A few weeks ago, Aaditya Chandel, an IIT Madras researcher, received a demand draft of ₹43,500 as compensation from Apple. This payment was the result of a long-drawn legal battle that Chandel won against the tech giant over his faulty iPhone 6 purchase.
Challenges Faced by Chandel
- Chandel purchased an iPhone 6 in October 2016 for ₹28,240.
- Within a month, the phone started freezing frequently, disrupting his research hours.
- Multiple visits to the service centre in Chennai did not resolve the issue.
- The service centre rarely provided a backup phone, leaving Chandel phoneless for extended periods.
- Apple replaced his phone with the same model thrice, but all of them froze abruptly.
Filing a Complaint and Legal Proceedings
- Frustrated with the recurring issues, Chandel filed a complaint at the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Chennai against Apple India, Apple Inc, and an iPhone service centre.
- The legal battle endured for five years, hampered by pandemic-related delays and lockdowns.
- In March 2023, the court ruled in Chandel’s favor, and the judgment was published in July 2023.
- Chandel represented himself in the court without hiring a lawyer, relying on his own research and occasional assistance from a photostat shop owner for documents.
Apple’s Public Apology and Compensation
- During the legal proceedings, Apple issued a public apology for slowing down certain iPhone models, including iPhone 6.
- This apology became crucial evidence in Chandel’s case and played a significant role in his victory.
- After winning the case, Chandel started helping his friends at IIT Madras to file consumer court complaints against faulty brands, resulting in some of them receiving compensation as well.
Chandel’s Current Phone Experience
After his troubled experience with iPhone 6, Chandel switched to using an Android phone, which worked seamlessly for years. However, in early 2023, he received an iPhone 14 as a gift, which has been functioning well, providing a more positive outlook on iPhones.