Apple fined $6.6M for Error 53 quandary

Avatar By Le Williams | 2 years ago

An Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation unveiled 275 device users were incorrectly informed by Apple Inc. of entitlement towards device repairs and refunds due to previous third-party service.

Findings resulted in the ACCC facilitating legal action against Apple. On Tuesday, the ACCC announced that the Federal Court ordered the company to pay the $6.6 million fine as the court ruled the tech giant’s misinformation and practices were not legal under Australian consumer laws.

Specifically, the iPhones and iPads of those affected were displaying an “Error 53” warning, which is reportedly triggered by unofficial repair shops replacing the connector that runs from the Touch ID sensor in an iPhone’s home button.

“If a product is faulty, customers are legally entitled to a repair or a replacement under the Australian consumer law, and sometimes even a refund,” said ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court.

“Apple’s representations led customers to believe they’d be denied a remedy for their faulty device because they used a third-party repairer.”

Proceeding the $6.6 million court-ordered fine for misleading Australian consumers about iPhone and iPad repairs, the ACCC reports Apple as compensating 5,000 people impacted by the “Error 53” message. The company has also agreed to improve staff training, audit information about warranties, and notices about Australian consumer rights on its website.