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Apple to issue refunds for sparky, prematurely dying products

Canadian iPods and US power adapters get what's coming

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Apple has agreed to give US and Canadian customers two separate settlement offers to make charges of faulty and misrepresented products go away.

Canadian owners of older iPods can get a CDN $45 (credit) rebate over claims the battery life in its devices were much shorter than advertised.

Americans who purchased replacement power adapters for Powerbook and iBook notebooks will get cash refunds betweeen USD $25 and $79 over accusations the device did a fine impersonation of a Morning Glory sparkler on Independence Day.

Assuming they kept the receipts.

Eight hours of muswughla...

Apple Canada is offering CDN $45 (~ USD $44.70, £23) store credit to as many as 80,000 customers who purchased first-, second-, and third-generation iPods before June 24, 2004.

The settlement, expected to be finalized by June 20, is the result of two lawsuits alleging Apple misrepresented the lifespan of iPod batteries.

The plaintiffs, Bradley Waddell of Toronto and Ines Lenzi of Montreal, claim the older iPod batteries failed after only three hours between recharges, rather than the eight hours advertised.

Take note the settlement is as good as $45 in Apple funbucks - customers get store credit that's only usable at Apple's online retail store.

And even then:

A Store Credit may not be used on the Apple online education store or any Apple online specialty store, and may not be used to purchase gift cards, gift certificates, software downloads, iTunes content, refurbished products, any products which are not Applebranded, or any products redeemable for cash. More specifically, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, a Store Credit cannot be used to purchase or obtain a refund on iTunes content, iTunes Store Cards, iTunes Store Gift Certificates, iTunes Song Codes or Allowances, or any products redeemable for iTunes content.

A copy of the settlement is available here (PDF warning). More details on how to recieve the credit should be made available as the settlement nears finalization.

Sparky the wonder adapter

Apple will pay US customers refunds between $25 and $79 to settle claims that some of its power adapters overheat and shoot out sparks.

In 2001, Apple recalled about 570,000 adapters used for Powerbooks because of the overheating issues. But some customers complained that Apple wasn't truthful about the full scope of the problem, and a lawsuit was filed in 2006 in US District Court in San Jose, California.

A settlement for the cash rebate was reached in March, and is currently awaiting final approval in September. Once again, more details on how to receive the money will likely arrive closer to that date. ®

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