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Apple sours: Tech giant accused of ripping off customers

Apple accused of ripping off customers over repairs in BBC program.
Apple accused of ripping off customers over repairs in BBC program.

OUTRAGED Apple customers are accusing the company of ripping them off over its promise to replace iPhone batteries in slowed-down devices.

The tech giant admitted it had been throttling older iPhones late last year, reducing their speed to keep their power ticking for longer.

To make up for the sneaky move, Apple slashed the price of battery replacements until December last year, but angry customers in the UK have told BBC's Watchdog program the firm hasn't been making good on its offer.

Instead, they've been lumped with costs as much as ten times what the company promised.

One such disgruntled iPhone owner is Josh Landsburgh, who was told he had to pay over £200 ($A362) for a new battery because of a dent on the outside of his device.

He told the program: "I was shocked. I used to study engineering for a bit, so I knew how the phone was put together and I knew that dent wasn't affecting anything."

Sure enough, Mr Landsburgh got the phone back and took it to a repairs shop which apparently fixed it without a hitch.

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Meanwhile, fellow iPhone owner David Bowler said Apple refused to swap his battery until he forked up £250 ($452) to fix the blower's faulty microphone and speaker, even though his handset was in "perfect" condition.

And Watchdog backed him up by testing his iPhone to prove that both components were in working order.

Apple has been accused of ripping off customers over iPhone repairs in BBC program. Picture: Jack Taylor
Apple has been accused of ripping off customers over iPhone repairs in BBC program. Picture: Jack Taylor

A subsequent trip to a phone repairs shop saw the battery replaced with no mention of "faulty" parts.

Mr Bowler said: "I feel as if I'm being ripped off. It's made me feel as if I've lost faith with Apple products."

Apple representatives are reportedly telling customers that its warranty explicitly states that cosmetic damage must be repaired first before a battery can be replaced.

But neither Watchdog nor dispute resolution lawyer Matthew Purcell of Sanders Law could find any mention of that.

Mr Purcell added: "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."

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently announced a $US100 billion share buy back because Apple has sooooo much money sitting around. Picture: Chip Somodevilla
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently announced a $US100 billion share buy back because Apple has sooooo much money sitting around. Picture: Chip Somodevilla

Apple responded to the allegations with the following generic statement (which can also be found on its repairs website): "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."

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

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