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Korean family sues Apple over blocked iPhone repair

updated 10:55 am EST, Fri December 24, 2010

Company offered settlement with gag order

A South Korean family is suing Apple citing unfair repair policies, says the Korea Herald. In October the father of the family, Lee Chul-ho, asked Apple for approximately $251 in compensation after it refused to repair his daughter's iPhone 3G. Apple is said to have blocked a free warranty repair on the basis that the phone's water sensors were tripped; the family denies causing any water damage.

Apple is reported to have tried to settling with the family out of court, but with a gag order preventing them from talking to the media. The family resisted, and claims that the main goal is not to get their own financial compensation, but to ensure that other people can get money back from Apple for unfairly paid repair costs. "There is no point of raising the suit if only one individual gets compensation," says Chul-ho.






by MacNN Staff

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  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Common story

    We see people bring in equipment all the time that claim that nothing got inside the machine. Open it up and liquid everywhere.

    It doesn't take much moisture to trip the sensors. But Apple has put multiple sensors in the devices, so moisture needs to hit multiple places for them to deny warranty. If they are all tripped, you have used the device in an area with too high humidity or you got it wet. (don't take it in the shower with you!!)

  1. tsmelker

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Multiple sensors don't lie...

    ...'nuff said.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -8

    Yes the sensors are often wrong

    The sensors are not that reliable, so your anecdotal stories are meaningless, except to demonstrate your lack of sympathy and antisocial attitude.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +9

    Daughter

    I'm sorry dude, but if your daughter got her phone wet... deal with it. That's the problem. I've had countless kids come to the kiosk I worked at, say their phones weren't damaged but stopped working, you open it up sometimes you can still smell the booze inside. Most of the time the parents give the kid an evil glare and walk away. The problem is the parents that can't deal with the fact that their kids aren't perfect.

    I had a friend who taught english in Korea, despite the fact that she was absolutely gorgeous (used to do figure skating) the little girls in her class would call her fat, among other names. I asked her why she didn't talk to their parents. She said that in Korea parents don't admit when their kids do anything wrong.

    This isn't an iPhone sensor problem... this is a cultural problem with Koreans.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    iPod Touch

    I bought my 7 year old son iPod Touch 4 months ago for $200 brand new. It last until now because it he accidentally spilled water on it. I took it to RadioShack where I bought and also I purchased their warranty. The device came back after two weeks "un-repaired". They don't fix it because it's "corrosion damage". I did tell them that it stopped working one day, not mention anything about water. Well, can't lie to the sensor. On the other hand, his Nintendo DSi got wet the same day (both devices in the same bag). The next day, it works again after letting it dry. No more iPod for him and Nintendo DS is still a better kids-proof device.

  1. irving47

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Fibs and darn fibs...

    Lots of people have no idea there are water sensors in there and will just insist until they're blue in the face, thinking that they are just being tested and if they hold to their story, there's no way to be proven wrong.

    For those that don't know, the "water sensors" are little white stickers. Sometimes checkerboard patterned white/red. Most often, they are no more than 2-3mm square. They turn a smudged red/pink when water gets on them. They are not overly sensitive to humidity, usually, so if they are ALL tripped, you can bet water was in there at some point.

  1. irving47

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Fibs and darn fibs...

    Lots of people have no idea there are water sensors in there and will just insist until they're blue in the face, thinking that they are just being tested and if they hold to their story, there's no way to be proven wrong.

    For those that don't know, the "water sensors" are little white stickers. Sometimes checkerboard patterned white/red. Most often, they are no more than 2-3mm square. They turn a smudged red/pink when water gets on them. They are not overly sensitive to humidity, usually, so if they are ALL tripped, you can bet water was in there at some point.

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Its a business...

    problem is that some people lie and some don't. Large businesses must rely on company policies or risk being called fickle when dealing with customers. The policies must be applied based on measurables and facts and not on employees perceptions of who is telling the truth and who isn't. Of course innocent victims will bear the brunt of these policies but without them companies risk becoming unprofitable - this is the price of the market place. This family must realise that if the product is not defective and the company policy is fair and just then they will not win this PR campaign.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    iPod Touch for Kid

    iPod Touch is a good sell for kids. Games wise it beats Nintendo cartridge games in cost factors. If Apple could come out an alternative version of iPod Touch for kid, parents would jump on it. My $200 iPod Touch is thrown out the door in 4 months because of water issue. Even if iPod Touch for kid is a bit thicker than the original one due to water tight insulation, I and my kid could careless because iPod Touch is still the best all-in-one device for today's kid comparing to Nintendo DS. I would definitely buy it again if Apple could come out with a water-proof version just for kids. I am sure millions of parents out there would agree with me.

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