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).
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.