THE apple faced another barrier in its plan to sell cell phones without the charger. The manufacturer was fined R$ 100 million by the São Paulo Court for not putting the plug adapter in the box of the iPhone. In addition to the pen, the company will have to offer the accessory to consumers who bought the smartphone.
The process was opened by the Brazilian Association of Borrowers, Consumers and Taxpayers (ABMCC). The group demanded reimbursement of the amounts spent on purchasing the charger or delivery of the adapters. The order is intended for those who purchased the iPhone 11 or newer models on or after October 13, 2020.
If ordered to offer the charger, the plaintiffs also requested the delivery of accessories capable of offering the promised charging speed for each model. In addition, ABMCC petitioned for the sale of cell phones with the plug adapter. Another request was for a fine of R$ 100 million as compensation.
Apple Condemned for Selling iPhone Without Charger
The decision came to light this Thursday (13). In the sentence, Judge Caramuru Francisco of the 18th Civil Court of the São Paulo Court of Justice recalled the Apple’s goal in taking the charger out of the box, which is the reduction of electronic waste. But this decision raises another problem: even so, the consumer needs to buy the accessory to use the iPhone, if he doesn’t have a compatible charger stored in the drawer.
“There is an evident case of tying sales, albeit in reverse, because the product is not sold by purchasing the other, but, which in practice is the same, the product can only be used if the other is purchased” , observed the judge.
Further on, Caramuru Francisco highlights that there is “clear abusive practice”. According to the magistrate, the purchase of another product is conditioned to have the cell phone working, since the charger is sold separately. And this is not allowed by the Consumer Defense Code.
“By invoking the defense of the environment for such a measure, it demonstrates the required evident bad faith, almost giving rise to misleading advertising, which is also revealed to be an abusive practice, since it even encourages and encourages the consumer to agree with the injury you are suffering with the cessation of supply of chargers and adapters”, says the judge.
For him, this practice must be curbed “since, in contractual relationships, especially those of consumption, the principle of good faith and probity must prevail.”
Apple will have to deliver charger to consumers
The magistrate granted the action. Thus, Apple was ordered to offer USB-C chargers “whose voltage (20W, 35W, 67W, 96W, 140W)” (sic) as requested by the plaintiffs. The decision is valid for those who acquired the cell phones from October 13, 2020. Apple will also have to market its cell phones with the plug adapter in the box, but only from the final decision.
“Finally, I condemn the defendant to the obligation to pay a certain amount, as compensation for social damages, in the amount of R$ 100 million”, reads the decision.
To G1Apple said it will appeal the decision.
Everything new again
It is worth remembering that this is not the first time that Apple is condemned for selling the iPhone without a charger. The company even had a setback in September, when the Ministry of Justice and Public Security suspended the sale of cell phones without the accessory. The manufacturer was still fined R$ 12 million by the National Consumer Secretariat (Senacon).
Shortly thereafter, Apple appealed the decision. On the 6th of September, the manufacturer informed the TechTudo which considers its impact “on people and the planet in everything we do”. He later pointed out that chargers accounted for the greatest use of zinc and plastic; therefore, taking them out of the box helped to reduce more than 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
“There are billions of USB-A power adapters already in use around the world that our customers can use to charge and connect their devices,” they said. “We have already won several court rulings in Brazil on this matter and we are confident that our customers are aware of the various options for charging and connecting their devices.”
In January, Apple was also ordered to supply the iPhone 12 Pro Max with the charger to a consumer.