Court orders compensation for Apple's 'no-return' repair policy
SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean regional court on Tuesday ruled in favor of an Apple iPhone user who had petitioned against the U.S. company's warranty policy that has been a source of dispute.
The ruling, made by Gwangju District Court, had been watched as the case represented a legal protest against Apple's after-sale service policy. The court ordered that Apple Korea should pay the plaintiff 1.52 million won (US$1,365) for his mental distress and the unreturned data stored in the handset.
Oh Won-gook, 30, had taken his iPhone 5 to an authorized service center last year to fix a battery-related problem. People at the center said they were unable to repair the device and recommended that he purchase a refurbished device of the same model for 340,000 won, according to court papers.
Refurbished phones refer to handsets that have been returned to a factory to be rebuilt with used parts.
Oh refused and demanded his iPhone back, but the service center refused to do so, citing company policy.
Apple Korea in Seoul declined to comment on the case.
The website of Apple Inc. states that the company "will retain the replaced part or product that is exchanged during service as its property."