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MacRumors
Aug 10, 2007, 07:56 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

A new class-action lawsuit alleges Apple violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=201311228), according to Information Week.

The act, amended in 2003, states that "No person that accepts credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last five digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the card holder at the point of sale or transaction."

The lawsuit alleges that Apple violates the act by printing credit card expiration dates on Apple Online Store receipts. In addition, the suit points out that the purchaser's full name, full home address, full phone number and full e-mail address are also printed, arguably increasing the risk of identity theft.

Like many big businesses, Apple routinely has lawsuits filed against them, most of which are later settled out of court. In this case, the lawsuit demands $100 to $1000 for each class member (which if certified as a class action, may encompass anyone who has shopped at the Apple Online Store in 2007) plus expenses, however a settled amount would likely be much less.

Raw Data (pdf links):
- The Lawsuit (http://www.lot49.com/pdf/apple_fcra.pdf)
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf)

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/09/apple-sued-over-online-apple-store-receipts/)



notjustjay
Aug 10, 2007, 08:00 AM
Wow, talk about grasping at straws.. sheesh! :confused:

Are other merchants getting dinged too, or is Apple the only one people know of?

sionharris
Aug 10, 2007, 08:02 AM
AAPL is collapsing. :(

WildPalms
Aug 10, 2007, 08:05 AM
Hmmm....is litigation getting out of of control?

Will_reed
Aug 10, 2007, 08:05 AM
Well at least we know apples lawyers aren't going to be going hungry or out of work anytime soon.

WildPalms
Aug 10, 2007, 08:05 AM
AAPL is collapsing. :(

Thats a joke...right?

angelwatt
Aug 10, 2007, 08:08 AM
Well looking at my receipt from this summer when I bought a MacBook and iPod online it looks to only how last 4 of my credit card and no expiration date. So hmm ha. Though there were probably different points during the purchase that showed more info, but this was from the official sales receipt on their site for my purchase. Does this happen only for certain types of purchases or from certain locations?

macrev
Aug 10, 2007, 08:12 AM
There is a slight measure of credibility to the lawsuit, but perhaps could have been better handled by addressing it with Apple outside of the courts. That being said, many believe you cannot get the attention of a large corporation unless you sue them.

I am all for being better protected, but I don't see Apple doing things that will allow my identity to be stolen. I would prefer no numbers of my CC be shown, and other things done, but I am satisfied at the moment.

raluke
Aug 10, 2007, 08:16 AM
Never mind. The complaint is for on-line store orders, not emailed receipts from a brick-and-mortar Apple store. My bad.

-Robert

colemanj4
Aug 10, 2007, 08:18 AM
Well I just checked, the email they sent me on Mar 2, 2007 has no credit card information at all, just my billing address and full name. I checked the Order Status page, it has what type of card, and the last 4 digits, no exp date is shown. My full name and billing address is again shown, but thats no big deal.

I think this is a load of crap. Then again, maybe they follow the rules for Canada Store but not US Store (where I am assuming the suit is), but I highly doubt that.

Bern
Aug 10, 2007, 08:23 AM
People need to get out more rather than sue other people who have the knowledge and tenacity to get off their fat asses and do something to earn a living.

Markleshark
Aug 10, 2007, 08:23 AM
I find it hard to believe that Apple would overlook something like this, actually.

eenu
Aug 10, 2007, 08:26 AM
and where does it say the class would get $100 - $1000 each!?

I read point 27:

"However, plaintiffs do not seek to quantify or recover actual damages in this case. either for themselves or the class"

That says to me they are seeking no damages and are therefore taking Apple to court for the hell of it to get them to sort themselves out.

rockosmodurnlif
Aug 10, 2007, 08:26 AM
Let me say I'm not in favor of the lawsuit but I won't be returning any checks if they're sent my way. Purchased a MacBook Pro this May.

Grimace
Aug 10, 2007, 08:28 AM
Thats a joke...right?

Nope, no joking here. AAPL was down 5.6% yesterday and looks to lose another 1.5% today. :(

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 08:29 AM
There is a slight measure of credibility to the lawsuit, but perhaps could have been better handled by addressing it with Apple outside of the courts. That being said, many believe you cannot get the attention of a large corporation unless you sue them.

More importantly, many believe that lawyers can't get the money of a large corporation unless they sue them.

eenu
Aug 10, 2007, 08:29 AM
Nope, no joking here. AAPL was down 5.6% yesterday and looks to lose another 1.5% today. :(

That has nothing to do with this, the global share prices are falling sharply in the last couple of days on everything due to fresh worries about global credit. If you want to thank someone for that thank the US housing market!

k2k koos
Aug 10, 2007, 08:32 AM
Is a lawsuit really needed, or do I smell greed again??

Does it not suffice to complain, and persuade Apple to change the formatting of their billing, to avoid ID theft as much as possible?

I really am getting a little sick al these lawsuits nowadays, whatever or whoever it is, nobody seems to be able to work things out without the intervention of expensive lawyers, courts etc.... Where is the common sense people?? :apple:

diademsoftware
Aug 10, 2007, 08:34 AM
I have Apple invoices going back to 2005. The oldest ones have only the last 4 digits. No credit card date. The newer ones didn't even have that. They did have my address to show where it was shipped to.

I also have plenty of other receipts from other companies showing only the last 4 digits.

I think this person needs to be told McDonald's has job openings instead of trying to make money by frivolous lawsuits.

thomasfxlt
Aug 10, 2007, 08:35 AM
I'm sure Apple didn't develop the POS system. I know they use different systems in different locations. I can't imagine that Apple really cares what data is on a receipt. They'll change the software and move on. Stupid lawsuit.

eenu
Aug 10, 2007, 08:36 AM
I think this person needs to be told McDonald's has job openings instead of trying to make money by frivolous lawsuits.

Try reading the Legal document with this thread. It's two plaintiffs and evidence is attached to the document. And as i have already said i think Arn has the story wrong given article 27 in the document. They ARE NOT seeking damages.

WildPalms
Aug 10, 2007, 08:37 AM
Let me say I'm not in favor of the lawsuit but I won't be returning any checks if they're sent my way. Purchased a MacBook Pro this May.

Deep 6 - to trash, drop in the briny 6 fathoms deep...etc...commonly misinterpreted to mean burying 6 feet under.

Buschmaster
Aug 10, 2007, 08:44 AM
My receipt shows 4 digits and no expiration date...

If it were done where we could all go and collect money, how many of you would?

I wouldn't. I can't take money from Apple.;)

iMan
Aug 10, 2007, 08:47 AM
Is it really really necessary to go to court to get this sorted out (if there are anything to sort out at all?).
I mean people post any kind of **** on Facebook, myspace and god knows... and now they're worried about a number on a receipt?

Watch out! Paranoia might get you!

johnee
Aug 10, 2007, 08:54 AM
does anyone have an receipt which shows the information in question?

I would like to know of those that do have this information on their receipt, if it was right around the time the bill was passed, and there was simply a delay from the bill passage to when apple's system was changed to comply.

RGunner
Aug 10, 2007, 08:59 AM
When is our court system going to wake up and stop this madness.

Fluffymuff
Aug 10, 2007, 09:02 AM
Try reading the Legal document with this thread. It's two plaintiffs and evidence is attached to the document. And as i have already said i think Arn has the story wrong given article 27 in the document. They ARE NOT seeking damages.
I don't believe you can sue someone without seeking damages.

skwoytek
Aug 10, 2007, 09:03 AM
I hope they're not just talking about some confirmation or printable receipt that is only shown over https.

I have none of these issues with my emailed or "in the clear" receipts.

eenu
Aug 10, 2007, 09:10 AM
I don't believe you can sue someone without seeking damages.

Read the document and see

Maui
Aug 10, 2007, 09:14 AM
Try reading the Legal document with this thread. It's two plaintiffs and evidence is attached to the document. And as i have already said i think Arn has the story wrong given article 27 in the document. They ARE NOT seeking damages.

Eenu: they are not seeking "actual" damages. "Actual" damages are only one type of damages you can try to recover in a lawsuit. In this case, they have chosen to try to recover "statutory" damages instead of "actual" damages.

Look at paragraph 26:

"[] Plaintiffs and each of the Class Members are entitled to monetary relief under 15 U.S.C. s1681(n) of not less than $100 and not more than $1000 for each violation by Defendant . . . ."

"Statutory" damages are recoverable as provided for in the statute, and the plaintiff would not have to show that he or she has been harmed to recover them.

So, I think Arn has it right.

alexramos
Aug 10, 2007, 09:21 AM
Don't worry about this lawsuit, it's not against our beloved Apple Inc., it's against a company called Apple Computers Inc... :D

Is that valid?

brooksfow
Aug 10, 2007, 09:23 AM
I hope they're not just talking about some confirmation or printable receipt that is only shown over https.

I have none of these issues with my emailed or "in the clear" receipts.

The attached documents look like the final order confirmation page and not what Apple sends in an email. If I'm not mistaken, most online retailers have similar pages that display similar info to close out an order.

emulator
Aug 10, 2007, 09:23 AM
If it were done where we could all go and collect money, how many of you would?

I wouldn't. I can't take money from Apple.;)
I would since I'm not a fanboy. Apple is just another corporation who take my money everytime they can, and I'll take theirs anytime I can.

