Brazilian judge tells Apple to compensate iPhone customer $1,000 for not including charger...

midian182

Posts: 7,895   +82
Staff member
In context: In 2020, Apple proved the long-running rumors true when it shipped the iPhone 12 without a wall charger, a practice it has continued. The company says the environmental benefits outweigh customer inconvenience, but not everyone is happy about the change, including a Brazilian customer that Apple must compensate over $1,000 for not including the accessory in the box.

According to court documents seen by tecmundo, Judge Vanderlei Caires Pinheiro of a civil court in the city of Goiânia ruled that Apple's practice of selling its iPhones and chargers separately was a "married selling," which means a customer is required to buy two products from a company to make one of them work.

According to Article 39 of Brazil's Consumer Code (CDC), "married selling" is prohibited in the country, so phones cannot be sold without a charger. "The CDC aims to protect the weakest part of the contractual relationship, ensuring it against abusive practices and clauses in the supply of products and services," the judge wrote in his ruling.

Apple has long put forward the defense that customers are not required to buy a charger, and it includes a USB-C to Lightning cable with the iPhone that can be used with chargers from other companies. But the judge rejected this argument, saying that the cable didn't work with any wall chargers lacking a USB Type-C port.

As for the environmental excuse, Pinheiro pointed out that Apple was still manufacturing the chargers and selling them separately.

Apple must now compensate the user 5,000 Brazilian reais (around $1,064)

Apple has previously faced problems in Brazil over its lack of included wall chargers. Procon-SP, the consumer protection agency of Sao Paulo, hit Cupertino with a near $2 million fine last year for violating consumer protection laws and failing to prove the claimed environmental benefits of dropping the charger. Parts of the fine were also for misleading advertising, bad customer support, and unfair terms of service. Apple was also sued by students in China for the same reason.

Permalink to story.

 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
While they clearly stopped including the charger for profit considerations - not environmental ones, I don't see how a customer was entitled to $1000 in compensation unless those were the legal fees...

The charger is $30 or so... that should be the compensation...
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,447   +2,417
While they clearly stopped including the charger for profit considerations - not environmental ones, I don't see how a customer was entitled to $1000 in compensation unless those were the legal fees...

The charger is $30 or so... that should be the compensation...
Just getting compensation for the cost of the charger is class action stuff.

When you sue as an individual, you can add things like invonvience and stress or whatever.
 
While they clearly stopped including the charger for profit considerations - not environmental ones, I don't see how a customer was entitled to $1000 in compensation unless those were the legal fees...

The charger is $30 or so... that should be the compensation...
No, it should have been $1000 in PUNITIVE damages to EACH purchaser of a phone that didn't include a charger. Plus legal fees, court costs, etc.
And for a multi-billion $$$ company like Apple, even that wouldn't even be a drop in the bucket.
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 271   +191
They are shipping the 13 without a charger as well! I just set one up for an attorney. I was a little pissed off when I didn't see it in the box, and the attorney wasn't amused one bit. Apple should pay their customers back. Such a small simple thing that's going to cost them a ton of money.
 

Axle Grease

Posts: 254   +204
Apple is sure light on including accessories. By comparison my galaxy s9+ came with a USB power adapter, charging cable, a usb A/usb C converter, a micro usb/usb C converter, a case, earphones, and an ejector pin. Irrespective of that, the judge is wrong. The complainants weren't in anyway defrauded. You read the product reviews and then make a choice.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,413   +5,144
Now that many people have stopped including charging bricks with devices I'm running low. Also, all my good fast charging bricks have disappeared.
 

waclark

Posts: 348   +236
While they clearly stopped including the charger for profit considerations - not environmental ones, I don't see how a customer was entitled to $1000 in compensation unless those were the legal fees...

The charger is $30 or so... that should be the compensation...
While I'm sure it helped their bottom line, I also believe it helped the environment. Less packaging and less plastic waste will have an impact over the long run. I have drawers full of wall warts and cables. I started putting outlets in my home with USB ports in them so I don't have to worry about not having a wall plug.

I agree completely that the $1000/user is ridiculous and I see no reason for such a large award. Even if it's to cover legal fees, that should go to the lawyers, not the end users. I say give Apple a choice, for anyone that wants a charger, they can get one for free. Then I would hand out the cheapest, pieces of crap chargers I could find. Let Brazil fill up their garbage dumps with shitty chargers for all I care.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
While I'm sure it helped their bottom line, I also believe it helped the environment. Less packaging and less plastic waste will have an impact over the long run. I have drawers full of wall warts and cables. I started putting outlets in my home with USB ports in them so I don't have to worry about not having a wall plug.

