Apple to Pay $53 Million to Resolve Water Damage Lawsuit

Whenever we purchase a new electronic item such as a television, stereo system, computer or cell phone, even if it’s brand spanking new, there’s something within us that breathes a sigh of relief when we know that either the product automatically comes with a warranty or that we have the option to purchase one. In our minds, it means that we’re covered in case it’s lost, stolen or (especially) damaged.

Therefore, it’s a pretty safe bet that this is the frame of mind that approximately 153,000 Apple customers were in when they discovered that their iPhones and iPod Touch items had water damage in them. Yet, to their surprise, Apple was not willing to honor the warranty.

So, why was that the case? Well, it actually is due to a bit of a “gray area” when it came to the warranty’s fine print. Although Apple did offer standard one-year and even extended two-year warranties to its customers, when many of them filed a claim due to the damage on their phones, in thousands of instances, Apple refused to replace or repair the device citing that it was the users who actually messed up their phones. (Gee, whatever happened to the old-fashioned “The customer is always right” rule?)

And how can anyone know for sure if the damage is caused by water? Well, Apple actually has a built-in indicator that turns from white to pink or red when there is any water than damages the device (although according to CM, the manufacturer of the indicator, it can also turn that color if there is heat damage too). The reason why that is relevant to the case is due to the fact that Apple has a “clause” that says that they have the right to refuse the coverage within the warranty if the indicator is a pink or red hue.

And while that actually poses a really valid point in Apple’s favor, interestingly enough, it appears that they don’t want to want to fight the issue any further in court or hit up a company likeĀ AnyLawsuits to handle the matter. Instead, they’ve decided to settle by giving an approximate $200 payout to each individual listed in the claim. (Although that decision is currently awaiting official approval from the court system.)

Ultimately, it makes sense being that when you’re a company that’s worth over $625 billion dollars and you are always dealing with things likeĀ intellectual property issues, employee and customer requests as well as constantly working to improve products, at the end of the day, $53 million may seem like a small price to pay if it’s going to keep thousands of customers happy.

Then again, some people might say that it would have proven to work out better for Apple (just by dodging the bad press alone) had they simply repaired or replaced the Apple products in the first place, especially considering the amount of money that people pay in order to own a “piece of the Apple”.

Being that Apple has yet to issue an official statement on the matter, we’re not yet sure what made them come to the resolve that they did. But if there is a moral to the story it’s this: Before, you buy an Apple product, make sure to read the warranty—thoroughly. (Especially when it comes to the bit about water damage.)

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