Stanborough contacted Apple in order to get a refund, and while the company did offer a refund in a letter, the company also stated that by accepting the money, Stanborough was to "agree that you will keep the terms and existence of this settlement agreement completely confidential", and that any breach of confidentiality "may result in Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties".
11-year-old Ellie and her exploded iPod. Image courtesy of The Times
Needless to say, Stanborough was appaled. "I thought it was a very disturbing letter," he said, "They're putting a life sentence on myself, my daughter and Ellie's mum, not to say anything to anyone. If we inadvertently did say anything, no matter what, they would take litigation against us. I thought that was absolutely appalling.""We didn't ask for compensation, we just asked for our money back," he added. Stanborough has not accepted the money, and didn't sign the letter. An Apple spokesperson said that since Apple had not seen the iPod in question, they could not comment. The Trading Standards Institute could not comment on whether letters like this are standard in the industry, but that they could understand Apple wanting to take steps to protect its reputation.
Threatening your customers (and victims of your faulty product, no less) with litigation. Sounds like a good business strategy to me!