Apple has reportedly been attempting to boost profits by enticing customers to get affordable iPhone battery replacements and then upcharging for unnecessary faults, according to the BBC.
In December, Apple admitted that it had used performance throttling software as a way to “preserve battery life” in older iPhones. However, it never made customers aware of this.
The company faced criticism from customers, lawmakers and consumer rights campaigners around the world, who accused the firm of trying to get people to upgrade to newer models.
Following the revelation, the company issued an apology to customers and reduced the cost of battery replacements from $79 to $29.
It said: “We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process.”
“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.”
But a BBC Watchdog investigation claims that some customers have ultimately been made to pay multiples of the reduced amount for an iPhone battery replacement.
Josh Landsburgh happens to be one of them, having sent his iPhone off to get a new battery in February. But within two days, Apple emailed him to say it had found a dent on his phone.
Before the firm could honour the reduced battery replacement price, Josh was asked to cough up £200 ($273) to cover the cosmetic damage.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “They’re trying to regain trust and they come back to you with, ‘Give us more money than you were planning to initially.’ I think it’s just shocking, they’ve got enough money, they’re Apple.”
David Bowler is another customer caught up in this debacle. Like David, his iPhone was in need of a new battery, but it had no external damage.
However, Apple said it was unable to go-ahead with the battery replacement unless he paid £250 ($341) to fix a faulty microphone and speaker. David claims that the phone had no such flaws: “Obviously these things are working; they shouldn’t say that they are faulty.”
In a statement given to the BBC, Apple denied any wrongdoing. The firm explained: “When it comes to iPhone battery replacement, if your iPhone has any damage that impairs the replacement of the battery, such as a cracked screen, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair.”