Apple Cannot Replace Broken iPads with Refurbished Ones, Rules Court

According to a recent court ruling in Netherlands, if Apple needs to replace a broken iPad, it must do so with a new unit and not a refurbished one. The Judge issued the ruling against a suit which started in 2015 when a woman purchased an iPad Air 2 with AppleCare. After four months, the unit developed wi-fi issues, and Apple replaced her tablet with a refurbished unit (via AppleInsider).

Apple care

Although Apple has clearly mentioned in its terms of service, that all replacements are made with refurbished units, the judge overseeing the case has ruled that Apple can only replace like with like. While a device purchased refurbished can be replaced with a refurbished product, a device purchased new must be replaced with a new device.

“If a plaintiff had purchased a refurbished or replacement iPad, Apple may replace it with a refurbished or replacement copy”, ruled the judge. “But if the consumer, as in this case, purchased a new iPad , She is entitled to a new iPad as a replacement”. The ruling does not cover replacement parts, however. It affirms a previous ruling from December 2016, disallowing refurbished iPhones from being doled out for service swaps.

Parts that are replaced in a repair at an Apple authorized service location are required to be returned to Apple for evaluation and potential component level repair, with the goal of an eventual return to service stock.

Last year in July, Apple was hit with a similar class action suit filing in California, which claimed that refurbished devices are not the same as new, and should not be used as service exchanges. 

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  • Mr Dog

    I do not understand this. This seems like another shot in the foot for customers.

    Apple is not allowed to replace a broken iPad with a refurbished. But the other options are:

    – Fix the iPad
    – Replace the iPad with a new one?

    If this keeps up, Apple will resort to making you wait for your iPad to get fixed then refurbished replacement.

  • Parksy

    I just had an iPad Air 2 replaced under AppleCare, about three months prior to its expiration. I was having battery problems, even though their battery test said that it was fine. It was only after the Genius Bar guy spent 15 minutes on my unit and the battery dropped 10% did he question what was going on. We’d already done the resets, restores etc. The battery would be lucky to last 24 hours with no usage. I don’t know if the replacement unit is new or refurbished and I don’t care! The battery will blast for nearly 12 hours of usage and 150 hours since last charge.

  • Si2k78

    Why some people would complain about receiving an almost brand new unit as their replacement is beyond me. Apple will just resort to taking their sweet time and replacing the defective component and making you wait.

  • Sharma15

    “Apple will just resort to taking their sweet time and replacing the defective component and making you wait”. This statement would never happen if they replaced your defective unit with a new unit in their stock. I think this is a justified ask as you pay premium price for apple peoducts, then a premium on apple care+. So, if I bought everything brand new and apple was going to give me a refurbished device, it is still refurbished and that isn’t what the plaintiff purchased from apple. I can understand the plaintiff’s clams to receive a new iPad instead of a refurbished replacement, or a in store service change for the part. Thanks to the judge, consumers are being taken care of in the Netherlands.

  • This is really bad for the enviroment…

  • Bytemonger

    When is a new product considered used and therefore can be replaced with a used one?

  • SV650

    Third option:
    I’m sorry, Sir / Madam, but your device is unrepairable.

  • NOHoldsBar

    So is your carbon emissions and footprint

  • NOHoldsBar

    haha. you fit the mold where some people lack reasonable thinking skills and make ridiculous comments or posts. they’re a true example of Darwinism

  • NOHoldsBar

    There’s no point in trying to rationalize with folks who are cognitively impaired.

  • NOHoldsBar

    They will never do that. That’s what sets Apple apart.

    All this means is that Apple will need to start using better quality components which will last longer.

  • Mr Dog

    Fault parts are inevitable. It’ll happen regardless of what is used, that just how it is

  • Steve

    LMAO! You’ve obviously never fixed or even opened an iPad “refurbished” by Apple. You would know clearly see that it is nowhere near new.

  • erth

    so…. what about iphones? i have had two replacements of my iphone 6 and i believe both were with refurbs…. i think a larger problem will ensue.

  • Si2k78

    That’s a fantasy. Consumer protections can’t gaurentee you a new product as a replacement, they ensure you you recurve a properly functioning product. Apple can just replace the defective component, i.e- camera, battery Ect. They dont have to give you a refurbished replacement that has new exterior and battery.

  • Si2k78

    Actually I have. New casing and new battery. The only thing that is reused is logic board.

  • Si2k78

    A policy that requires you replace all devices that need repair with a brand new device will ensure you run your business into the ground. If tesla had to replace your car with a an entirely brand new car because your battery was defective or malfunctioned, believe me, they wouldn’t be in business.

  • Sam

    They probably are. But why twice? Any problem with the latest?

  • Sam

    I think the good course of action on Apple’s part is to offer a choice:
    1. Fix the product = longer wait time.
    2. **Accept a refurbished unit = no wait time.

  • Sam

    Sigh* I was going to comment “that was the first good comment from you here”, then I read your second sentence. Maybe you should take back your Darwin award. You may deserve your own award more.

  • erth

    my apple care on this iphone 6 was actually for 3 years (remember those good old days…). the first time i had a mute button problem (would not mute when switched off) and the second was the battery issue (battery would go from 60% – 5% and then turn off). apple care only allows for two replacements, and since i do not live near a apple store, they just send me a refurb and then i send my old phone back once i have the new one. i think a lot of the problems are with refurbed phones. they fix it for problem X, then there is another problem…

  • Sam

    Good one! The repair effort could in fact cost more than a new or refurbished unit.