As Izvestia reports, Moscow’s Presnensky Court has accepted for consideration a lawsuit by the Public Consumer Initiative against the Russian branch of the American company Apple – the firm Apple Rus LLC. Oleg Pavlov, the initiator of the lawsuit and head of the Public Consumer Initiative, said that the first court hearing will be held in the next few days in April.
The public organization demands that the actions of Apple Rus LLC, which suspended the import, sale and maintenance of products in Russia, be declared illegal, that the company be compelled to stop these actions, and that the accounts and property of the subsidiary be seized. Rospotrebnadzor has already notified the court to intervene in the case in order to give an opinion. “The position will be announced in court after familiarizing with all the materials of the case and explanations of the parties,” the agency noted.
“We are waiting for this hearing, as we are receiving hundreds of complaints from Russian consumers, who have begun to face a decline in the quality of performance of devices purchased by consumers. This includes disabling Apple Pay, removing popular apps from the App Store and other similar actions by the company that make it difficult to use appliances. Also, post-warranty repairs are no longer carried out and there is a high probability of termination of repairs under warranty,” Oleg Pavlov told Izvestia. According to him, in fact, the Russian consumer today is deliberately deprived of the features that he focused on when buying Apple products.
The court’s decision on the lawsuit is difficult to predict. The company has already lost consumer lawsuits in Moscow’s Presnensky Court, but citizens’ demands were more modest and did not reach the point of blocking accounts. They were mainly about compensation to citizens for moral damage and reimbursement of the cost of low-quality goods.
Experts believe that Apple may well pay their bills, but it is likely that the claim will be satisfied only partially.
“Of course, everyone is uncomfortable with the way foreign corporations are behaving today. If the court decides to seize multibillion-dollar profits, it may proceed from the fact that this company has already suspended its work in Russia,” said Andrei Nekrasov, a lawyer, a senior lecturer at the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration and founder of the Consumer Rights NGO.