Apple, in the latter half of December last year, got caught up in a scandal that accused the tech giant of throttling iPhone performance on older units with weakened batteries, something the company confirmed. As a measure to placate angered users, Apple cut down iPhone battery replacement charges for iPhone 6 and above to allow more users to get a replacement done. But, new reports suggest Apple might have another plan up its sleeve. Apple is allegedly pointing out faults in iPhone models sent in for battery replacement and quoting charges to customers that are up to ten times the original service cost.
In a report by UK publication BBC, it has been claimed by several users that Apple has charged them hefty service charges on sending their iPhone to repair centres for battery replacement. The reason, in most of these complaints, is "because of existing damage to their phones that would impair the replacement of the batteries."
On this, Apple's repair page states that, "If your iPhone has any damage that impairs the replacement of the battery, such as a cracked screen, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair." The company offers a 90-day warranty on freshly serviced phones, even if the regular warranty is over.
However, BBC notes, this doesn't appear to be the case with all complaints as certain users have been sent a bill of damages from Apple despite claims that their handsets worked fine before sending them in.
Talking about one particular user, the report states, "His phone was in perfect condition, but needed the battery replacing. This time, with no apparent damage outside, Apple told David there was damage inside the phone. The firm said the front microphone and speaker were faulty, quoting over GBP 250 (roughly Rs. 22,700) to resolve the issue." Further, the user took back his unit and got it examined from a mobile repair specialist only to find out that there were no apparent faulty parts in the iPhone.
The BBC Watchdog report also claims that some Apple customer services representatives said the firm made clear in its warranty that "any and all damage" must be repaired first before battery replacement, however, neither the publication or Matthew Purcell, a dispute resolution lawyer from Sanders Law, could find a mention of this requirement.
Purcell told BBC, "I think consumers are getting annoyed because at a time when Apple should be rebuilding trust, it seems like they're putting barriers in the way of people getting their phones repaired."
In a statement to the BBC, Apple said, "When it comes to iPhone battery replacement, if your iPhone has any damage that impairs the replacement of the battery, such as a cracked screen, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair."