Tags class action

After Apple Music launch, fans sue Kanye West over Tidal exclusivity promise

After bringing his new album to Apple Music and Spotify, fans are suing Kanye West claiming they purchased subscriptions to West-backed music app Tidal on the promise the album would be exclusive to the service.

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Filed under: Apple Music Tagged: Apple Music, Class action, exclusive, kanye west, Lawsuit, subscription, Tidal

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Jordan Kahn

April 18th

Apple

Mac

Apple faces ‘Error 53’ class action lawsuit in U.S., may also be in breach of UK law

error-53

A Seattle-based law firm is preparing to file a class action lawsuit against Apple over iOS updates bricking iPhones whose home buttons have been repaired or replaced by third-party companies. The Guardian reports that lawyers PCVA are inviting those who have experienced the ‘Error 53’ problem to contact them.

A London-based lawyer also believes that the issue may place Apple in breach of consumer law in the UK …

Apple says that the issue is a security feature designed to ensure that Touch ID cannot be compromised.

Error 53 is the result of security checks designed to protect our customers. iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor in your iPhone or iPad correctly matches your device’s other components.

If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID, including for Apple Pay use, is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. 

But law firm PCVA believes that Apple’s policy may violate consumer protection laws in the USA.

We believe Apple may be intentionally forcing users to use their repair services, which cost much more than most third-party repair shops. There is incentive for Apple to keep end users from finding alternative methods to fix their products.

UK barrister Richard Colbey says it is likely the same is true in the UK, and that Apple may even be guilty of causing criminal damage.

It is hard to see how something which ceases to work in this way could be said to be of reasonable quality, one of the determinants of which is durability. The law states: ‘A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence.’

Apple says that those who experience Error 53 should contact Apple Support, but has not yet responded to a question I asked yesterday about whether it is able to resolve the issue for those owners other than by providing a chargeable out-of-warranty replacement.

Those interested in joining the class action lawsuit can register at PCVA’s website.

It’s not unusual for class action suits to be filed against Apple, recent examples including iOS 9 performance on older devices and two different ones relating to mobile data charges.

Photo: Michaela Rehle/Reuters


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Class action, class action lawsuit, Error 53, iPhone, iPhone repair, repair, Touch ID

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Ben Lovejoy

February 9th

Apple

Mac

Supreme Court To Hear Microsoft’s Appeal Of Xbox 360 Disc Scratching Lawsuit

Way back in 2007 lawyers gathered together a group of gamers angry with Microsoft over scratched Xbox 360 discs to form a class action lawsuit. Nine years later the Supreme Court is preparing to hear Microsoft’s plea to have the case dismissed for a second time.

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January 17th

Uncategorized

Judge rejects class-action over AppleCare’s subpar replacements, calls lawyer ‘manifestly incompetent’

Apple-Care

Remember that class-action lawsuit alleging AppleCare+ customers were being given subpar replacement products? This week a federal judge rejected the case while calling the plantiffs’ lawyer “manifestly incompetent” and suggesting the counsel orchestrated the entire case.

ArsTechnica reports the judge’s rejection this week claimed the lawyer encouraged the plaintiffs to purchase AppleCare plans and record interactions with Apple employees “for the purpose of initiating this lawsuit.”

But none of the plaintiffs were disgruntled consumers who went looking for a lawyer after getting bad service. Galindo was a paralegal for Renee Kennedy, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, and Adkins had also worked for Kennedy in the past. Kennedy gave them both “monetary gifts to thank them for their excellent work,” and both women used those “gifts” to buy AppleCare Plus, referred to as “AC+” in court papers.

While the case isn’t entirely over, it won’t be a class-action and therefore will likely be on a much smaller scale than it might have been otherwise (if it doesn’t eventually get thrown out altogether).

Under Apple’s current policy for AppleCare plans, the company promises to “exchange the Covered Equipment with a replacement product that is new or equivalent to new in performance and reliability, and is at least functionally equivalent to the original product.” It’s not always the case — the judge found one plaintiff in the case was actually given a brand new device as a replacement — that’s another way of saying you might get refurbished replacement units (or parts for repairs).


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, AppleCare, Class action, Lawsuit, Refurbished

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Jordan Kahn

January 8th

Apple

Mac

Lawsuit against Apple for undelivered texts to Android phones now completely dismissed

imessages

Back in August, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh threw out a class action lawsuit against Apple from former iPhone users complaining that text messages were no longer delivered when they ported their number to an Android phone. The lawsuit alleged that Apple was guilty of “interference” with their messages.

That wasn’t quite the end of it, however. Three of the plaintiffs persisted in individual claims against Apple, alleging that the company was in breach of the Federal Wire Tap Act by ‘intercepting’ their messages. The court has now dismissed these claims – with, it turns out, very good reason …

As Business Insider reports, Apple requested a dismissal after discovering that the claim appeared to be spurious.