Got on the iPod battery $50 store credit as well. :)

longofest
Aug 10, 2007, 09:25 AM
An example of the receipt is in the Lawsuit. It is the last page of the online order process, where they tell you to "print this page".

As petty as it may seem, it would appear that the lawsuit has legal merit, especially since they encourage you to print the receipt.

mkrishnan
Aug 10, 2007, 09:26 AM
This is a real, if minor issue. Apple should fix it. That's the end of story to me.... I don't know that people particularly need any kind of statutory damages. But this is essentially in our interest as consumers. Hmmm, anyway, I bought in 2007. I'd have to go back and check mail.app on my iMac to see what the e-mails look like, though.

Yankees 4 Life
Aug 10, 2007, 09:27 AM
I don't believe you can sue someone without seeking damages.

um wow, i dont believe you've ever heard of an injunction???... thats when you sue someone so they stop the practicies that were harmful.

matthiasgoodman
Aug 10, 2007, 09:28 AM
The law says that the company can't print that info on the receipt, but they don't print it at all, the customers have to print the page from their computer. I guess it is against the spirit of the law though.

diademsoftware
Aug 10, 2007, 09:28 AM
Try reading the Legal document with this thread. It's two plaintiffs and evidence is attached to the document. And as i have already said i think Arn has the story wrong given article 27 in the document. They ARE NOT seeking damages.

So how much does Apple have to spend for this ridiculous lawsuit? Will you pay the lawyer fees to defend this then?

longofest
Aug 10, 2007, 09:31 AM
Try reading the Legal document with this thread. It's two plaintiffs and evidence is attached to the document. And as i have already said i think Arn has the story wrong given article 27 in the document. They ARE NOT seeking damages.

EDIT: err... I think you're right. article 27 does seem to indicate that they are just trying to get an injunction. They are laying everything out to prove what the consequences COULD have been.

Story updated

johnee
Aug 10, 2007, 09:32 AM
When is our court system going to wake up and stop this madness.

You can't have a system where the consumer is powerless. We live in a system of checks and balances, a law suit provides a mechanism for an independent party to hear the arguments of the consumer and rebuttal of the defendant and determine who is right.

However our justice system is more concerned with "winning" than it is in finding the truth and making the "right" decision most of the time.

amoda
Aug 10, 2007, 09:34 AM
Hey eenu, they are actually asking for money. I had to reread points 26 & 27 a couple of times but in the end it does make sense that they are asking $100-$1000 per violation.

In point 27 it says that since "actual" damage (that someone actually used the information from the receipts and committed fraud based on the data supplied to him/her from Apple" is small or difficult to quantify so they aren't suing for it. However, under they are suing for statuary damages which are the $100-$1000 dollars.

Under point 27 it also states that if some one actually DID receive "actual" damage they are entitled to sue Apple for that amount too.

And even though I love Apple they are obviously at fault here. It might have been a small oversight, a mistake by a new employee or whatever, but in the end it's real. The evidence they supply clearly shows that Apple did indeed violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It's nit picky and someone probably sat there looking for something to sue for but they found it since this definitely does carry legal merit.

brooksfow
Aug 10, 2007, 09:35 AM
An example of the receipt is in the Lawsuit. It is the last page of the online order process, where they tell you to "print this page".

As petty as it may seem, it would appear that the lawsuit has legal merit, especially since they encourage you to print the receipt.

I think the term 'receipt' and the encouragement regarding printing are the keys. I just ordered something from Amazon and the exact same info is displayed on the final page. The difference is that it isn't called a receipt and they don't ask you to print it.

mkrishnan
Aug 10, 2007, 09:35 AM
So how much does Apple have to spend for this ridiculous lawsuit? Will you pay the lawyer fees to defend this then?

This is *the* kind of system where a tort is appropriate. Apple is not complying with the law in a way that potentially endangers customers. Even if this were done privately without an actual lawsuit, Apple still should fix this and pay the legal fees involved. It's their *job* to follow the law.

killerrobot
Aug 10, 2007, 09:40 AM
If Apple was seriously sending out receipts with all that info on it they should be smacked with an idiocy lawsuit. Not like identity theft just showed up in the world this last year. :rolleyes:

I'm glad the plaintiffs aren't seeking damages (from what people have posted above--haven't read that far into the report yet) and it seems like they are just trying to make Apple aware of their mistakes -- which is a good thing IMO.

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 09:42 AM
This is a real, if minor issue. Apple should fix it. That's the end of story to me.... I don't know that people particularly need any kind of statutory damages. But this is essentially in our interest as consumers. Hmmm, anyway, I bought in 2007. I'd have to go back and check mail.app on my iMac to see what the e-mails look like, though.

Actually, they _shouldn't_ fix it.

Whenever I order something on the internet, I first want a page displaying exactly what I am ordering and what addresses the goods and the invoice are sent to, so that I can check it, and then I print it out and if they send stuff to my neighbour I have some evidence that they got it wrong and not I. And second, the printout contains exactly the things that I would have printed out if I had ordered something by mailorder, where it is kind of difficult to order stuff without giving them your printed name and address, and whenever I send any business mail out I make a copy that I keep.

Note that this is not about information that is sent to your computer via email. This is information that is shown on your screen ten seconds after you typed your credit card number, and your address yourself

BuckMeadows
Aug 10, 2007, 09:43 AM
What is it with America?

Every second day I come to this site someone else is suing Apple. Sneeze in this country and there's a lawsuit?

Sove Global Warming by stopping the energy and paper being wasted with these cases.

One Ohm
Aug 10, 2007, 09:44 AM
Yeah, I've raised an eyebrow over the amount of billing information apple 'keeps on file' . Should have dropped them a note...

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 09:45 AM
and where does it say the class would get $100 - $1000 each!?

I read point 27:

"However, plaintiffs do not seek to quantify or recover actual damages in this case. either for themselves or the class"

That says to me they are seeking no damages and are therefore taking Apple to court for the hell of it to get them to sort themselves out.

Try reading the Legal document with this thread. It's two plaintiffs and evidence is attached to the document. And as i have already said i think Arn has the story wrong given article 27 in the document. They ARE NOT seeking damages.

Actual damages are different than the punitive damages of $100 to $1000. This means that the plaintiffs cannot prove that anybody actually had their identity stolen as a result of Apple. Even if somebody did have his identity stolen, the plaintiffs will not attempt to quantify those damages, and aren't asking for recovery of those damages. However, they are still asking that Apple pay the punitive damages, because they violated the law.

This isn't a frivolous law suit. If what the plaintiffs allege is true, then Apple violated the law, and they should be subject to the penalties. What if your identity is stolen as a result of Apple's violation of the law? It might not have happened yet, but it can.

Maui
Aug 10, 2007, 09:46 AM
EDIT: err... I think you're right. article 27 does seem to indicate that they are just trying to get an injunction. They are laying everything out to prove what the consequences COULD have been.

No. The part of a complaint in which you tell the court what you want is called the Prayer for Relief -- this is the list of things you are asking the court to give you. The Prayer for Relief is the last thing in the document. Here, they list exactly what they want (this list appears just after paragraph 30):

A. Certification of a Class [and in the end, this is what they REALLY want, since a certification order would cause Apple to settle, most likely]

B. That the lawyers who filed the lawsuit be appointed class counsel [this impacts how much money they would get]

C. "Statutory damages" under 15 U.S.C. s1681n for each willful violation of as alleged herein.

D. Punitive damages.

E. Cost and attorney's fees.

F. Interest.

G. Injunctive relief.

H. Such other relief.....[this is a throw away you put in pretty much every complaint]

----------

So, aside from the class stuff, they are seeking statutory damages, punitive damages, their costs of suit, and injunctive relief. The original post is accurate.

overcast
Aug 10, 2007, 09:47 AM
Thats a joke...right?

There are so many drama queens around here.

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 09:47 AM
Could you please re-update that update?

From the pdf document:

"12. Plaintiffs seek, on behalf of themselves and the class, statutory damages, punitive damages, costs and attorneys fees, all of which are expressly made available pursuant to 15 U.S.C §1681 et. seq. "

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 09:48 AM
The update to this article is now misinformed. The plaintiffs ARE asking for monetary damages. longofest should have confidence in his own ability to read legal documents, and people who can't read legal documents should stop pretending that they can!

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 09:51 AM
This isn't a frivolous law suit. If what the plaintiffs allege is true, then Apple violated the law, and they should be subject to the penalties. What if your identity is stolen as a result of Apple's violation of the law? It might not have happened yet, but it can.

This is a frivolous lawsuit. Apple doesn't print these receipts. Apple displays a webpage, containing information that you entered just ten seconds earlier, and tells you that you can print this webpage and keep it for your records if you choose to do so. If you don't want them printed, there is a very simple solution: Don't print them!
:mad:

killerrobot
Aug 10, 2007, 09:51 AM
The update to this article is now misinformed. The plaintiffs ARE asking for monetary damages. Arn should have confidence in his own ability to read legal documents, and people who can't read legal documents should stop pretending that they can!

I think anyone that can read, can read legal documents.

The problem is that lawyers and judges are the ones that are suppose to "interpret" them.

longofest
Aug 10, 2007, 09:51 AM
If Apple was seriously sending out receipts with all that info on it they should be smacked with an idiocy lawsuit. Not like identity theft just showed up in the world this last year. :rolleyes:

I'm glad the plaintiffs aren't seeking damages (from what people have posted above--haven't read that far into the report yet) and it seems like they are just trying to make Apple aware of their mistakes -- which is a good thing IMO.