I agree completely that the $1000/user is ridiculous and I see no reason for such a large award. Even if it's to cover legal fees, that should go to the lawyers, not the end users. I say give Apple a choice, for anyone that wants a charger, they can get one for free. Then I would hand out the cheapest, pieces of crap chargers I could find. Let Brazil fill up their garbage dumps with shitty chargers for all I care.
There will still be the same amount of chargers sold... they just have to be bought separately... so the environment will still be despoiled... this is just a way for Apple to make a few more bucks...
 

waclark

Posts: 348   +236
There will still be the same amount of chargers sold... they just have to be bought separately... so the environment will still be despoiled... this is just a way for Apple to make a few more bucks...
Not necessarily. I have old chargers that work fine. I didn't buy any new chargers with the last 3 phones I've bought. Plus, the savings in packaging is pretty significant. According to Apple they can ship 70 more pallets of phones in the same space with the reduced packaging.

Apple is making money from this, no question, but you can't ignore that it also has the potential to be better for the environment.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 694   +1,089
Apple is sure light on including accessories. By comparison my galaxy s9+ came with a USB power adapter, charging cable, a usb A/usb C converter, a micro usb/usb C converter, a case, earphones, and an ejector pin. Irrespective of that, the judge is wrong. The complainants weren't in anyway defrauded. You read the product reviews and then make a choice.
Samsung copied Apple a mere 83 days after Apple stopped including these accessories.

iPhone 12 released October 23, 2020 / Apple, claiming an environmental initiative, has removed the EarPods and power adapter from all new iPhone boxes, including the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. [source]
Galaxy S21 released January 14, 2021 / Following Apple, Samsung decided not to include a wall charger or earphones when selling the Galaxy S21 series of smartphones. [source]
 
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Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
I personally want to see companies profit from environmentally positive decisions. If you actually want change to happen.
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,277   +828
Not necessarily. I have old chargers that work fine. I didn't buy any new chargers with the last 3 phones I've bought. Plus, the savings in packaging is pretty significant. According to Apple they can ship 70 more pallets of phones in the same space with the reduced packaging.

Apple is making money from this, no question, but you can't ignore that it also has the potential to be better for the environment.
While this is true, before I clicked the story I thought "this story sounds like another crap lawsuit" then on reading the Judge justification I thought "well clearly the law was well and truly breached here so Apple should have expected this".
 

wizardB

Posts: 240   +114
Not necessarily. I have old chargers that work fine. I didn't buy any new chargers with the last 3 phones I've bought. Plus, the savings in packaging is pretty significant. According to Apple they can ship 70 more pallets of phones in the same space with the reduced packaging.

Apple is making money from this, no question, but you can't ignore that it also has the potential to be better for the environment.
If Apple was really concerned with the environment they would build products that usefulness lasted and not kill their phones and computers with bad updates when they get older. Bad company and bad corporate citizens....never buy an Apple product unless you really don't give a sh1t about corporate abuse.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,447   +2,417
Not necessarily. I have old chargers that work fine. I didn't buy any new chargers with the last 3 phones I've bought. Plus, the savings in packaging is pretty significant. According to Apple they can ship 70 more pallets of phones in the same space with the reduced packaging.

Apple is making money from this, no question, but you can't ignore that it also has the potential to be better for the environment.
You don't "just charge" your phone anymore:
 

brucek

Posts: 1,127   +1,671
Not sure I follow the legal logic. The phone also doesn't work if you don't have a service plan, so does Apple have to include one of those in the box too? Come to think of it the power adapter won't be much use without a wall plug to plug it in, so is a house or apartment included? I'm exaggerating for effect, but what is the exact legal definition of what is married to the phone and what is just other stuff that you're expected to provide yourself, and at this point (phone "series 12" remember) why isn't a charger one of them?

What if I buy a drill bit, does it have to come with a drill?
 

waclark

Posts: 348   +236
If Apple was really concerned with the environment they would build products that usefulness lasted and not kill their phones and computers with bad updates when they get older. Bad company and bad corporate citizens....never buy an Apple product unless you really don't give a sh1t about corporate abuse.
Sorry, I have to call BS on that. I keep my iPhones for many generations. I bought an SE about 2 years ago, before that it was a 6S. My wife just upgraded to a 13 from her iPhone 8. There's no reason you need to buy a new iPhone every year. They do a great job of supporting updates on old phones as compared to Android.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,447   +2,417
Not clear on how that's relevant. I have USB-C chargers that can do fast charge. Why do I need, yet another charger?
You said you've kept old chargers...
Not everyone does. I simply showed you not all chargers are equal. Those days are gone since fast charging. That's why not including a charger is bugging people. And even if you have an old charger, it might not be good enough for fast charging. 😉
 

waclark

Posts: 348   +236
You said you've kept old chargers...
Not everyone does. I simply showed you not all chargers are equal. Those days are gone since fast charging. That's why not including a charger is bugging people. And even if you have an old charger, it might not be good enough for fast charging. 😉
True, I may or may not have such a charger. Turns out I do, so, there's that. Also, it's not a given that Apple would include a fast charger in the box, so you may still have to buy a fast charger. It's not like your old charger won't charge the phone, just maybe not quickly.