Apple […] discovered that two of the three plaintiffs in the case had gotten rid of their old iPhones after they filed the suit against Apple. They are thus unable to demonstrate whether texts sent to their phone numbers went to their Apple or Android devices, Apple claimed. One of the plaintiffs also previously asked that she be dismissed as a “named plaintiff” in the case.

The three plaintiffs were a husband, wife and family friend. Judge Lucy Koh dismissed the case in a single-paragraph order.

The Court has granted the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Apple Inc. See ECF No. 112. Accordingly, the Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment in favor of Defendant. The Clerk shall close the file. IT IS SO ORDERED.

The original issue appeared to have been caused by a bug in the iMessage system, arising where someone switched to an Android phone without first disabling iMessage on their iPhone. While Apple later solved the problem by creating a web-based tool, it continues to recommend that people switch off iMessage on their iPhone before switching devices.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Android, Apple Inc, Class action, class action lawsuit, iMessage, iMessage bug, iMessages, Lawsuit

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Ben Lovejoy

December 23rd

Apple

Mac

Lawsuit against Apple, Google & others for ‘Do not hire’ agreements ends as settlement deal finalized

A class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and other tech companies for agreeing not to poach each other’s employees has finally been settled. Steve Jobs, Google’s Eric Schmidt and others had agreed in emails not to offer higher salaries to each other’s employees in order to reduce the risk of losing valuable employees. When the emails came to light, the 64,000 employees affected successfully argued that this had limited their earning potential.

After Apple’s originally settlement offers were rejected by Judge Lucy Koh as inadequate, the company increased its offer to $415M, which the judge agreed was fair. Reuters reports that Koh has now granted final approval of this sum.

Koh did, however, reject the $81M cut the lawyers in the case had demanded … 

Koh decided such an award would be an inappropriate “windfall” for the lawyers, and awarded about $40 million instead.

It’s of course not the first time that emails from Steve Jobs have gotten Apple into trouble. Such emails formed key evidence in both ebook and iPod antitrust cases.

Image: NLM Studios


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Adobe Systems, Apple Inc, Apple lawsuit, Apple lawsuits, Class action, Eric Schmidt, Google, Lawsuit, Lucy H Koh, Steve Jobs, trial

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Ben Lovejoy

September 3rd

Apple

Mac

AppleCare+ customers seek new class-action suit over subpar replacement hardware

applecare

A disgruntled Apple customer is attempting to bring a new class-action suit against the company, claiming that replacement devices received under the AppleCare+ protection plan were not “like new,” despite being presented as such as part of the policy. Buyers involved claim that by providing refurbished devices as replacements, Apple breached the AppleCare contract…

The suit was launched by Joanne McRight, a Texas woman who was given an iPhone 5 in 2012. When she broke the screen on that handset, she received a replacement under the AppleCare+ warranty. A year or so later, that device also broke and was replaced as well. Both incidents cost $49 under the AppleCare terms.

After eventually upgrading to a newer iPhone last year, McRight once again broke her screen and was given another refurbished replacement device for $79. Now she alleges that all of the devices she was given did not meet the standards Apple advertised.

That standard, according to the AppleCare+ terms (emphasis added):

3.1 Hardware Service

If during the Coverage Period, you submit a valid claim by notifying Apple that (i) a defect in materials and workmanship has arisen in the Covered Equipment, or (ii) the capacity of a covered iPod battery to hold an electrical charge has depleted fifty (50%) percent or more from its original specifications, Apple will either (a) repair the defect at no charge, using new or refurbished parts that are equivalent to new in performance and reliability, or (b) exchange the Covered Equipment with a replacement product that is new or equivalent to new in performance and reliability, and is at least functionally equivalent to the original product.  If Apple exchanges the Covered Equipment, the original product becomes Apple’s property and the replacement product is your property with coverage for the remaining period of the Plan.

“Equivalent to new” is somewhat vague term that doesn’t actually rule out the possibility of receiving a refurbished device or guarantee that replacement devices will be completely new. If anything, it seems clear that Apple is using language that specifically allows them to provide refurbished units for this purpose. In fact, the agreement states that Apple can use refurbished parts to repair covered devices.

That’s the basis of Joanne McRight’s case. She claims that the agreement does not allow Apple to use entire refurbished devices—only parts—and that the refurbished handsets she was provided were of inferior quality, apparently making them more likely to be damaged and thus lead to another replacement charge.

The obvious rebuttal from Apple will be an insistence that its refurbished models are specifically tested to ensure that they meet all of the same performance and reliability standards are brand-new devices, as outlined on the company’s refurbished product store.

From the company’s “Special Deals” store page:

Guaranteed Apple quality.

Before we put a refurbished Mac, iPod, iPad, or Apple TV up for sale in Special Deals, it undergoes a rigorous refurbishment process to make sure it’s up to Apple’s tough quality standards. We back it with our standard one-year limited warranty. And you have the option of purchasing an AppleCare Product for it.

McRight is proposing a class consisting of anyone who bought an AppleCare or AppleCare+ plan at any time on or after July 11, 2011, though her case seems like such a stretch that it’s hard to imagine the court will take it seriously.

My own thought? Perhaps instead of wasting her time chasing baseless lawsuits to recover money she paid due to her own apparent clumsiness, McRight should just invest in a decent iPhone case, but we’ll see how this unfolds.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: AppleCare, Class action, consumers, Hardware, Lawsuit, legal, replacement hardware

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Mike Beasley

July 21st

Apple

Mac

Possible class action suit in preparation as Retina MacBook owners report ‘staingate’ screen issues

staingate

A possible class action suit is in preparation over multiple reports of what appears to be anti-reflective coatings flaking off the screens of Retina MacBook Pros, resulting in a stained appearance. Most of the machines affected seem to be 2013 models.

A group calling itself Staingate says that it has a database of more than 2500 people affected by the issue. More than 1800 of them have joined a Facebook group, a petition has been created, and lawyers Whitfield Bryson & Mason are collecting details of owners for “potential legal action against Apple related to staingate” … 

Repair specialists contacted by the BBC said that the problem does not appear to be a common one, but some affected owners report that Apple is refusing service under warranty, dismissing it as a cosmetic issue. Other owners say they have been offered a repair even out of warranty, but are concerned that the problem will reoccur.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Mac Tagged: Anti-reflective coating, Apple Inc, Class action, Gate, Lawsuit, MacBook, MacBook Pro with Retina display, Retina MacBook Pro, Staingate

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Ben Lovejoy

July 10th

Apple

Mac

Tim Cook responded to Apple Store staff complaints about bag check policy, asking execs “Is this true?”

retail-staff

Papers from a failed class action suit by Apple Store staff reveal that at least two retail employees complained directly to CEO Tim Cook about the policy of subjecting them to anti-theft bag checks before they left the store. Tim Cook forwarded the complaints to senior retail and HR executives, asking “Is this true?” … 

The 2013 class action suit argued that employees should be paid for the 10-15 minutes they spent after each shift in queues for security checks before they were allowed to leave the store. Since the checks were mandatory, staff said, the time should be paid. The case failed, the court ruling that the checks were not part of the job they were paid to do, and so employees should not be paid for the time. The court cited precedent in a similar failed case by Amazon workers.

Reuters reports that papers just unsealed by the court reveal that other employees in the case went further, arguing that the checks – sometimes carried out in full view of customers – were not just time-consuming but also demeaning.

“These procedures are often performed in front of gawking customers,” the employee wrote, adding that workers deserve to be treated with the same respect that Apple shows customers.

Another email, sent by a retail worker in Beijing to Cook and other managers in 2013, said Apple treats its employees “as animals” and thieves.

Cook’s response beyond the query is not revealed, though Apple’s VP of human resources Denise Young Smith is on record as saying that “there has to be a more intelligent and respectful” approach to theft-deterrence.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple employees, Apple Inc, Apple Retail Store, Apple Store, Apple Store security, Apple Store staff, Bag-checks, Class action

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Ben Lovejoy

June 11th

Apple

Mac

Tim Cook responded to Apple Store staff complaints about bag check policy, asking execs “Is this true?”

retail-staff

Papers from a failed class action suit by Apple Store staff reveal that at least two retail employees complained directly to CEO Tim Cook about the policy of subjecting them to anti-theft bag checks before they left the store. Tim Cook forwarded the complaints to senior retail and HR executives, asking “Is this true?” … 

The 2013 class action suit argued that employees should be paid for the 10-15 minutes they spent after each shift in queues for security checks before they were allowed to leave the store. Since the checks were mandatory, staff said, the time should be paid. The case failed, the court ruling that the checks were not part of the job they were paid to do, and so employees should not be paid for the time. The court cited precedent in a similar failed case by Amazon workers.

Reuters reports that papers just unsealed by the court reveal that other employees in the case went further, arguing that the checks – sometimes carried out in full view of customers – were not just time-consuming but also demeaning.

“These procedures are often performed in front of gawking customers,” the employee wrote, adding that workers deserve to be treated with the same respect that Apple shows customers.

Another email, sent by a retail worker in Beijing to Cook and other managers in 2013, said Apple treats its employees “as animals” and thieves.

Cook’s response beyond the query is not revealed, though Apple’s VP of human resources Denise Young Smith is on record as saying that “there has to be a more intelligent and respectful” approach to theft-deterrence.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple employees, Apple Inc, Apple Retail Store, Apple Store, Apple Store security, Apple Store staff, Bag-checks, Class action

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Ben Lovejoy

June 11th

Apple

Mac
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