The plaintiffs, Daniel E. Owens and Barbara S. Owens, allege that Apple's iTunes Gift Cards promised song downloads for $0.99 and that the company's decision to raise song prices on April 7 to $1.29 turned the company's marketing message into misrepresentation.
The plaintiffs "seek a $0.30 refund for any song that has been purchased for $1.29 while using a 99 iTunes Gift Card," the complaint states. They also are seeking class certification, in order to represent the estimated tens of thousands of other iTunes Gift Card users in a similar situation.
If a judge certifies the suit as a class action, the amount involved would exceed $5 million.
Apple, the complaint states, "knowingly and fraudulently misrepresented, concealed, omitted, and/or suppressed the cost to purchase individual songs from its iTunes Internet Web site. As a result, Plaintiffs and members of the putative class have suffered economic harm in that they have paid monies for a product that was worth less than what was represented and/or they have been denied the benefit of their bargain to purchase any song from Defendant's iTunes Store for $0.99."
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
There's some irony in the fraud charge given that Apple recently has stepped up its effort to fight iTunes Gift Card fraud. A recent PC World report claims that Apple has been disabling iTunes accounts of individuals who purchased iTunes Gift Cards at discount prices on eBay.
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