I agree. We don't report on most of the lawsuits that come before Apple here at MacRumors, but I noticed that this one appeared to have some solid legal grounds, so it was worth posting. Of course, I don't know whether it will stand or not in court, but at least it isn't one of the millions of "you sold me an iPod/iPhone with a battery that wears out" or "you stole my technology". Those are just either stupid complaints not worth posting, or impossible to judge the merits of and whether its a frivolous lawsuit or something substantial.

eenu
Aug 10, 2007, 09:53 AM
The update to this article is now misinformed. The plaintiffs ARE asking for monetary damages. Arn should have confidence in his own ability to read legal documents, and people who can't read legal documents should stop pretending that they can!

Hey it wasn't me that updated it! Nor did i ask for it to be updated i only claimed that i thought arn was incorrect so get of your high horse and learn manners, and as killerrobot says its lawyers meant to interpret them. I'm a Doctor of Engineering not a lawyer!

longofest
Aug 10, 2007, 09:54 AM
Could you please re-update that update?

From the pdf document:

"12. Plaintiffs seek, on behalf of themselves and the class, statutory damages, punitive damages, costs and attorneys fees, all of which are expressly made available pursuant to 15 U.S.C §1681 et. seq. "

See article 27.

And I know you didn't say it, but for god's sakes people... Arn didn't post this story. I did! Don't blame the infalable Arn! :p

Project
Aug 10, 2007, 09:55 AM
Checked my purchases going back to 2004 and I just get the last 4 digits and card type - no expiry date.

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 09:55 AM
And even though I love Apple they are obviously at fault here. It might have been a small oversight, a mistake by a new employee or whatever, but in the end it's real. The evidence they supply clearly shows that Apple did indeed violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It's nit picky and someone probably sat there looking for something to sue for but they found it since this definitely does carry legal merit.

Please explain to us what exactly Apple is doing that they shouldn't. The FCRA says "You shall not print..." and Apple _doesn't_ print.

jellomizer
Aug 10, 2007, 09:57 AM
AAPL is collapsing. :(
Checking the stock it looks more like a correction. I expect it will settle back down around the high 90's or low 100's. The iPhone created a lot of extra hype. Hype makes people overestimate the company, leading to a lot of investment then when the real numbers come out poeple are disapointed and sell out.

longofest
Aug 10, 2007, 09:57 AM
This is a frivolous lawsuit. Apple doesn't print these receipts. Apple displays a webpage, containing information that you entered just ten seconds earlier, and tells you that you can print this webpage and keep it for your records if you choose to do so. If you don't want them printed, there is a very simple solution: Don't print them!
:mad:

I think your frustration is misplaced. The lawsuit isn't frivilous, because it appears to have a pretty valid argument based on the law cited. It seems what you really have issue with is the law itself.

eenu
Aug 10, 2007, 09:59 AM
As Longofest says it really isn't frivolous. These guys really do have a case, it will be interesting to see how this one pans out. It is of course a shame they couldn't have done this without a lawsuit but hey....

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 10:01 AM
I think anyone that can read, can read legal documents.

The problem is that lawyers and judges are the ones that are suppose to "interpret" them.

Hey it wasn't me that updated it! Nor did i ask for it to be updated i only claimed that i thought arn was incorrect so get of your high horse and learn manners, and as killerrobot says its lawyers meant to interpret them. I'm a Doctor of Engineering not a lawyer!

Obviously people can't read these documents. It is clearly stated that the plaintiffs seek punitive damages from Apple. Lawyers don't interpret the law, they argue it. Judges interpret the law. But there is no interpretation of the law in this document. This is a claim. The judge will decide if the claim is valid. But it is very clear that they are asking for money.

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 10:04 AM
See article 27.

And I know you didn't say it, but for god's sakes people... Arn didn't post this story. I did! Don't blame the infalable Arn! :p

See the "WHEREFORE" section following Paragraph 30. This is where they are actually stating their requests. Particularly, see items C, D, E, H.

longofest
Aug 10, 2007, 10:07 AM
I'm really interested in article 27 of the lawsuit. Every other article, including 30 which seems to outline all of the damages seeked, asks for actual damages to be awarded. But Article 27 states that damages are not being seeked.

This is a beautiful example of how complexity of legal documents, and how tricky they can be to read. Any lawyers in the house want to clarify how article 27 relates to the rest of the suit?

aLoC
Aug 10, 2007, 10:08 AM
Maybe they didn't follow the letter of the law, but realistically 5 digits + the expiry is almost as useless as 5 digits alone. You really need the whole number to make a nuisance of yourself.

amoda
Aug 10, 2007, 10:08 AM
Please explain to us what exactly Apple is doing that they shouldn't. The FCRA says "You shall not print..." and Apple _doesn't_ print.

FCRA: Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no person that accepts
credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of the sale or transaction.

If you open the PDF of the claim and scroll all the way down to the evidence you can see, in several receipts, that the expiration date is indeed provided. That alone violates the FCRA since it doesn't need a pre-req, it's a simple "it shouldn't be there". I'm not a lawyer or anything, I'm just reading between the FCRA and the lawsuit.

So according to what I've read the FCRA says "You shall not print..." and Apple does anyways.

eenu
Aug 10, 2007, 10:09 AM
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+15USC1681n

According to this $100 - $1000 is for ACTUAL damages.

Though section two mentions punitive damages

EDIT: Though i think it highly highly unlikely they will receive punitive damages as they are only issued where compensatory damages are deemed an inadequate remedy.

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 10:11 AM
I'm really interested in article 27 of the lawsuit. Every other article, including 30 which seems to outline all of the damages seeked, asks for actual damages to be awarded. But Article 27 states that damages are not being seeked.

This is a beautiful example of how complexity of legal documents, and how tricky they can be to read. Any lawyers in the house want to clarify how article 27 relates to the rest of the suit?

I have a previous post about this. ACTUAL damages are different than PUNITIVE or STATUTORY damages. Punitive damages are designed to PUNISH Apple, giving them a strong incentive to become compliant with the law. These are assessed whether or not anybody was actually hurt. ACTUAL damages occur if somebody is hurt by their actions. In this case, they claim that people were harmed (by increasing the risk of identity theft), but they can't quantify that, so they won't ask for direct compensation. They will ask for the STATUTORY damages provided in the law, which award the $100 to $1000 without demanding that people enumerate the costs incurred as a result of Apple's violations. However, if somebody can quantify their damages (for instance, by proving that his credit card number was stolen from the receipt, and documenting the costs to fix the action), he can seek recovery of those costs from Apple independently.

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 10:14 AM
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+15USC1681n

According to this $100 - $1000 is for ACTUAL damages.

Though section two mentions punitive damages

EDIT: Though i think it highly highly unlikely they will receive punitive damages as they are only issued where compensatory damages are deemed an inadequate remedy.

Read more closely (emphasis added):


(1)(A) any actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure or damages of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000; or


If you can show the exact costs you incurred as a result of noncompliance of this law, you can ask for that much in return. If you can't, or don't want to figure the costs, you can ask for the blanket damages. These are actually called "Statutory damages" in the law suit, see WHEREFORE, Paragraph C.

eenu
Aug 10, 2007, 10:19 AM
so in the bigger scheme of things.... how likely is it that all Apple Online customers in 2007 are going to receive money?

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 10:19 AM
Please explain to us what exactly Apple is doing that they shouldn't. The FCRA says "You shall not print..." and Apple _doesn't_ print.

Apple does print... on the screen. Making a PDF of this receipt is just making a COPY of what Apple prints.

FCRA: Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no person that accepts
credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of the sale or transaction.

If you open the PDF of the claim and scroll all the way down to the evidence you can see, in several receipts, that the expiration date is indeed provided. That alone violates the FCRA since it doesn't need a pre-req, it's a simple "it shouldn't be there". I'm not a lawyer or anything, I'm just reading between the FCRA and the lawsuit.

So according to what I've read the FCRA says "You shall not print..." and Apple does anyways.

You've got it right.

Maui
Aug 10, 2007, 10:20 AM
Any lawyers in the house want to clarify how article 27 relates to the rest of the suit?

I already have. :D I litigate exactly these types of suits (on the defense side).

They are seeking 2 types of damages: statutory and punitive (plus costs of suit, etc, and interest, which they will never get since this is not a liquidated sum).

Here's why statutory damages are in play here. Proving "actual" damages in the case of a violation of this statute could be extremely difficult. Imagine someone gives out my credit card number, but no one ever uses it to make fraudulent charges. I haven't been "actually" damaged, but as a matter of public policy, we still want to deter that conduct. So, we put a statutory amount in the statute. If you prove a violation of the statute, you get the statutory amount, whether you can prove actual damages or not. Think of it as a civil penalty.

Eenu: Though i think it highly highly unlikely they will receive punitive damages as they are only issued where compensatory damages are deemed an inadequate remedy.

This is only one reason punitives could be awarded. Another is to punish a wrongdoer. I doubt that is in play here, though.

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 10:20 AM
FCRA: Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no person that accepts
credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of the sale or transaction.

