Apple to refund iMac hinge repairs as Belgium & Norway get carrier billing for iTunes

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Apple will issue refunds to some iMac owners who had to pay for recent hinge repairs, a report said on Tuesday. In Belgium and Norway, meanwhile, the company has added carrier billing as option for iTunes and App Store purchases.

Some 27-inch iMacs shipped between Dec. 2012 and July 2014 may stop adjusting properly and simply tilt forward, according to a service document seen by MacRumors. People who paid to get their hinge fixed may have ended up spending $100 or more.

According to various online complaints, the affected hinges can make a cracking or popping sound when they break. That would support a theory that plastic washers in spring mechanisms are suddenly giving way, unable to cope with the weight of the attached computer.

A connected repair program covering 2012- and 2013-model iMacs has been extended to five years from the original date of purchase, up from three. People with a faulty iMac should be able to get their hinge replaced at no cost, even if they're outside of their warranty period.

While Apple hasn't made any of these details public, first-party stores and authorized service providers have allegedly been informed. People should contact Apple itself if they need a refund, or any authorized location if they want a repair.

Carrier billing

While not popular in the U.S., carrier billing can be a method of choice in countries where credit card payments are rare. Aside from the two new regions, Apple also offers carrier billing in Germany, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.

Only some carriers have partnered with Apple, however. When and where the option is available, people need to edit their Apple ID account settings via iTunes or the App Store, whether on a desktop or iOS device. Verification can be automatic on iPhones, but involves an SMS message when configuring through other devices.