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Apple tells the Senate it may offer rebates to customers who bought full-price battery replacements

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In response to questions from a Senate committee, Apple said in a letter today that it may offer rebates to customers who paid full price for a battery replacement by making the switch before the company started offering a discount.

In December, it was revealed that Apple used software updates to slow down the performance of some iPhones, a decision the company defended by saying it prevented devices from erratically shutting down. The problem involved degrading batteries, and placing a new battery in affected phones fixed the performance issue. In response, Apple cut $50 from the price of inserting a replacement battery, meaning customers could make the switch for $29.

But a letter from Senate Commerce Committee chairman Sen. John Thune (R-SD) posed several questions about Apple’s handling of the situation. One of those was whether the company would provide a partial rebate to customers who paid for a battery replacement before the discount was offered. Apple said in response that it was “exploring this and will update you accordingly.”

Apple has previously gone into some detail about its decision, and today’s response also provided a timeline of its actions. The company has been criticized for not acting transparently when it sent the software updates.

“I appreciate Apple’s response to my inquiry and the company’s ongoing discussions with the committee,” Thune said in a statement. “In those conversations, Apple has acknowledged that its initial disclosures came up short.”