An Australian court today fines Apple slammed with a 6.7 million dollars fine for a violation known as “bricking”.
Now, for those of us who don’t know what “bricking” is: Bricking simply means to enclose or block with a wall of blocks.
The fine became necessary after a regulator accused Apple of using a software update to disable iPhones that have had their cracked screens fixed by third parties.
One of the world largest company was sued by The Australian Competitor and Consumer Commission (ACCC) who felt the “bricking” was unfair to iPhone users.The Commission also accused the company of disabling tablet devices that have undergone repairs by non-Apple repairers. It said in such instances, Apple would refuse to unlock such a device and display the “error 53” message.
ACCC informed Apple during its investigations and even though it said the company tried to compensate customers who were victims of this “bricking”.
However, Apple`s effort didn’t seem to pay off much because an Australian federal court today passed its judgment in favor of ACCC, making Apple understand that it had breached the country`s consumer law by refusing about 275 customers access to their devices merely because they had taken these devices for repairs by a non-Apple repairer.
ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said this in a statement “The mere fact that an iPhone or iPad had been repaired by someone other than Apple did not, and could not, result in the consumer guarantees ceasing to apply”.
She also said global companies must ensure their returns policies are in compliance with the Australian Consumer Law, or they will face ACCC action.
This didn’t sound like a threat that any company should take for granted.An Apple spokeswoman said in an email that the company was having a very productive conversation with the ACCC about the court`s ruling, but refused to comment further.Following the ruling, the ACCC said Apple has tried contacting about 5000 customers.
It said Apple has also decided to make improvements with regards to their staff training, the information they put on their websites about warranties and consumer law, and processes to ensure compliance.