At the end of last year, the Procon-SP hinted that he would demand chargers for free from anyone who bought a iPhone without the accessory in the box. In fact, the body cannot demand this from the Apple, just ask – and she refused. The case is under analysis and, if a violation of consumer rights is found, the company can be fined up to R $ 10 million.
Fernando Capez, executive director of Procon-SP, said in December 2020 that it was “inconsistent” to sell cell phones without a plug adapter if there was no reduction in value and a plan to collect and recycle old accessories.
For this reason, he stated that “the chargers should be made available to consumers who order them”, and promised: “Procon-SP will require Apple to present a viable plan”. In the press release, the sentence reads: “Procon-SP will require that the equipment be made available to consumers who request it”.
We reported the news in this way, as well as other press outlets. Consumers were under the impression that the rule was already in effect, but they were unable to obtain the charger without additional cost. A customer explains to the Tecnoblog: “When I contacted Apple, they said that Procon did not give any notification about having to give a charger”.
It is that, in fact, Procon cannot to send Apple do that. The organ can ask politely, what they did last Tuesday (2). The company maintained its position: it will not give anyone a free charger. Now, there is the threat of a fine.
“At a meeting held on March 2 at Procon-SP headquarters, representatives of the Apple company again refused to offer the charger to consumers who purchase a new iPhone,” says the foundation in a statement to the Tecnoblog.
Procon explains that “the case is on the inspection board for analysis and, if the violation of consumer rights is verified, the company can be fined up to R $ 10.2 million, an amount calculated on the company’s billing”.
Questioned by Tecnoblog, Apple said it was notified by Procon in October, sent the clarifications, but had no formal feedback on that.
Apple responds to consumer in Procon-SP
THE Tecnoblog talked to some people who bought the iPhone 12, 11 and XR, models that have come without a charger in the box in Brazil since October 2020 (as well as the new iPhone SE).
They complained to Procon and, in all cases, received an initial period of 15 days to analyze the complaint, in which Apple did not respond. Then, the registration was converted into an administrative proceeding, with a 120-day deadline for resolution.
In one case, the consumer received a letter from a law firm representing Apple, stating that the company “removed the power adapter from the iPhone case in order to achieve the goal of zero climate impact on all products and in the supply chain by 2030 ”.
It is the environmental protection argument that has been in use for months, and “Apple expects other companies in the industry to follow suit.” She argues that this does not violate any law, and “is in compliance and is encouraged by the National Solid Waste Policy”.
In addition, the customer is informed about the contents of the box when purchasing through the Apple website, explaining that the adapter and headset are not included and the respective reasons. In turn, the iPhones box has a label that details its contents and warns that the charger and handset are sold separately. That would be enough to fulfill the duty of information provided for in the Consumer Protection Code.
The letter lists some alternatives for charging the iPhone: using an old charger with USB-A and Lightning cable; plug the USB-C cable (that comes in the box) into a computer; or use an adapter with a USB-C port from Apple or a third party. The company charges R $ 199 for the accessory, and states that the cell phone warranty will not be affected if you use chargers approved by Anatel.
In February, Procon-SP announced an agreement with Samsung to distribute chargers for free to those who bought the Galaxy S21, S21 + and S21 Ultra during the pre-sale, which ends next Sunday (7). After that, you will have to pay for the accessory or use an old one – the manufacturer already included USB-C adapters in several models. (Apple did this only with the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.)
In the statement about Samsung, Procon mentioned Apple, summarizing the case so far and saying that “the company’s conduct is being analyzed by the supervisory board”; there is no mention of the possible requirement for a charger.
Thanks to Fernando, Henrique and Victor for their help!