If you open the PDF of the claim and scroll all the way down to the evidence you can see, in several receipts, that the expiration date is indeed provided. That alone violates the FCRA since it doesn't need a pre-req, it's a simple "it shouldn't be there". I'm not a lawyer or anything, I'm just reading between the FCRA and the lawsuit.

Bla bla bla completely missing the point.

So according to what I've read the FCRA says "You shall not print..." and Apple does anyways.

They claim that Apple prints this stuff. But Apple doesn't. It appears on a customers screen, and the customer is free to print it or not. The printed receipts that they show in the lawsuit were not printed by Apple. They were printed by the customers who are starting the lawsuit.

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 10:21 AM
so in the bigger scheme of things.... how likely is it that all Apple Online customers in 2007 are going to receive money?

Well, it was pointed out elsewhere that Apple will probably settle for a much smaller amount. I wouldn't be surprised if you get a free song on iTunes or something stupid like that. Or you might get a coupon for some amount off your next store purchase. I saw something like that with a Blockbuster Video suit.

koobcamuk
Aug 10, 2007, 10:23 AM
That has nothing to do with this, the global share prices are falling sharply in the last couple of days on everything due to fresh worries about global credit. If you want to thank someone for that thank the US housing market!

what happens if there's a recession?

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 10:24 AM
Well, it was pointed out elsewhere that Apple will probably settle for a much smaller amount. I wouldn't be surprised if you get a free song on iTunes or something stupid like that. Or you might get a coupon for some amount off your next store purchase. I saw something like that with a Blockbuster Video suit.

Apple is more likely to rip those lawyers a new *******.

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 10:25 AM
Bla bla bla completely missing the point.

They claim that Apple prints this stuff. But Apple doesn't. It appears on a customers screen, and the customer is free to print it or not. The printed receipts that they show in the lawsuit were not printed by Apple. They were printed by the customers who are starting the lawsuit.

He's not missing the point. And, again, Apple is printing the information to the screen. You can't control what shows up on that receipt until after it's already been transmitted and displayed, which is after the damage has already been done. What if somebody walks into the room and sees the number before you can hide the window? Even if you close your browser, are you expected not to make a PDF first? People need to keep records of their transactions, and that happens with online transactions by printing the receipt to a PDF or a printer.

The only way Apple might be absolved is if your browser had a "Don't show my credit card number" option, but that is ludicrous.

longofest
Aug 10, 2007, 10:28 AM
Okay... so I got a lesson in lawsuits today. Thanks for the discussion guys. I am tending to agree with nickelcokes at this point. The lawsuit appears to be seeking damages, but not ACTUAL damages. That leaves other types of damages, including punitive, statutory, etc.

jeffo
Aug 10, 2007, 10:32 AM
i placed over a dozen orders from apple online and at least half of that in the store (with an emailed receipt) and not once did they show my credit card number or expiration date - and this is going back as far as 2002. My billing and shipping address was displayed for the online orders but that's the same way most online retailers do it. This may be an isolated incident although I'd be shocked if Apple had separate systems in each of their stores or multiple online systems.

englishman
Aug 10, 2007, 10:33 AM
Well - I guess the people who tried sorting this out have used the law as a last resort - certainly in my dealings with non-store personnel Apple are either arrogant in the extreme or ignore you - times I have written to head office I have never even received the courtesy of a reply.

grockk
Aug 10, 2007, 10:39 AM
He's not missing the point. And, again, Apple is printing the information to the screen. The only way Apple might be absolved is if your browser had a "Don't show my credit card number" option, but that is ludicrous.

As soon as you type in your credit info it is "printed to the screen". How do you put it in without typing it to the screen? Should it be like the ***** on passwords? This is the same situation for every online retailer. So who wants to get in on suing Amazon. Anyone want a piece of Bestbuy? Newegg? We could all be rich.

This is also technically not a receipt since the actual receipt is what is emailed to you. It's a final confirmation page. How else do you check that your address is correct? I suppose each piece of info could be confirmed on it's own page. That's not very user friendly but may be more secure...

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 10:41 AM
This is a frivolous lawsuit. Apple doesn't print these receipts. Apple displays a webpage, containing information that you entered just ten seconds earlier, and tells you that you can print this webpage and keep it for your records if you choose to do so. If you don't want them printed, there is a very simple solution: Don't print them!
:mad:

When you enter your credit card information, you are CHOOSING to enter it. You have no control of Apple's display of that information when they CHOOSE to show it back to you. And you don't know what they are choosing to do until they've already done it, and showed you the page. That is what this is about. And telling people not to keep records of their transactions is like telling them not to shop online with Apple. Your suggestion avoids the issue, but it doesn't correct it. The law is about correcting the problem.

MacCheetah3
Aug 10, 2007, 10:42 AM
Hi
When is our court system going to wake up and stop this madness.
This is my question. While you can and should blame plenty on the lawyers, why aren't judges laughing and telling those from these cases to stop with the meth.

Go U.S.! Oh wait...That's not right. :D

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 10:45 AM
As soon as you type in your credit info it is "printed to the screen". How do you put it in without typing it to the screen? Should it be like the ***** on passwords? This is the same situation for every online retailer. So who wants to get in on suing Amazon. Anyone want a piece of Bestbuy? Newegg? We could all be rich.

This is also technically not a receipt since the actual receipt is what is emailed to you. It's a final confirmation page. How else do you check that your address is correct? I suppose each piece of info could be confirmed on it's own page. That's not very user friendly but may be more secure...

I just said this in my previous post. When you type it, you are CHOOSING to do so. It is YOU that is printing the information, not Apple. And you aren't a "person accepting credit cards" according to the law. However, when Apple spits it back at you, you have no control of the display until it is too late.

Even if Apple sends you a separate email, this is still a receipt. The confirmation page documents Apple's RECEIPT of your order. It also documents Apple's RECEIPT of transaction from your credit card company.

erikistired
Aug 10, 2007, 10:47 AM
I have Apple invoices going back to 2005. The oldest ones have only the last 4 digits. No credit card date. The newer ones didn't even have that. They did have my address to show where it was shipped to.

I also have plenty of other receipts from other companies showing only the last 4 digits.

I think this person needs to be told McDonald's has job openings instead of trying to make money by frivolous lawsuits.

yeah i just checked all my receipts (including ones from this year) and can't find any that give more than 4 digits, if that. the most recent ones don't list anything CC in the emails, and 4 digits on the website.

as for the evidence, it's the last page in the online order form. it's not a receipt.

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 10:48 AM
He's not missing the point. And, again, Apple is printing the information to the screen. You can't control what shows up on that receipt until after it's already been transmitted and displayed, which is after the damage has already been done. What if somebody walks into the room and sees the number before you can hide the window? Even if you close your browser, are you expected not to make a PDF first? People need to keep records of their transactions, and that happens with online transactions by printing the receipt to a PDF or a printer.

The only way Apple might be absolved is if your browser had a "Don't show my credit card number" option, but that is ludicrous.

1. Apple doesn't print on the screen. With current technology, you can't print on screens. That's what printers are there for. So Apple doesn't print.

2. The relevant law says "You shall not print". It doesn't say "you shall not display on any monitor". It doesn't say "You shall not make it possible for a customer to create a PDF file or to print the screen contents". Since the lawmakers are reasonably intelligent and know about computer displays and the like, they would have added these things to the law if that had been the intent.

And what if someone walks into the room? Well, what if he doesn't read the number from the screen, but knocks you over the head and takes your credit card away? This is seriously grasping at straws. How would anyone get into the room? My home has a front door that is locked. If you get in without my permission you are trespassing. Are you afraid your kids or your wife could steal your credit card number? In that case, Apple displaying the number on a screen is the smallest of your problems.

This is also about displaying your name and address, and I am quite sure that anyone who could walk in while I order from the Apple Store is either a burglar or knows my name, and they know my address anyway because they are at my house. (To quote Homer Simpson: Dooh! )

MacCheetah3
Aug 10, 2007, 10:48 AM
Hi
An example of the receipt is in the Lawsuit. It is the last page of the online order process, where they tell you to "print this page".

As petty as it may seem, it would appear that the lawsuit has legal merit, especially since they encourage you to print the receipt.
So... If someone is good enough to grab that page during transmission to your computer or if you're that stupid to lose the receipt that's already in your home -- printing it out -- to someone outside of your home, this isn't really going to matter as a criminal is going to get that information despite.

I'm curious now anyway so I'll check my receipts this weekend as I only print out the final confirmation page and not the email.

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 10:49 AM
I just noticed something new. On the exhibits in the law suit, Apple recommends you print the page for your records! You can't argue that Apple prints the information to the screen, but you can argue that it doesn't count as "printing" according to the law. However, because Apple tells you on that very page that you should print a copy for your records, it is quite clear that Apple intends to offer the page as a printed receipt.

Le Big Mac
Aug 10, 2007, 10:52 AM
When is our court system going to wake up and stop this madness.

Anyone can sue. The question is whether they can get past that to recover statutory damages or get anything at all.

Anyway, I checked my receipts that I printed (to pdf--yea trees!) and every one of them has only hte last 5 digits of my cc number. so these must be some oddball receipts.

ETA: The statute also says "at the point of sale or transaction" -- if you buy online, how is this providing a receipt at the point of sale?

