Feb 3 2016
A man has won a landmark legal battle against Apple. Tech fan Gareth Cross sued the firm over a faulty Apple watch.
He bought an Apple Watch Sport for £339 last July and was pretty narked when the screen cracked 10 days later.
He complained to the multi-national giant – who have just posted record quarterly revenue figures of £52.9bn – but they said it was not covered by the warranty.
They said the damage resulted from impact – despite their own official claims that the watch was ‘resistant to scratches and impact’.
Gareth took them to the small claims court for breach of the Sale of Goods Act – and has now won after a six-month fight.
A judge at Aberystwyth County Court ruled that the company breached the contract of sale by refusing to repair or replace the watch as it had been falsely advertised.
As a result have changed their description and removed their claim that the watch is resistant to impact.
Gareth, 32, from Aberystwyth, said: ‘I bought my wife Rachel the regular Apple Watch, but I went for the Sport version because I am prone to knocking things about a bit and it said it was impact resistant.
‘But I noticed a tiny 4-5 mm crack on the screen just 10 days after buying it – I hadn’t even been doing anything strenuous, just sitting around watching TV.
‘When I got to work the hairline crack had got bigger and bigger so I called Apple up to get it repaired.’
Gareth said the company was initially apologetic and offered to repair the watch if he sent photos in.
But after seeing the pictures the engineers at Apple said it wasn’t covered by warranty as they claimed Gareth had damaged it – and refused to repair it.
The company’s One-Year Warranty states that it covers ‘defects in materials and workmanship’ but not normal wear and tear or damage caused by accident or abuse.
That was the start of a six-month battle between Gareth and Apple which involved an exchange of letters and him sending the watch back and forth to their repair centres.
Apple maintained their stance, refusing to send Gareth engineer reports and eventually falling silent before he took them to court.
The company was ordered to refund him the cost of the watch and £429 in court costs. He eventually got the watch back – but it is still unrepaired.
Apple have since removed the literature claiming that the Apple Watch Sport is explicitly resistant to impact.
However, the Apple website says the screen is made from aluminosilicate glass – the same material used in the windows of space shuttles and high-speed trains.
It adds: ‘It’s fortified at the molecular level through ion exchange, with smaller ions being replaced by larger ones to create a surface layer far tougher than ordinary glass.’
There are other social media reports of similar incidents involving damage to the watch, including one person who says theirs broke after playing tennis.
As far as Gareth is aware he is the only one to have taken Apple on over its advertising of the accessory.