Communicating with other people is arguably the only reason we own and maintain phones. As soon as cell phones became widely available, text messages became a primary means of communication between friends and family. It is therefore understandable that a cell phone user would become upset if prevented from accessing her text messages. This is allegedly the case with people who had an iPhone and switched to an Android or another non-iOS phone.
According to a recent class action lawsuit against Apple, the company allegedly prevented iMessages from being delivered to non-iOS phones, even though the sender of the message would see the status of the message as “Delivered”. Instead of going to the recipient’s new phone, the messages were being rerouted to their iMessage account.
Apple has released a statement saying that the best way to avoid the problem is for users to deactivate their iMessage account and completely disassociate their number from their iMessage account. That is not stopping Adrienne Moore from pursuing her class action lawsuit against the tech giant.
Moore alleges that Apple’s message blocking interfered with her contract with Verizon Wireless for wireless service, which she kept after switching from an iPhone 4 to a Samsung Galaxy S5. She alleges that Apple interfered with her contract with Verizon because her contract allowed her to send and receive text messages, which Apple allegedly prohibited.
Shortly after switching to a Samsung phone, Moore noticed she was allegedly not receiving text messages from contacts with Apple devices. She contacted Verizon, who allegedly told her that this “had been an issue when people switch from an Apple … device to a non-Apple phone.” After some trouble shooting, Verizon advised Moore to contact Apple.
Moore did so and was allegedly told by an Apple representative that some of those using Apple devices may not be using the latest iOS, which would result in her not receiving text messages from them. He suggested Moore have the users update to the latest iOS, delete Moore as a contact and then re-add her or start a new text message “conversation” with her. Moore tried some of these tactics, but was unsuccessful and she alleges they did not address the issue that she was unable to tell which of her contacts are using iMessage to contact her because she was not receiving their texts.
Moore also alleges that Apple’s Help Page is misleading because it tells users to turn off iMessages on their old iPhones to avoid not receiving text messages from other Apple users. Moore allegedly did this, but it allegedly did not solve her problem. She further alleges that, had Apple disclosed that iMessage would prevent her from receiving text messages in the event that she switched to a non-Apple device, she allegedly “would not have downloaded the iMessage and Messages service application, or would not have purchased an iPhone or other Apple device in the first instance.”
Moore cited an article in Business Insider which discussed an Apple employee admitting that “‘a lot’ of users have this problem: If you switch from an iPhone to an Android, iMessage won’t deliver texts from iPhone users to your new Android phone.” Despite this evidence that Apple knew of the problem, Moore alleges the company never revealed to customers that text messages sent from Apple products would be routed to the recipient’s iMessage account. By inhibiting the plaintiff’s receipt of text messages after switching to a competing device, the lawsuit alleges that Apple violated California’s Unfair Competition law and California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
Apple insists that it “takes customer satisfaction extremely seriously, but the law does not provide a remedy when, as here, technology simply does not function as plaintiff subjectively believes it should.”
The lawsuit landed in front of Judge Lucy Koh, who rejected Apple’s argument and is allowing the potential consumer class action lawsuit to proceed in court.
Our Schaumburg, Illinois consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action predatory lending, unfair debt collection, lemon law and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totalling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. The Chicago consumer lawyers at Lubin Austermuehle are proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.
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