Also, this seems to boil down to whether "or" means "and" -- does the statue prohibt printing any expiration date at all or does it mean "no more than five digits and expiration date"? These guys are relying on the former, which seems correct.

theman
Aug 10, 2007, 10:53 AM
A local store franchise where I live was printing my full CC # on their receipts. I just called the owner of the stores and told him it was against the law. Went there a week later, and only the last 4 digits were shown on the receipts. No suing necessary. It is hard to believe a company as large as apple would violate a law so obvious as this. It is really incredible. How can you run a business without knowing this law??? I am disappointed.

erikistired
Aug 10, 2007, 10:53 AM
Hi

So... If someone is good enough to grab that page during transmission to your computer or if you're that stupid to lose the receipt that's already in your home -- printing it out -- to someone outside of your home, this isn't really going to matter as a criminal is going to get that information despite.

I'm curious now anyway so I'll check my receipts this weekend as I only print out the final confirmation page and not the email.

if someone is good enough to grab that screen, they already have your CC number from when it was transmitted to the server in the first place. it's all secure, i'm sure.

MacAerfen
Aug 10, 2007, 10:54 AM
First off it is not a receipt at all. If you look at the pdf it is an order confirmation screen that Apple shows so that the purchaser can see what they have ordered and what card they used. It does not work as a receipt. You can not take the print out of that screen to any Apple location as proof of purchase, because at that point all Apple has done is confirm that the card is valid. It may take up to a few hours before that is actually charged to you, and your credit card company still has to actually authorize it. At the point you get that screen you have not actually made a transaction, you have only made the intention of making one. Apple suggests printing it for your records so you know what you have ordered and can confirm it when you receive your actual receipt in email which does not include the expiration. So Apple has not in fact broken any laws because the law is in regards to receipts not order confirmations. Perhaps for those concerned about security the laws will need to change to include confirmations, at which point I am sure Apple will make the necessary changes.

Honestly its getting ridiculous the number of under educated lawyers out there willing to jump at any chance of suing a company. Personally I think if a lawyer brings a lawsuit which is baseless they should be disbarred for wasting tax payers dollars and holding up the legal system for legitimate cases. There should be a punishment for not doing the proper amount of research into a case before filing a suit.

edoates
Aug 10, 2007, 10:54 AM
Not commenting on the merits of the lawsuit: none of my receipts have more than 4 digits and none have the expiration date. But that doesn't means someone else's didn't.

Many time it is necessary to file a suit: you notice something is amiss (credit card info published, someone demanding SSAN for credit, other illegal or questionable practices) and you write a letter. You might as well talk to a wall since nothing happens. So, some lawyer gets wind of it, files a class action, the problem gets solved, no one is damaged except:

the defendant who pays both sides legal fees if he loses. And the lawyers get all the money.

See practically every successful class action: the plaintiffs get a gift certificate, a warrant to buy more stock, whatever (and it usually has approximately zero value to the customer and zero cost to the company), and the lawyers get cash.

Ed

Is it really really necessary to go to court to get this sorted out (if there are anything to sort out at all?).
I mean people post any kind of **** on Facebook, myspace and god knows... and now they're worried about a number on a receipt?

Watch out! Paranoia might get you!

LionsKiss
Aug 10, 2007, 10:54 AM
I think reading paragraph 12 clearly states they want damages to the amount they are entitled form the legislation

"Plaintiffs seek, on behalf of themselves and the class, statuary damage, punitive damages, cost and attorney fees, all of which are expressly made available pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1681".......

and they ask for an injunciton

Apple surely has a legal team that should be aware on how to deal with business rules.
http://www.legalhelpmate.com/legal-dictionary-r.aspx?page=3


receipt
n. a written and signed acknowledgment by the recipient of payment for goods, money in payment of a debt or receiving assets from the estate of someone who has died.
http://www.legalhelpmate.com/legal-dictionary-r.aspx?page=3

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 10:59 AM
1. Apple doesn't print on the screen. With current technology, you can't print on screens. That's what printers are there for. So Apple doesn't print.

2. The relevant law says "You shall not print". It doesn't say "you shall not display on any monitor". It doesn't say "You shall not make it possible for a customer to create a PDF file or to print the screen contents". Since the lawmakers are reasonably intelligent and know about computer displays and the like, they would have added these things to the law if that had been the intent.


Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, print, verb, definition 2d:


d : PRINT OUT; also : to display on a surface (as a computer screen) for viewing


Not to mention that the act of displaying characters on a screen has always been referred to as "printing", as evidenced, for example, by the name of standard C functions like "printf". I'll concur that this is a matter of interpretation for the judge, but the definition and traditions of language mean that it is reasonable to include computer displays in this instance of "printing". Also see my other posts about Apple's intent that you print a paper copy of the receipt.


And what if someone walks into the room? Well, what if he doesn't read the number from the screen, but knocks you over the head and takes your credit card away? This is seriously grasping at straws. How would anyone get into the room? My home has a front door that is locked. If you get in without my permission you are trespassing. Are you afraid your kids or your wife could steal your credit card number? In that case, Apple displaying the number on a screen is the smallest of your problems.

This is also about displaying your name and address, and I am quite sure that anyone who could walk in while I order from the Apple Store is either a burglar or knows my name, and they know my address anyway because they are at my house. (To quote Homer Simpson: Dooh! )

This is an entirely separate issue! The point is that the law is intended to conceal information from prying eyes, however they might come across the receipts. The law expressly forbids the inclusion of such information on receipts. Just because somebody violates additional laws to encounter the information doesn't mean Apple is absolved from responsibility for illegally displaying the information. Just like if Apple left a copy of your credit card number on an employee's desk, and somebody broke into the Apple building and got your credit card number. Both Apple and the thief are still responsible, because Apple should have taken appropriate measures to keep your information private!

EagerDragon
Aug 10, 2007, 11:07 AM
Apple should just do the right thing and correct the issue. Not sure why they been in violation all this time.

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 11:08 AM
First off it is not a receipt at all. If you look at the pdf it is an order confirmation screen that Apple shows so that the purchaser can see what they have ordered and what card they used. It does not work as a receipt. You can not take the print out of that screen to any Apple location as proof of purchase, because at that point all Apple has done is confirm that the card is valid. It may take up to a few hours before that is actually charged to you, and your credit card company still has to actually authorize it. At the point you get that screen you have not actually made a transaction, you have only made the intention of making one. Apple suggests printing it for your records so you know what you have ordered and can confirm it when you receive your actual receipt in email which does not include the expiration. So Apple has not in fact broken any laws because the law is in regards to receipts not order confirmations. Perhaps for those concerned about security the laws will need to change to include confirmations, at which point I am sure Apple will make the necessary changes.

Honestly its getting ridiculous the number of under educated lawyers out there willing to jump at any chance of suing a company. Personally I think if a lawyer brings a lawsuit which is baseless they should be disbarred for wasting tax payers dollars and holding up the legal system for legitimate cases. There should be a punishment for not doing the proper amount of research into a case before filing a suit.

It is a RECEIPT of your order. Placing an order is itself a transaction. I would also think that Apple authorizes your charge before showing that confirmation, because they don't want to waste time processing the order if the creditor won't pay, but that is irrelevant. If something goes wrong, you will receive a CANCELLATION notice, because they are canceling the order you've already placed.

MacAerfen
Aug 10, 2007, 11:08 AM
I will say it again. The screen in question is NOT a receipt. No actual transaction has occurred at that point. It is the confirmation screen showing what you have agreed to order. You receive your receipt by email. Only the emailed receipt is accepted as proof of purchase. There is a reason it says wait 90 minutes before calling to make changes because it takes time for it to post to the credit card agency. I know this since I work in online commerce. The screen you see is always simply a confirmation of intent to order. That is why the screen does not say Receipt. If it said receipt and could be used as one, then it is a receipt. Since it doesn't and does not constitute a receipt, IE: you can not take this print out and use it as proof of purchase, then it is not. It is simply to show that what you entered prior and clicked confirmed was actually received accurately. Just like if you order on the phone to a company and the agent repeats the order back to you and you record it, that does not constitute a receipt either.

As for the discussion of Apple taking responsibility for showing the information on the screen thats a two way door. Its time some of the consumers take some responsibility for themselves and stop crying that a company is not taking extra efforts to protect them from their own stupidity. If you are concerned about information showing on the screen it is YOUR responsibility not the company you are dealing with to take the appropriate precautions to avoid information you do not want others to see from being viewed. You loose your wallet in a store, its not the stores fault if someone picks that up and uses it. You read your credit card number over the phone where someone can over hear you , thats not the companies fault thats yours.

This dreamland people live in where they figure its everyone else's responsibility to look out for their best interests is really annoying. Its counter-evolutionary. If someone is too stupid to survive on their own then nature will take its course.

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 11:14 AM
Apple should just do the right thing and correct the issue. Not sure why they been in violation all this time.

You are absolutely wrong. Apple is displaying information that I _need_ to check if all the details in my order are correct. I _want_ to be able to check the credit card number because if I typed it wrong I won't receive the goods. I _want_ to be able to check the address because if I typed it wrong I won't receive the goods either.

As an extreme example, I ordered two flights from expedia just yesterday. I most definitely _must_ check if the names on the flights are correct, because otherwise I won't get on the flight!

CanadaRAM
Aug 10, 2007, 11:20 AM
and where does it say the class would get $100 - $1000 each!?

I read point 27:

"However, plaintiffs do not seek to quantify or recover actual damages in this case. either for themselves or the class"

That says to me they are seeking no damages and are therefore taking Apple to court for the hell of it to get them to sort themselves out.

