me about her experience at the Apple Genius Bar and confirmed that she'd never dropped her iPhone in water, or left it near water, etc.

    I researched her iPhone and its serial number and discovered that its part of a batch of iPhones that had a faulty battery that Apple recalled. (See Apple recalls faulty iPhone 5 batteries).

    I then scheduled another Genius Bar appointment at Apple Robina to replace the faulty battery as it was part of the recalled batch. The Apple Genius took the iPhone and accepted liability for the battery. The gave me a receipt for the work to replace it and told me to come back in around an hour.

    When I came back, they said that after opening the phone getting repaired, they saw water damage - and said we won't fix it. I argued that I don't want them to fix any 'water damage', I want them to replace the faulty battery which was faulty to start with which has been publicly acknowledged by Apple in the recall.

    After my attempts at logical arguments and being essentially told 'bad luck, see you later', the Senior Manager, said that I could pay $329 for a replacement iPhone 5S.

    Here's the links from Apple's website that describe the battery recall and water damage issue:

    Can someone please help me - what do I do under Australian Consumer Law?
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @ChopperChuckie
    Unfortunately, I think that your options are limited to:
    1. paying for a replacement/refurbished iPhone 5S for $329; or
    2. tolerating the decreased battery life,
    because Apple's iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program notes that "If your iPhone 5 has any damage such as a cracked screen which impairs the replacement of the battery, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair."

    As a side note, I understand that the new iPhone 6 may be released in the near future and this may result in the cost of a replacement/refurbished iPhone 5S being reduced.

    Hope this helps. Please keep us updated with your progress.
     
    Sarah J likes this.
  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Cracked screens are different because of the silly way Apple designed the phone. Repairers may cause more damage if the screen is cracked because the screen has to be lifted out with some force. Water doesn't present the same problem.

    Report them to Fair trading or your equivalent.
     
  4. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Following on from @Rod's reply, my thought was that:
    1. Apple has used a "cracked screen" as an example of damage that would need to be fixed before a battery replacement; but
    2. assuming that an iPhone is indicating that has been affected by water, it is likely reasonable for Apple to consider the iPhone "damaged" and also refuse to replace the battery before fixing the water damage.
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Hi John,

    But why would a damaged phone (water) be an excuse not to fix the battery under Australian Consumer Law? The customer bought a phone and regardless of how well it is working, should Apple replace the faulty battery under the recall?
     

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