After Jobs' Mob was caught out throttling the phones of users it was alleged the company was doing it to force users of older phones to upgrade. Apple answered this allegation by changing the software and offering a battery replacement service which reduced the cost of battery replacements outside of warranty from £79 to £25.
However it turns out this might have been smoke and mirrors. Watchdog spoke to several customers who requested battery replacements, before being told that the work couldn’t be done until more expensive work was first completed on the phone.
The Tame Apple Press claims that this is a good thing. After all if a screen is completely cracked it seems fair to want to replace this screen first, rather than risk it damaging the new components and reducing their life span.
In a statement issued to the programme, Apple said that these repairs would only be undertaken if a phone’s damage “impairs the replacement of the battery”.
But customers are claiming that these repairs are actually “unnecessary”, and range from small dents on the external case of a phone, to “faulty” microphones and speakers that Watchdog then claimed were functioning correctly.
Apple claims to have told customers that its warranty makes it clear that cosmetic damage has to be repaired before it'll carry out battery replacements. However, Watchdog, nor dispute resolution lawyer Matthew Purcell of Sanders Law, could find any mention of that.