David Lysgaard purchased a new iPhone 4 in 2011. When the phone failed while still under warranty, the Dane sent it back to Apple and was sent a replacement. When that phone also self-destructed after six months, Lysgaard found himself dealing with Apple customer services in Ireland.
“I dealt with three Apple service representatives,” Lysgaard told TV2 News.
“After many hours on the phone, I found that my warranty was void because the phone I now had was not ‘factory new’ any longer.”
Everything old is new again
It turned out the replacement phone Lysgaard received after the first one failed had been rebuilt from recycled components. Apple calls them ‘refurbished’.
Lysgaard said that no-one at Apple ever told him that he was getting a refurbished phone, and he took his complaint to consumer complaints board Forbrugerklagenævnet.
“I managed to eventually get my two-year warranty honoured,” said Lysgaard.
The board then decided that Apple had the responsibility to disclose that it was using recycled models as replacement phones and that Lysgaard was entitled to 8,300 kroner to cover his initial purchase price and interest.
The board was unanimous in its decision.
When a win is not a win
Apple, however, did not agree. It has filed a countersuit refusing to pay and is taking Lysgaard back to court.
“I was shocked when I saw the letter,” he said. “I thought: ‘What the hell have I got myself into?’”
Lysgaard, who wondered how he could be sued for a case he had already won, mused: “I feel like the little guy”.
The decision regarding the legality of using refurbished phones as replacements could have huge implications for Apple, so the company is flying in an army of lawyers and a chief engineer from its California headquarters as a witness.