They are seeking punitive damages, not actual damages, because they cannot prove any instance of losses or damages to the client from the action.

Actual damages would be along the lines of "You crashed into my car and it cost me $1,500 to fix it." - something that can be measured.

iSee
Aug 10, 2007, 11:21 AM
Let me say I'm not in favor of the lawsuit but I won't be returning any checks if they're sent my way. Purchased a MacBook Pro this May.

Dude, you are part of the problem. Do you really want to be the kind of guy who will sell out his principles for a few lousy bucks?

Do everyone in the world a favor and opt out of this lawsuit.

koobcamuk
Aug 10, 2007, 11:21 AM
As an extreme example, I ordered two flights from expedia just yesterday. I most definitely _must_ check if the names on the flights are correct, because otherwise I won't get on the flight!

You you have a brain and enter is correctly, you'll be ok.

Does all this mumbo jumbo apply to UK law as well? :rolleyes:

kpolumbo
Aug 10, 2007, 11:22 AM
Checked my receipt for an iPod shuffle ordered 04/24/07. It has the last 4 digits of my CC number, type of CC, the expiration date, my full name and address, phone number and e-mail address. It says "print this page for your records" right on it, not we suggest printing this page.... etc. Hmmmmm, wonder if I'd qualify. I'd like my $1000 please! ;)

notjustjay
Aug 10, 2007, 11:23 AM
Apple: Please enter your credit card details.
Me: 1234567800001234
Apple: You entered "1234567800001234". Is this correct?
Me: Aaaaah!!! Apple's displaying my confidential data! Identity theft! Privacy! Sue! SUE!!!

:rolleyes:

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 11:24 AM
I just noticed something new. On the exhibits in the law suit, Apple recommends you print the page for your records! You can't argue that Apple prints the information to the screen, but you can argue that it doesn't count as "printing" according to the law. However, because Apple tells you on that very page that you should print a copy for your records, it is quite clear that Apple intends to offer the page as a printed receipt.

Which is perfectly in agreement with the law. Apple is _not_ allowed to print this stuff onto a sheet of paper and mail it to you. If they did that, they would be clearly in violation of the law, and on top of that ridiculously stupid. You, on the other hand, are allowed to print it (even if you were not allowed to, you would be the only person who could sue yourself). It is up to you whether you print it. If the law wanted to stop companies from suggesting to you that you should print it, then the law would say that. But it doesn't.

What a dictionary says doesn't matter. If a merchant writes your complete credit card number on a hand written receipt, do you think they would get away with this because it is not printed? Or do you think Apple could pay a fine and from then on refuse to give store customers paper receipts because the receipt is "printed" on a screen?

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 11:27 AM
You you have a brain and enter is correctly, you'll be ok.

Good advice. Seems your chances would be low. :D

MacAerfen
Aug 10, 2007, 11:30 AM
Thank you for your order.

We're processing it now (IE you havent been billed yet). You will receive an email confirmation shortly. (In other words "You will recieve your receipt soon")

To check the status of your order, please visit
http://www.apple.com/OrderStatus

Please print this page or write down your order number (see below). It lets you track order status, get information about your software download (if applicable) and more.

If you need to talk to a customer service representative about your order,
please allow about 30 minutes for our system to process it before calling.
We appreciate your patience.

Thats right from the order confirmation screens that are in the PDF. Again no where does it say receipt. Even the first email you get from Apple does not constitute a receipt, its just a confirmation of what you ordered and that they are going to process that order. The second email is the actual receipt, which is why it contains the purchase order # which is the receipt # which makes it legal.

Surely some of you have ordered a pizza by phone. You call in, tell them what you want, they read it back to you, confirm how you will be paying for it. You haven't yet paid for it, all you have done is confirm you are ordering a specific meal and are saying you will pay for it.

gnasher729
Aug 10, 2007, 11:30 AM
Apple: Please enter your credit card details.
Me: 1234567800001234
Apple: You entered "1234567800001234". Is this correct?
Me: Aaaaah!!! Apple's displaying my confidential data! Identity theft! Privacy! Sue! SUE!!!

When your goods arrive, you can sue them again because they printed your name and address on the package :D

By then they will learn and when they lose the case you get a big cheque for an amount of XXXXXX (sorry we couldn't print this for privacy reasons) to be paid to YYYYYYY (sorry we couldn't print this for privacy reasons). Then you can sue your bank if they refuse to honour that cheque.

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 11:31 AM
I will say it again. The screen in question is NOT a receipt. No actual transaction has occurred at that point. It is the confirmation screen showing what you have agreed to order. You receive your receipt by email. Only the emailed receipt is accepted as proof of purchase.

Placing an order is a transaction. Whether it is a monetary transaction depends on when Apple charges your credit card, but it is a transaction regardless. You have submitted a request to purchase something, and they have received that request. You have transacted the order. The page confirms receipt of your order. It is a receipt by definition.

The law applies to receipts provided to the cardholder at the "point of sale or transaction." So the legal questions a judge must answer are:

1. When did Apple complete the credit-card charge? If it is before this confirmation, it is clearly "point of sale".
2. If Apple hadn't yet charged the credit card, does the "transaction" in the law refer only to a monetary transaction? If "transaction" can refer to the transmission and receipt of an order, this law still applies. Otherwise, this law may not apply.

CalBoy
Aug 10, 2007, 11:35 AM
From the Fair Credit Reporting Act:
(1)In general. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no person that accepts
credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the
last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided
to the cardholder at the point of the sale or transaction.
(2)Limitation. This subsection shall apply only to receipts that are electronically
printed, and shall not apply to transactions in which the sole means of recording a
credit card or debit card account number is by handwriting or by an imprint or
copy of the card.

Seems to me that if Apple was putting more digits or an expiration date on the PDF at the end, that they are guilty of not following this law. However, I'm not entirely sure that Apple does this, based on the posts of many online shoppers here. Has anyone here noticed more than five digits and/or an expiration date on their online purchases?

longofest
Aug 10, 2007, 11:35 AM
Reading through the responses since my last post, I think now we're getting into exactly the kind of arguments that will be presented at trial, if it gets that far. Mainly, does what the plaintiffs offer as evidence (Apple's confirmation page) constitute a violation of the law cited?

From what I can tell, it is way too premature to just throw out the plaintiff's argument as "baseless". Likewise, it is premature to say it is a slam-dunk case and Apple is completely at fault.

In that vein, lets keep some of that rhetoric down. You may have strong feelings one way or another, but any post from here on out that states the other side is "baseless" in an inflammatory manner will deleted. Let's keep the commentary civil...

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 11:41 AM
Which is perfectly in agreement with the law. Apple is _not_ allowed to print this stuff onto a sheet of paper and mail it to you. If they did that, they would be clearly in violation of the law, and on top of that ridiculously stupid. You, on the other hand, are allowed to print it (even if you were not allowed to, you would be the only person who could sue yourself). It is up to you whether you print it. If the law wanted to stop companies from suggesting to you that you should print it, then the law would say that. But it doesn't.

Intent matters in the law. Think about killing somebody in self-defense. That Apple tells you to print the page means they intend for it to be printed. How much that matters depends on the judge assigned to the case.

What a dictionary says doesn't matter. If a merchant writes your complete credit card number on a hand written receipt, do you think they would get away with this because it is not printed? Or do you think Apple could pay a fine and from then on refuse to give store customers paper receipts because the receipt is "printed" on a screen?

First: the law exempts hand-written receipts. Hand-written receipts can print the entire credit-card number.

Second: you first tell me that displaying on a screen is not technically printing, and is therefore different. Now you are suggesting that, even though handwriting and printing are technically different, they should be treated the same. Which way do you want it? Are we using printing to refer to all display of information, or are we going to focus on technical differences?

kpolumbo
Aug 10, 2007, 11:41 AM
It IS a receipt. Just because your card isn't charge immediately at the time that page displays, doesn't mean it's not a receipt. Give me a break. When you are eating out at a restaurant, you get your receipt for your meal at the end of the meal after they run your CC. They run it just to get the number of your card and make sure funds are available, they don't actually charge the card at that point. You are NOT charged until later when they tip out at the end of the night and add the tip in. Then, you are charged for the entire amount including tip. You don't get a second receipt then. Your original receipt is your receipt and that is that. Same with ordering online from other companies. You get your receipt when you complete the order - that is the transaction. You're not usually billed instantaneously. It's still a receipt.

PubGuy
Aug 10, 2007, 11:42 AM
DISPLAYING on a screen is NOT PRINTING by any definition.
If the user chooses to PRINT the DISPLAYED information onto their printer, then it is the USER who is PRINTING the receipt, not the vendor. The vendor is providing confirmation of the transaction in the exact same medium as the user order the product in. It's bits and bytes ... power goes out, you loose the information, so it is NOT PRINTED.

This is just another example of stupid lawsuits where individuals can not accept responsibilities for their own actions. If you choose to use a public internet kiosk to place an order and input your sensitive information in public, that's your own fault. If you want privacy, go find a private terminal in a library. Better yet, go home and do it from the privacy of your own home (so no one walks in and sees your private data).

