Apple Hit With $5M Lawsuit Over WiFi Assist - InformationWeek

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Apple Hit With $5M Lawsuit Over WiFi Assist
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PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
10/30/2015 | 8:18:41 PM
Re: Apple
@ Ariella.  I think all of the players are at fault, Apple for not informing users and users for not keeping track of their data charges. I do think there could have been better ways to resolve it.  Once lawyers get involve, it is a complete different monster.  In the end, they will settle and people will continue to go crazy for all things Apple.
D J Liu
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D J Liu,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/27/2015 | 3:45:39 PM
Apple AND Carriers
All of them have a financial stake in this.

 
KarlH006
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KarlH006,
User Rank: Strategist
10/27/2015 | 10:59:56 AM
Re: Apple
So in your case here, Apple has written down somewhere in their documentation that over the course of time, the battery will not function as well as it did when it was new? Now I have not read all the information contained in the Apple documentation, and probably never will. But I will guess that any particular statement claiming poor battery life does not exist. So why was it thrown out? On what basis?

Using that same though, if it is written in the documentation that user data charges could be incurred when using WiFi Assist, is it enough to cover Apple from liability?

My opinion: A battery declining in operation over time is expected and not the fault of Apple, but rather a fact of chemical energy storage system. Conversely, a device that I previously owned that was not making autonomous decisions on whether I should use a potentially costly service over a apparent less costly is now; that is not expected.

I think Apple should fix the problem by making WiFi Assist voluntary or possibly alerting that your WiFi signal is poor and allow you to make the choice. (Simple fix but possibly annoying) At that point the law suit would be moot and settling would be senseless or possibly for pennies.
Banacek
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Banacek,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2015 | 10:39:04 AM
Great feature, poor name and implementation
This is a feature I've wished the stupid phone had for years. I'm tired of going outside my office building for a walk and having to manually turn off my wi-fi to get the internet to work reliably.

On the other hand, I don't get the name. "Wi-fi assist" sounds like it is trying to make wi-fi better, not turn off wi-fi. "Internet assist" would be a better name than the first (when I heard the feature name, my first thought was "Oh great, now they're going to try to keep the wi-fi enable even longer!").

The second problem is turning it on by default. For me, I don't care. I still have an unlimited data plan (for $30) from AT&T that I got with my first iphone :-). But for most people, it's rather stupid on apple's part.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
10/27/2015 | 10:38:05 AM
Re: Apple
@Banceck it's not like they've never settled before. Check out the Home Page of the Apple iPhone/iPod touch Warranty Litigation Settlement Website Case No. 3:10-cv-01610-RS for one example. Another is the antitrust lawsuit over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley. Apple wasn't alone in that one, as the $415 million suit included Google, and possibly some others. 
Banacek
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Banacek,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2015 | 10:32:58 AM
Re: Apple
it would NOT be wise for Apple to settle, unless it goes to class-action status. Settling on this opens them up to tons of other lawsuits on every thing in their system that might be a cost to the user.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
10/26/2015 | 2:34:38 PM
Re: Apple
@Stratustician that's just the problem, so many features are set to be on for default, pushing the onus on people to opt out rather than giving them informed consent to opt in. That's why I think they could have a valid claim, and Apple would be wise to settle. 
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
10/26/2015 | 2:27:23 PM
Re: Apple
I think the issue is that by default, the update that introduced WiFi Assist had it enabled.  This means many users weren't aware it was switched on until they came across a post on social media about it, or had heard about it another way.  Personally, had they had the feature built in, but disabled by default, it probably wouldn't have been as big of an issue as the intitial data shock charges wouldn't have been there.  You would have consciously had to turn the feature on.
Ariella
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50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Author
10/26/2015 | 1:13:38 PM
Re: Apple
@melgross if there are regulations about consumer warnings, I don't think it suffices for a company to say that they can read about them on their site. I agree that people are lazy, but the law does put the onus on the companies rather than the consumer. It's for that reason that credit card statements now put in big print warnings that if you choose to pay just the minimum payment, you can end up paying X over time. For example, on my statement, it warns me that if I go for the minimum, my total cost over 15 years would be $6,473.  Shouldn't anyone who uses a credit card realize that? Sure, but someone must have said that it isn't enough to assume that understanding. 
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
10/26/2015 | 1:02:40 PM
Re: Apple
I've always felt that people should read up on new products they buy. Apple does include an up to date user guide on their devices that can be accessed. They can, and should, go to Apple's site and read about the product, either before, or shortly after purchase. I find it sad that people these days are so lazy, that they expect every detail about something to be force fed to them. This reminds me of the case a few years ago when a guy sued Apple over the fact that his several year old phone no longer held a full battery charge. He sued Apple for that. The judge did the right thing and threw the case out, stating that everyone knows that rechargable batteries don't last forever. This should be thrown out as well.
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