American computer giant Apple has sued Lysgaard in the culmination of a five-year-old fight over a faulty iPhone.
Lysgaard told broadcaster TV2 that he purchased an iPhone 4 in 2011. He paid 4,399 kroner for it via Apple's website but the phone stopped working properly after a year.
Apple agreed to replace it but instead of giving the Danish estate manager a brand-new phone from the factory, it delivered a ‘remanufactured’ phone that the company said was as good as new.
Although he conceded to TV2 that the second phone worked fine, he wasn’t satisfied that his new phone was replaced by one made of used parts so he took his case to the consumer complaints’ board, Forbrugerklagenævnet.
“The problem is that I deserve a brand new one,” he told TV2.
Forbrugerklagenævnet agreed in 2014 and ordered Apple to give Lysgaard his money back. It is that decision that Apple is is now fighting. The company refused to give Lysgaard a brand new phone and has now hit him with a summons to appear in the Glostrup District Court.
Apple contends that Lysgaard has no right to annul his purchase and get his money back and thus argues that the consumer complaints’ board ruling need not be followed.
“One shakes a bit when you receive a summons from one of the world’s biggest companies. That’s not something you experience every day,” Lysgaard told TV2.
“But the more Apple stepped up, the more stubborn I became,” he added.
The California company has not responded to Danish media enquiries but Vagn Jelsøe from the consumer rights group Forbrugerrådet Tænk speculated that Apple must see Lysgaard’s complaint as a case of principle importance.
“We must assume that there are a whole lot of these cases otherwise Apple wouldn’t pursue this case. If they win, it opens the barn door for companies themselves to determine whether something is as good as new or not,” Jelsøe told TV2.
For Lysgaard, he said the case is not a personal vendetta against Apple.
“It’s about large companies needing to follow the laws that we have. It’s also about how many other regular people in Denmark have been through something similar but have just ended up accepting that things are just as Apple says they are,” he said.