French environmental group files criminal complaint against Apple for 'planned obsolescence'

By Cal Jeffrey · 6 replies
Dec 28, 2017
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  1. Controversy erupted when it was revealed earlier this month that Apple might have been slowing down older iPhones. Users were outraged at the possibility and Apple further fanned the flames when it admitted that it was indeed throttling devices. However, it called this a "feature" that extended battery life for aging phones.

    Pointing out that this was a feature meant for the benefit of the user did nothing to calm the storm. Class-action lawyers took hold of the fury and filed lawsuits in California, New York and Israel. The cases claim that in addition to slowing down devices, Apple intentionally failed to inform customers about the so-called feature which prompted many to replace their phones rather than opting for a much cheaper battery replacement.

    Now Cupertino is facing potential criminal allegations in France. Yesterday, Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée (HOP) announced it was filing a criminal complaint against Apple under French obsolescence laws.

    "With this complaint, France is the third country (after the United States and Israel) in which the Cupertino company is questioned for planned obsolescence. But unlike these two countries, France has made it a crime."

    The environmental advocacy group, whose name roughly translates to "stop planned obsolescence," claims that Apple violated French laws which prohibit companies from intentionally reducing the lifespan of a product to increase the replacement rate.

    The laws were enacted in 2015 and carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison, a 300,000 euro fine and five percent of the company’s earnings for the year.

    HOP claims that it filed the complaint to help consumers who are being forced to replace their electronic products frequently and to reduce the waste going into the environment from discarded devices.

    The filing marks the second complaint placed under the two-year-old legislation. Back in September, HOP filed similar charges against Epson, HP, Canon and Brother. The four printer companies are accused of "deliberately shortening the life of printers and cartridges."

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  2. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 646   +379

    I hope they win.
     
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,938   +2,301

    Another example, Mercedes is now making cars with engines designed to last only for 3 years, and then fall apart, just as the official warranty is over.
     
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,297   +4,212

    I know Brother does that. Laser printer we have gives a toner error based on how many prints have been made, regardless of toner levels. There is a mechanical trip on the cartridge, that counts usage. You can't simply refill the cartridge without resetting the trip.

    And it is a pain to change a color cartridge out, unless you change all the colors out. The printer error never seems to reset, unless all the cartridges are changed. Such a waste and the expense is outrageous to begin with!
     
    Cal Jeffrey and JaredTheDragon like this.
  5. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,798   +1,929

    The printer companies have been working together screwing customers over like this for awhile now. In fact, price fixing seems to only become more common as time goes on.
     
  6. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 390   +250

    "The laws were enacted in 2015 and carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison, a 300,000 euro fine and five percent of the company’s earnings for the year."

    So who goes to prison? Tim Cook? Yeah, right.
     
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  7. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,083   +266

    Printer companies don't make money off the printers. They make money of the inks and toners. So they make them [the printers] cheaply and sell them cheaply. In the office, printers are a fairly regular expenditure. Printers get replaced every 3 years, printer/fax combos every 5. Total cost per year for printer hardware is under $100. Ink on the other hand runs us about $400/yr. It's a racket.

    But I had not heard about Bother using a trip switch on cartridges. That's just greasy.
    That's exactly what I said. Nobody is going to jail over this. First of all, the US would never agree to extradition. Secondly, I'm sure France would be totally cool with sticking Apple with a big fat 5% fine on profits. They're not going to pursue jail time.
     

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