Apple Agrees To $53 Million Settlement Over Water Damaged iPhones

apple logoYou may recall that years ago, I posted an account of an ordeal over a relatively new iPhone that stopped functioning. When I took it into the store, they promptly informed me that I got the phone wet and refused to repair or replace it. When I told that that it was impossible that the phone had been “submerged” or saturated as they claimed, they opened the phone and confirmed that only one of two indicators showed water damage but still said that it voided any obligation of the company. Though I eventually got a new phone, my posting attracted many people around the world who said that they had the same experience. Well, Apple (without admitting guilt) is now agreeing to a settlement in a class action for people who were told they had such water damage. As suspected, it appears that the water damage indicators were defective.

The settlement will allow people who brought in iPhones and were told that they voided their warranties due to the water indicators.
It turns out that the company that makes the “Liquid Indicator Strips” now admits that their product may have been responsible for the problems. Yet, Apple owns the patent on the strips. Maker 3M says that humidity and not water contact could have turned some of the white stickers pink.

What concerns me is the approach of Apple for hundreds of thousands of users. For years, Apple dismissed these complaints and never indicated that there was in fact a problem with the strips. I was never told that there was a slightest concern over the strips or that there was a pattern around the world of hundreds of thousands of customers reporting the same problem. I am a lifetime Apple user and like the products. However, this irresponsible approach undermines customer faith in the company and challenges Apple’s carefully maintained image of an enlightened and more human company.

Apple is still not admitting any fault. However, I have no interest at all in this dispute. What I can report is that there was zero chance that my iPhone3 was ever wet before it failed. Even though my school would replace the phone, I was incensed by the attitude of the “Apple geniuses” at the store that simply dismissed my claims that the phone never left my side and was never wet — even when one of two indicators did not show water damage.

The new settlement will only affect older versions of the iPhone. (I actually still use my iPhone3). I will remain an Apple user (I have had virtually every Apple computer from the very first model). However, the company does appear to be changing into the very thing that it caricatured in its first commercial of the Big Brother company:

Source: Daily Mail

13 thoughts on “Apple Agrees To $53 Million Settlement Over Water Damaged iPhones”

  1. Hey BarkinDog you knew I was here in the pac keeping quiet all these years and not putting my name on the Dogologue Machine and into this blog. You have oUtted me. Even tho you cant spull.

  2. No offense to those of you who bought. But I would not buy a product which can not employ a capital letter at the beginning of the word and then employs a capital letter at the second letter. iPod. iDick. iCecream. iPad. iCool. Soooo groovy. Apple makes an Eyephone. Next we will have a seeing eye dog in the pac calling himself iSeeforyouDog.

  3. What? You mean underneath their coiffed arrogant techno hippie image, Apple operates like every other multi-million dollar company? No kidding. Color me surprised.

  4. Just to add insult to the professor’s injury, one day we heard a strange thumping in our washing machine. It was our iPhone going through the spin cycle. We pulled it out, soaking wet, screen glowing, randomly calling different numbers. We waved it around to shake out as much water as we could, then let it dry on its own for three days. Worked fine, no data lost. Only sign of what had happened was a splotchy area on the screen. The splotch went away the second time it ended up in the washing machine. Dried out. Work fine again.

  5. Wait…. Wait…. Are you telling me a class action was able to continue….. Oh my….

  6. The bigger a company gets, the bigger the monetary stakes get, and the closer they walk the lines of immorality and illegality in order to protect their profits.

    It is the opposite of what makes sense; because the more money you rake in and the more you dominate a market, the easier it would be to benevolently sacrifice a tiny percentage to do the right thing; but instead corporate leaders see it as the more fiercely they must protect every dime, as if their dollars were their children and their customers were the commodity resource to be expended.

    Apple doesn’t need you, anymore.

  7. Such a common head in the sand attitude from manufacturers makes one inordinately grateful for the lack of frustration when dealing with a manufacturer or service provider that has integrity and values their customers as the actual means through which the profits flow.

  8. QUOTE “I am a lifetime Apple user and like the products. However, this irresponsible approach undermines customer faith in the company and challenges Apple’s carefully maintained image of an enlightened and more human company.”

    Then apparently you never owned a $3300 Apple //GS Woz machine and then had Apple pull support out from under you, just so they could “push” their inferior Mac product. Grrrrr

  9. Employees at the bottom were probably told it was the customers’ fault because when the information percolated up the totem pole, senior management probably saw the pattern and chose to ignore it, hoping it would go away. Then they didn’t inform the employees at the store who carried on (without original thinking) continuing to blame the customer.

    Just a guess on my part.

  10. Amazing story Professor. I am constantly amazed at how companies will bite their noses to spite their customers. That was a great commercial clip!

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