Danish court blocks Apple from exchanging an iPhone under warranty with a refurbished model

Danish court blocks Apple from exchanging an iPhone under warranty with a refurbished model
U.S. iPhone owners are hoping that a court ruling in Denmark will carry over to a similar case in the U.S. At issue is the common practice by manufacturers to replace newly purchased phones with a refurbished model of the same handset. In the case in Denmark, a gentleman by the name of David Lysgaard purchased an Apple iPhone 4 back in 2011. The next year, he broke the phone and was told that he was receiving a new handset as a replacement. Eventually, he discovered that the replacement model he received was not a new unit at all, but was refurbished.

The Danish justices relied on the Danish Sale of Goods Act to rule that Apple can't give a refurbished iPhone in exchange for a new one since the resale value is not the same between the two devices. While Apple argued that as the original device manufacturer it could certify that the parts in the refurbished phone were as good as new parts, the justices did not agree.

Using common sense, the three judges ruled that since the replacement iPhone 4 contained recycled or refurbished parts, it could not qualify as new. And if the phone is not new, it wouldn't meet customers' expectations. On the other hand, the court did not mention that the iPhone 4 had already been used before being handed over by Lysgaard for servicing. Apple plans on appealing.

A similar case in the U.S. has led to a class action suit being filed against Apple in the U.S. The claimants state in court filings that a refurbished model is "a secondhand unit that has been modified to appear to be new," and thus cannot be as durable or as functional as a new unit. Like with the case in Denmark, the U.S. court will have to decide if "equivalent to new in performance and reliability" qualifies a refurbished phone to count as a new unit for purposes of service exchanges. These models do get a new screen, and recycled parts, but are usually offered to the public as a refurbished model, not as a new phone.

source: AppleInsider

Related phones

iPhone 4
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A4, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1420 mAh(7.00h 3G talk time)



1. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Is that what Apple do? OMG :)

2. torr310

Posts: 1721; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Good call! I think all carriers in the US send you the refurbished phones (both iphones and Androids) as replacements if your new phones die within a year. That's crooked!

4. rnagic

Posts: 215; Member since: Jul 13, 2014

Motorola sent me a moto-maker code for the 2014 moto x. But yeah, most manufacturers send you a refurbished piece of junk that breaks within 3 weeks.

3. tedkord

Posts: 17507; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I never liked this practice, and they all do it.

5. zeppo

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

It's Apple magic

10. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Apple magic??? This practice of offering refurbished devices as replacement for new ones isn't isolated to Apple alone... many other OEMs do it.

20. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Yep, had it done to me with a Motorola one time. What made me mad about it was my phone was only like 6 months old and I felt Best Buy should have given me a new phone. I guess I should have contacted Motorola my self

6. WillieFDiaz

Posts: 127; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

They tried doing this to myself and my roommate (different devices, different time frames) and even once in the same day as I bought a new device tried to say I broke the device itself and wouldn't replace it. But when I complained and cancelled service they were all quick to issue me a full refund on that device returned to them. The practice of "exchanging" new for "refurbished" after 14 days is just horrible. Refurbished costs should be at least a quarter (1/4) less than a new device, even if the device was never used but past the 14 days.

7. dimas

Posts: 3438; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

So that's why apple don't hesitate to replace damaged phones with "new" units. And that damaged phone will be used as a replacement phone in the future? Sweet brains, that's an evil genius strategy to keep the profit intact.

8. tangbunna

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

any iphone 2G still in warranty ?. if it is broken this year, just exchange it with a refurbished iphone 7-plus 256gb,

9. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I think if you've had te the phone for more than 30 days, then a refurb is fine. But within 30 days they should replace with a new one. After all, if you buy a washer and it stops working and they cant fix it under warranty, they replace it with a new one...not a refurb. I had VZW try to do this to me. I bought a Note 4 new. Within 30 days the phone stop charging with its orginal cable. I took it in and they grabbed a new cable and it wouldnt charge, but it would charge with a standard USB cable. Which was weird. So they were going to replace it with a refurb because it was past 14 days. I said no.This is a new phone. Samsung is aware of his issue because I looked it up. I still have my receipt. I dont care that it past 14 days, you need to replace it with a new one. The manager refused to do it. So I called customer care. They use to ask managers to give new phones in certain cases. But then they refused too. I said look, I've been a customer since 1996. Ive spent 1000's of dollars buy phones from you. I've never needed a phoen replaced under warranty and as much as i have spent on insurance and never used it, you can replace this phone. They still tried to refuse. So I told them look, I have 5 lines on your service right now. If you dont replace this phone wth a new one, either you need to give me a fund refund or I'm closing all 5 lines right now. Because I knwo the manager can replace this with a new phone. After being theer for an hour and standing my ground, he gave me a new phone

