It’s a pretty well known fact that sometimes when you send in your iPad and expect another one in return, within the Apple Care program, you can receive a refurbished unit. The Dutch authorities want to put an end to this, so they banned refurbished iPads offered as replacements.

A refurbished model means that it has been used before and maybe had some parts replaced and work done, so it’s not exactly new. Customers are in general OK with this, but not the authorities in the Netherlands. Now Apple isn’t allowed to replace new units with refurbished ones. It all started with a case of a woman who bought an iPad and had some problems with it. Then instead of getting a brand new slate, she was supposed to receive a refurbished one, but didn’t accept it.

The judges ruled that a replacement iPad that’s been used before is not by any means new on the market. This problem is expanding beyond Netherlands, as there’s also a civil suit in California now. The thing is that refurbished products are much cheaper than new ones, so it’s not exactly fair to offer them in lieu of new slates. It would be nice if we could choose the status of the device at least.