Court documents in Australia have revealed a sting operation carried out by the nation's consumer watchdog group. They caught Apple staff misleading customers on their rights after the famous "error 53" glitch. Apple officially stated that the error was caused by repairs carried out by unofficial repair shops and released a patch shortly after.
The investigation, which started in late 2014, was lodged this year following numerous customer complaints over the error. Apple did eventually release a fix that would unbrick phones for users who had gotten repairs at non-licensed repair shops. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done.
The Guardian reports the case will go to trial in December and encompasses more than just error 53. It alleges Apple employees told customers they were not entitled to a free repair even when the specific repair was not related to error 53 (a screen or speaker repair for example). The ACCC posed as iPhone customers with a broken speaker and called all 13 Apple retailers in Australia. Under Australian law, consumers have the right to a replacement or free repair if their product is faulty or of unacceptable quality.
While Apple has been silent about the pending case, court documents show they are strongly denying the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's claims. Apple has faced similar lawsuits in the United States over error 53 and repair associated with it. Those cases were thrown out last year.