Fined for breaking consumer law as Brazilian agency rejects Apple green claim for not including charger, as well as ‘misleading’ water resist claims
Apple has run into a spot of bother in South America after it was penalized in a state of Brazil over a two issues with its latest iPhones.
Tech news outlet Tilt reports that Apple has been fined approximately $2 million in the Brazilian state of São Paulo over violations of the Consumer Law Code.
Specifically Procon-SP, São Paulo’s consumer protection agency, objected to Apple not including a charger in the box for newer iPhones.
It argued that removing the charger (and earpods) for the iPhone 12 which starts at £700 was to tackle the e-waste problem, in that it would reduce packaging, carbon emissions, and the use of rare-earth metals by providing a duplicate charger, as most customers already had a charger.
But critics argue the move was just another way Apple could get customers to spend more money, as pricing for a new iPhone charger starts from £20.
In December, the Brazilian agency reportedly informed Apple that selling an iPhone in the country without a charger in the box is a violation of the Consumer Defense Code in the region.
Apple reportedly responded to the agency’s concerns by saying that most customers already have spare adapters, and that providing another one in the box was unnecessary.
But this cut little ice, and Fernando Capez, Procon-SP’s executive director, warned Apple that it needs to respect and understand Brazilian consumer law and institutions.
And it is not just the lack of a charger that has annoyed Brazilian officials. Apple is also reportedly being fined for misleading customers about the water resistance in iPhones.
The varying iPhone models since the iPhone 7 have been water-resistant to different specifications.
The more recent iPhone 12 series, for example, is certified for IP68, which is water submersion of up to 6 meters for as long as 30 minutes.
However Procon-SP claims that Apple refused to repair devices for customers who had suffered water damage with their “water-resistant” iPhones, even though the handsets are under warranty.
Apple is likely to appeal to the $2 million fine, and it should be remembered that Samsung also no longer includes chargers in all its new handset models.