EVERYONE loves a good underdog story and Deric White’s tale is no exception.
The 68-year-old pensioner recently beat Apple in England’s High Court when he sued for damages after the tech company wiped his phone during a bungled attempt to fix his broken smartphone.
Mr White described the ruling as a “monumental victory for the small man” after being awarded $AU3000 in damages.
“Big firms like Apple think they are invincible, but it’s about time someone brought them to book for the way they treat people,” he told The Sun.
“Even though the stakes were tiny for them, they refused to settle this matter and insisted on seeing me in court.
“Hopefully today’s judgment has wiped the smirk off their faces.”
Mr White — who was a model and the face of Ericsson mobile phone ads in the early 1990s — told the court the issue dated back to December 11, 2014.
After receiving unsolicited texts warning of a fault in his phone, Mr White took his iPhone 5 to the Genius Bar in London’s Regent Street.
The phone was taken to the back of the store and was fixed, however when it was returned to Mr White he discovered something heartbreaking.
“My phone had been stripped back down to factory settings. I was livid. My wife was in tears,” he said.
Mr White said the reset had cleared 15 years of contacts and pictures from his honeymoon.
“Apple vandalised my phone. They knew they had done it and just sent me on my way like an imbecile,” he said.
“They slapped me across the head and treated me like an idiot. That insult is still with me today.”
Despite the Apple employee offering to help the pensioner set up an iCloud account in store, Mr White said it was too little too late.
“If he’s such a ‘genius’, shouldn’t he have done that before? It’s absolute tosh,” he said.
“I’ve been treated in the most abysmal way, while Apple stands there in all its glory saying how wonderful it is.
“I’m not alone, this is not a one-off, I know it’s happened to many others and I’m here to stand up for them.”
Apple representative Victoria Nottage argued the firm should not be held accountable because it was the customer’s personal responsibility to ensure the data had been backed up.
“The claimant made the decision to hand it over to a member of staff, knowing it was not backed up and that his pictures and videos were therefore at risk,” she said.
“The member of staff did warn Mr White that in restoring his phone, the data was in jeopardy and he could not guarantee its integrity.
“This is something they tell all customers before carrying out any action.”
However, Judge Ruth Fine sided with Mr White, before taking shots at the tech company for not settling the matter outside of court.
“It would have been nice if some common sense had been brought into this arena. Apple has failed to act at all appropriately during these proceedings and has been totally unreasonable,” she said.
“I accept Mr White’s version of events as correct and find Apple was negligent in their treatment of his phone, causing him to lose photographs of particular sentimental value and all his contacts.”
In addition to the $AU3000 in damages, Apple was ordered to pay Mr White $AU1600 to cover legal costs.