You can not legislate common sense! :cool:

MacAerfen
Aug 10, 2007, 11:45 AM
Until payment has been exchanged it is not a completed transaction. Online transactions take a minimum of 30 minutes to be processed. The screen you are seeing is no different than someone reading back an order (Are you going to sue the order person for reading back the credit card # to you?) and giving you an order # so you can call and make changes as needed. Just like you do not get a receipt from a store till you have handed them whatever payment they require for an item. You can order by cheque and get the same screen ordering online from Apple. Until they receive the cheque and cash it, you have not purchased anything, therefore the screen you have seen does not constitute a receipt of transaction. A receipt is confirmation of purchase. Until an actual payment has been made you have not purchased anything, simply confirmed your willingness/desire to do so.

Restaurants are handled differently because of their nature. And when you do hand them your credit card it is processed at that point. Thats why you are given a printed piece of paper that says Receipt. The difference is the type of system. Online resellers do not need point of sales systems which immediately charge the credit card because you do not immediately get the item. Retail outlets and restaurants however do, because you are going to be immediately walking out with something you purchased. They do not want the hassle of calling you when you get home with your computer and saying "your credit card was declined, please bring that computer back unopened".

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 11:51 AM
DISPLAYING on a screen is NOT PRINTING by any definition.
If the user chooses to PRINT the DISPLAYED information onto their printer, then it is the USER who is PRINTING the receipt, not the vendor. The vendor is providing confirmation of the transaction in the exact same medium as the user order the product in. It's bits and bytes ... power goes out, you loose the information, so it is NOT PRINTED.


You can't use permanence as the differentiating factor. If your paper receipts burn, the information is gone, too. The information was still printed. There is a long history in computing of referring to screen-based information display as "printing". This tradition is relevant to an interpretation of the law.


This is just another example of stupid lawsuits where individuals can not accept responsibilities for their own actions. If you choose to use a public internet kiosk to place an order and input your sensitive information in public, that's your own fault. If you want privacy, go find a private terminal in a library. Better yet, go home and do it from the privacy of your own home (so no one walks in and sees your private data).

You can not legislate common sense! :cool:

This isn't about individual actions. The plaintiffs never had their identities stolen. If they had been stolen, the lawsuit would have sought specific damages, instead of relying on statutory damages. This is about individuals who believe that Apple is not compliant with a law, and they are seeking correction.

The reasonableness of the law is not the issue.

CalBoy
Aug 10, 2007, 11:52 AM
DISPLAYING on a screen is NOT PRINTING by any definition.
If the user chooses to PRINT the DISPLAYED information onto their printer, then it is the USER who is PRINTING the receipt, not the vendor. The vendor is providing confirmation of the transaction in the exact same medium as the user order the product in. It's bits and bytes ... power goes out, you loose the information, so it is NOT PRINTED.

Again, it depends on how this law will be interpreted. I put up the text of the law above^^^. I can see how Apple providing numbers on a final transaction screen can be in violation of the law. Maybe you think it only applies to receipts that are printed, but I think that since the intent of both receipts is the same, and the danger remains the same; the law should be the same for both.


This is just another example of stupid lawsuits where individuals can not accept responsibilities for their own actions. If you choose to use a public internet kiosk to place an order and input your sensitive information in public, that's your own fault. If you want privacy, go find a private terminal in a library. Better yet, go home and do it from the privacy of your own home (so no one walks in and sees your private data).

This isn't a case of whether or not your purchase screen is public or not. Go to a retail store and buy something with a credit card. You'll notice that only the last four or five digits are there. Now, only you and the cashier see the receipt, and most cashiers don't pay attention to your credit card number. Are you telling me you want all of your credit card digits displayed on the receipt? No one else should see it, so it's ok right? See how that logic doesn't work well?


You can not legislate common sense! :cool:
Yes you can. It's common sense that a seatbelt saves lives, but it still took a law to make sure that every car had them and that everyone knows to put them on (and get a ticket if they don't).

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 11:55 AM
Until payment has been exchanged it is not a completed transaction. Online transactions take a minimum of 30 minutes to be processed. The screen you are seeing is no different than someone reading back an order and giving you an order # so you can call and make changes as needed. Just like you do not get a receipt from a store till you have handed them whatever payment they require for an item. You can order by cheque and get the same screen ordering online from Apple. Until they receive the cheque and cash it, you have not purchased anything, therefore the screen you have seen does not constitute a receipt of transaction.

Restaurants are handled differently because of their nature. And when you do hand them your credit card it is processed at that point. Thats why you are given a printed piece of paper that says Receipt.

There is no "receipt of transaction" because a transaction is an exchange. You don't receive a transaction, you participate in one. There are two different kind of receipts relevant to this discussion: a receipt of payment and a receipt of order. Clearly, the confirmation page is a receipt of order. They are acknowledging that they now hold your order and will process it. Whether it is a receipt of payment depends on when they charge your card. It might be that they preauthorize the funds before getting to that page, to ensure that you can pay if they have the goods to ship you.

The issue is not whether that page is a receipt, because it is. The issue is the NATURE of that receipt, and whether that document qualifies according to the specifics of the law. The answers depend on the design of Apple's online store, and the interpretation of a judge.

freediverdude
Aug 10, 2007, 12:00 PM
I agree with MacAerfen. There is no actual transaction until the credit card has been run through the credit system. All you've done until then is signify that you intend to purchase an item from Apple, and Apple has signified that they acknowledge your order attempt with this confirmation. Apple would not ship anything to you until the credit card has been run, and no money has exchanged hands until the credit card has been run. The actual email receipt that you get later is what they require for both return of the product and any rebate submissions. Apple does not consider the confirmation page the official receipt of the transaction, because the transaction hasn't taken place quite yet at that point. I think it will be a stretch for these plaintiffs to make a case that this screen is a receipt, and if they somehow manage to convince a judge of that, it would have industry-wide implications.

Edited to add: There is no such thing as an "order receipt". The common terminology used is "order acknowledgement" or "order confirmation". We get these all the time in the mail at our company. I'll betcha that there's already a bunch of case law out there that has determined that an order confirmation is not considered a receipt for the purposes of transaction laws.

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 10, 2007, 12:02 PM
Thank you for your Order!

Name: R***** A*****
Address: *** *********** Avenue Apt **
*******, NY *****

Credit card: ******card
Card Number: ******************0
Exp Date: **/**/****

Well....it seems to have all of the info I need.

kpolumbo
Aug 10, 2007, 12:04 PM
There is no "receipt of transaction" because a transaction is an exchange. You don't receive a transaction, you participate in one. There are two different kind of receipts relevant to this discussion: a receipt of payment and a receipt of order. Clearly, the confirmation page is a receipt of order. They are acknowledging that they now hold your order and will process it. Whether it is a receipt of payment depends on when they charge your card. It might be that they preauthorize the funds before getting to that page, to ensure that you can pay if they have the goods to ship you.

The issue is not whether that page is a receipt, because it is. The issue is the NATURE of that receipt, and whether that document qualifies according to the specifics of the law. The answers depend on the design of Apple's online store, and the interpretation of a judge.

great point! it is a receipt, whatever the nature may be. sure, funds may no have been processed at that exact time, so maybe it's not a receipt of sale. but it is a receipt in that it acknowledges what you ordered, when you ordered it, who ordered it, and how they ordered it (ie your form of payment, in which they violate the law by showing both the last 4 digits of your CC and the expiration date).

koobcamuk
Aug 10, 2007, 12:08 PM
Good advice. Seems your chances would be low. :D

;)

I think I'll be ok thanks!

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 10, 2007, 12:12 PM
If Apple, Inc. is based in Cupertino, California, why is it labeled as a "foreign corporation for profit"? :confused:

Just to note, AOL posts the last 4 digits and the expiration date of your account when you check your billing status online. What's the difference?

Here's also something I noticed on the confirmation printout:

"Please print this page or write down your order number (see below). It helps you track order status, information about your software downloaded (if applicable) and more."

From the language here, they mainly suggest that you simply keep record of the order number, not really the rest of that information. So you could just as easily take their advice to simply jot down the number on a post-it note and simply do away with that confirmation, since you already know your name, and you have the important code regarding your purchase, a code that is not sensitive material in itself.

But seriously....5 numbers? With the countless permutations of digits in the rest of the string, seriously, what is one going to glean from 4-5 numbers? I could be wrong, but don't most credit card readouts basically only show the numbers passed the last dash in the ID, and don't some credit cards, like Amex have more than 4 final numbers?

chr1s60
Aug 10, 2007, 12:32 PM
This seems like the 4th or 5th court case against Apple I have heard about in the last week or so. At least this one might actually have something behind it instead of just some random person trying to get rich. I will have to look back at my online receipts and see about the expiration date and all that. Only thing I know is that Apple's stock has taken a beating this week. Hopefully something can bring it up soon.

yg17
Aug 10, 2007, 12:36 PM
So they're making a big stink about this, and then half of the restaraunts I go to print the FULL credit card number, name and expiration date on their receipts, and then most people will sign the receipt, put the tip on it and leave it on the table for anyone to walk by and take, and they're complaining about this? WTF is someone going to do with the last 4 of my credit card number? Not to mention, they'd need my account password first to get it. There are bigger violations of this act that these people need to worry about

macnews
Aug 10, 2007, 12:41 PM
So they're making a big stink about this, and then half of the restaraunts I go to print the FULL credit card number, name and expiration date on their receipts, and then most people will sign the receipt, put the tip on it and leave it on the table for anyone to walk by and take, and they're complaining about this? WTF is someone going to do with the last 4 of my credit card number? Not to mention, they'd need my account password first to get it. There are bigger violations of this act that these people need to worry about

thank you for making my point, and right above my post! How perfect.

