Questions Raised About Battery Replacement, Cancellation Practices in Letter to Apple CEO Jobs
Santa Monica, CA — In a letter today, FTCR founder Harvey Rosenfield warned Apple CEO Steve Jobs and the CEO of AT&T that they need to agree to new consumer safeguards in connection with the Apple iPhone that will be introduced to much fanfare later today.
– Battery replacement. Unlike all other handheld phones, the iPhone battery is not user replaceable. If news reports are correct, the iPhone battery could require replacement within one year. The companies have not disclosed if they will charge consumers to replace the battery, or if customers will have to mail their phones to the company and wait for replacement. FTCR calls upon the companies to provide free and immediate replacement at their retail locations for the life of the iPhone.
– Cancellation penalties. The companies have announced that consumers must agree to a two-year contract for AT&T wireless service to activate the iPhone; they will also impose a hefty $175 cancellation fee for early termination. FTCR says that such fees are unnecessary, and that consumers should be permitted to cancel the contract at any time based upon device failure, loss or theft, inadequate wireless service/coverage or any other reasonable basis.
“The introduction of the iPhone has been heralded as a major evolution in the multifunction cell phone,” said Rosenfield. “Apple and AT&T should take this opportunity to adopt policies and practices that respect the rights of their customers.”
FTCR is a non-profit, non-partisan citizen advocacy organization. It has brought several lawsuits on behalf of the public challenging the practices, services and charges of wireless companies including AT&T, Cingular, T-Mobil and Nextel. The group has also sued Apple on behalf of customers who bought the second-generation iPod Nano and were charged for replacement of its defective screen. That design has since been discontinued.
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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is a leading nonprofit and nonpartisan consumer watchdog group. For more information visit us on the web at: www.ConsumerWatchdog.org