Following a report yesterday indicating that a French watchdog was launching a preliminary investigation into Apple’s battery and performance practices, the company now faces even more scrutiny from additional government officials in the U.S…
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The Wall Street Journal reports that Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, has sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook outlining several questions about how Apple came to the decision to slow down iPhones in conjunction with battery wear.
Thune asks how Apple tracked complaints of processor performance, as well as whether or not the company contemplated refunding customers who paid full price for a battery refund:
Mr. Thune asked how Apple has tracked customer complaints of processing performance and if Apple has explored offering rebates to customers who paid full price for a battery replacement before the company offered discounted rates last month.
Furthermore, Thune says that Apple’s price drop for battery replacements has sparked additional criticism from customers who feel the company should have made replacements free:
“Apple’s proposed solutions have prompted additional criticism from some customers, particularly its decision not to provide free replacement batteries,” wrote Mr. Thune, who requested answers by Jan. 23.
Today’s WSJ report also offers more details on the investigation Apple faces in France, offering confirmation from a spokesman for the Paris prosecutor’s office. It’s important to note that the investigation is preliminary and could lead to preliminary charges or be dropped altogether. It’s unclear how long the investigation will run before we get any sort of information. The French prosecutor is investigating deception and “programmed obsolescence.”
Thune is seeking answers from Apple by January 23rd. We’ll update if Apple responds.