11. mdedenroth

Posts: 17; Member since: Dec 10, 2016

When writing that you also have to understand that warranty laws are different, and much better for the customer in Denmark ( and EU in general). Just cause you think it seems logic to replace with a refurbished after 30 days, doesnt make it right according to the law. In Denmark you have 6 months of extended warranty, which means that the manufacturer/shop has to prove that the item isnt flawed and after that there are 18 months of normal warranty. Does an item have a flaw only caused by normal use (it is expected that a phone should work more than 2 years even being used) the manufacturer have to fix it. Can't they fix it, they either way have to give an item which is the same or of equal value or give a full refund. Then it's quite logic that a refurbised phone isn't og equal value since they even sell it cheaper themselves. This article also miss the fact that Apple lost in some kind of "customer court" and the this trial actually is a civil trial made by apple. So after apple lost first time in the court, they sued the man mentioned in the article. Classic good style Apple

13. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Exactly. This case was apple suing a customer.....

14. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"Just cause you think it seems logic to replace with a refurbished after 30 days, doesnt make it right according to the law." Well said, @mdedenroth!

12. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

According to Danish law, ALL need to replace with a new device if they cannot fix it. So it isn't just apple, it is every company selling electronics to consumers. So the real case was, why should the rules be different for Apple, than any other company in Denmark? And Apple is selling refurbished Iphones with a discount, so apparently they are not the same as a new one.

15. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

My mom uses a refurbished brand new(somehow it was labelled as such) iphone 5s that she bought last year and still works perfectly fine till now with absoluteky no issues at all

17. mdedenroth

Posts: 17; Member since: Dec 10, 2016

The case isn't about whether a refurbished item can be good or not. It's about what you bought in the first place and the what the value of the exchange is. In general the idea of refurbishing is fantastic and can in some cases be better than a brand new!

16. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1284; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Apple taking upto 90% of Industry profits, but still being way too greedy !! I can understand the tiny Android phone makers doing this (still WRONG) for saving their a$$, but for apple? There is no other reason than GREED...

29. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

typical apple style. just like: you pay me 100.00 per device to use my patent i will pay u 10.00 per device to use ur patent LOL

18. swarai

Posts: 88; Member since: Aug 07, 2014

Good for you. Greedy MF's. Look at those ugly bezels.

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 31750; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

But new, exchange for new.

21. cmdacos

Posts: 4374; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Best buy gave me a brand new phone when I broke my screen after nearly a year, I will stick with their warranty.

22. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Are you sure of that? Maybe they have changed, but they sure didn't give me a new phone after just 6 months.

23. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

A: you get a working phone in a few days B: you get the same phone you had but fixed in a couple weeks... GOOD CALL

24. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

so instead of getting a working phone in a few days you are going have to wait weeks to get your's repaired lol good call

25. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Problem is refurbish still has the problems they were turn in for. Most of the time. I know 2 people who got refurbish phones and both were utter junk. Im always finding good deals on Amazon and then I notice refurbish. No thanks. Sure some work fine but if I'm spending big money and it breaks on its on. I expect a new replacement with in a early time frame anyways.

26. Zeeya

Posts: 331; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

f**k Apple


Posts: 655; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

F**k Asurion. They sent me a replacement phone with chips and scratches all over it. To make matters worse the power button was broken causing the phone to randomly reboot/boot-loop and/or not even turn back on. When I complained about it they sent me another used phone in better condition, however they dropped me from their insurance coverage for 12 months due to "excessive claims", yet this was my first claim. I have half a mind to find their office and "return" the broken phone -through their window.

28. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

who cares if everyone does it...this is about Apple LOL just as every oem android phone had rounded corners, it was all about Samsung...right?

30. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

doesn't anybody stop to think about how they end up in a situation where they have a refurbished phone? you have a refurbished phone because your new phone was defective. just how much better off do you think you're going to be with a new phone honestly? especially if the only reason the phone was replaced was because the technician got lazy and replaced it without troubleshooting when the issue or worse yet the behavior could have been corrected and when you do the same thing on the replacement refurbished device that caused the issue on the previous device and blame it on the phone being refurbished i think that's sad. you're not getting anything less than what you already had when you get a refurb. it's a used device for a used device. quit complaining. if you keep having issues with replacement phones then 7 or 8 times out of 10 it's you or it's somethimg else you're not factoring in like your area or your router or whatever else can be a factor.

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