If the restaurant is doing this they are breaking the law and they should be stopped as well. Identity theft with this is real and no, they don't need your account password.

They can't do much with the last four of your cc which is why the law states ONLY the last four can be printed and NO expiration date.

koobcamuk
Aug 10, 2007, 12:42 PM
I can't believe what I have read on here. Look, getting sued sucks and frivolous lawsuits sucks. IF (and from the comments that could be a big IF) Apple did this they broke the LAW.

Apple, again IF they did this, has no excuse. I know two private, small business owners who have had to deal with this same issue over a year ago. The large university I work at has been working to improve this over the past year. Just last week I sat down to be interviewed on how my department handles credit card transactions and this very law was trotted out before me. We changed our credit card machine years ago to reflect the changes in the law. If I can do this and stay up on it, when it isn't my main job and I have no legal training and no where near the staff at Apple, why can't they?

I also seem to recall people being up in arms when the iTunes mini-store was launched and some were worried about identity theft there because what Apple might be storing or capturing to load in the mini-store. Why are they now getting a free pass when this very method has been used for years by crooks to steal your money?

I just don't understand why so many posts on here seem to be giving Apple a pass because they have a "what's the big deal?" attitude. Idiots.

...what's the big deal??

whooleytoo
Aug 10, 2007, 12:44 PM
Are these Apple "receipts" emails; or are they the "Order confirmed" pages you usually see on the store itself after the order is accepted?

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 10, 2007, 12:53 PM
These are not receipt emails, but rather the order summaries.

When they blacked out the card numbers, I wish they didn't just put a big black splotch over it, but rather marked them out individually, so we could at least see how many numbers were actually being displayed.:rolleyes:

PubGuy
Aug 10, 2007, 12:54 PM
Merchants are allowed BY LAW to keep the full copy of the receipt with the full credit card number and expiration date and signature. They are required to keep this information as part of their financial records and need this information in case of credit card disputes where they are required to show the signed receipt by the customer. It must contain the full credit card number and expiration date.

You will notice that most retailers now provide a STORE COPY (or Merchant Copy) and a CUSTOMER COPY of the receipt. Compare the two. The Customer Copy is the copy with the credit card numbers blocked but the Merchant Copy (that you add the tip to and sign) contains the full information. THIS IS THE WAY THE LAW IS WRITTEN.

edoates
Aug 10, 2007, 01:07 PM
Well, I read the lawsuit filing, and it appears that exhibit A is a screen shot from the online store. Whether that constitutes a "printed receipt" is debatable (I think not, but I'm not a lawyer), and that's what courts are for among other things (also, courts exist, apparently, to insure that practicing lawyers can pay for their law school loans ;-).

But it would also appear that when asked to enter your credit card number, name, expiration date, and CVV, that it was "printed" on the screen along with the rest of your order information; hmmm, Apple "printed" that, too. That may be a separate violation.

Rest assured, the lawyers will get paid, the judge will let the lawsuit proceed even if it appears frivolous to us non-lawyers or anyone else with common sense, etc.

While I contemplate this, I think I'll go out and get some coffee at Starbucks, put it between my legs and squeeze. Half a million at least.

Ed

nickelcokes
Aug 10, 2007, 01:15 PM
If Apple, Inc. is based in Cupertino, California, why is it labeled as a "foreign corporation for profit"? :confused:

It is foreign to the state of Florida, where the law suit is filed.

mistergsf
Aug 10, 2007, 01:16 PM
Well looking at my receipt from this summer when I bought a MacBook and iPod online it looks to only how last 4 of my credit card and no expiration date. So hmm ha. Though there were probably different points during the purchase that showed more info, but this was from the official sales receipt on their site for my purchase. Does this happen only for certain types of purchases or from certain locations?

I purchased iLife '08 on Tuesday at the Downtown SF Apple Store and my receipt only shows the last 4 of my credit card and no expire date.

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 10, 2007, 01:17 PM
It is foreign to the state of Florida, where the law suit is filed.

Oh yeah...silly me :p

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 10, 2007, 01:19 PM
I purchased iLife '08 on Tuesday at the Downtown SF Apple Store and my receipt only shows the last 4 of my credit card and no expire date.

The printouts on the legal documents are not actually the receipts you receive after the transaction is completed, but rather the confirmation after the order was placed. People can split hairs about what a receipt is or not, but I truly believe that when it comes to entering important financial information on a website for purchase, that it's important that you can be shown whether or not you actually entered the correct information, without displaying absolutely everything for sake of security of course. When you're just swiping the card at the retail location, then entering that info doesn't matter, because all you have to do is verify with your ID and signature.

MacAerfen
Aug 10, 2007, 01:40 PM
The confusion for some appears to be that they believe the Online Order Confirmation page is in fact a receipt. The "printed" copy that arrives via email does comply completely as it shows only the last 4 digits and no expiration.

The online confirmation page shows the last 4 digits and the expiration date so that people can see what they have confirmed. A reasonable person would assume Apple would have to show you the expiration date on the confirmation page so you can in fact confirm that you provided the correct information.

The fact that the page in question will not work as a receipt in a store does not seem to register with some people that Apple does not consider it a receipt. As well it seems a bit odd that Apple would comply with the email and in store copies 100% and somehow miss this one for years.

Jaylach
Aug 10, 2007, 01:44 PM
Did anyone else notice the QuickTime 7 for Windows serial number on the very last page of the complaint? ..... :eek:

katorga
Aug 10, 2007, 01:50 PM
I have personally experienced these lawsuits. You had better make sure your point of sale system complies with the law. All current POS systems generally do, but retail sites are notorious for never upgrading their POS gear.

That said, the courts are generally throwing these out as frivolous. There are few west coast law firms that specialize in these cases and their success rate it not good if it goes to court. They are a pain in the butt, but low risk to the retailer.

It is a non-issue for Apple. I doubt their lawyers are concerned at all.

MacAerfen
Aug 10, 2007, 01:52 PM
Did anyone else notice the QuickTime 7 for Windows serial number on the very last page of the complaint? ..... :eek:

Yes, very nice of their lawyers to assist with the piracy of Quicktime Pro by disseminating a document with confidential information in it. I pity the poor plaintiffs who are now going to be subject to anti-piracy laws because their lawyers. Because now regardless of if they win their case against Apple, Apple will most likely recoup the costs in the counter suit regarding piracy of Apple Software.

outdata326@mac.
Aug 10, 2007, 02:05 PM
Well I think this is not going to go very far because I was just looking through some orders I placed at other mail order companies. One company Newegg does the same thing, but it is done on a web page after you confirm your order and this is not a receipt. A confirmation email will be sent to the address you provided this email is the receipt. Neither Newegg or Apple has this information on this email receipt. But the conformation page that you have the option to print does. I don't think big companies like Apple Newegg and Amazon are going to be making mistakes like this and being sued for it.

twoodcc
Aug 10, 2007, 02:14 PM
well, this can't be good.

looks like apple might have messed up this time

MacAerfen
Aug 10, 2007, 02:17 PM
It's not just Apple, and again it comes down to whether this is a receipt or not.

Kind of sad to see the changes in the American dream.

The American dream used to be "work hard and get a house and a car and a good life"

Now its become:

"Laze around, find someone that works hard and sue the pants off them."

CalBoy
Aug 10, 2007, 02:20 PM
I have personally experienced these lawsuits. You had better make sure your point of sale system complies with the law. All current POS systems generally do, but retail sites are notorious for never upgrading their POS gear.

That said, the courts are generally throwing these out as frivolous. There are few west coast law firms that specialize in these cases and their success rate it not good if it goes to court. They are a pain in the butt, but low risk to the retailer.

It is a non-issue for Apple. I doubt their lawyers are concerned at all.

I hope you're right in the sense that it is a non-issue, and that this is just a fishing expedition on the part of two greedy plantiffs. If not, then I hope that Apple does have to pay out, so that it and other companies know to avoid that mistake in the future.

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 10, 2007, 02:26 PM
Well I think that this lawsuit is pure BS, because none of the actual receipts that I've been sent ever violate this law, and a confirmation printout, which is what ALL of these are, do not constitute receipts at all. The reason that they don't is because they are basically just a confirmation of a request, and are not officially proof of transaction as no transaction has yet to take place, which is why, on the confirmation page itself, that Apple advises you to wait 30 minutes before calling regarding your order, as it's likely that before that they have not even finished processing your information.

Again, the page requests that you at least take record of the actual order number. Because this is not the receipt of purchase, you don't even need to record the serial number of Quicktime Pro (really stupid to show that in the first place), as you will receive this serial again in your email, which is the official receipt.

fastbite
Aug 10, 2007, 02:29 PM
Lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit. We may think it is silly, and it is, but it's just how things seem to work now. Those lawyers have to find a way to pay for all the sky trip in Aspen I guess... What I don't understand is why nobody is suing me -- I'm not important enough or what?!:mad:

mooncaine
Aug 10, 2007, 02:33 PM
How the hell did we end up with a legal system where someone can sue on your behalf, without asking you, and then, later, when you want to sue, you find out you can't because some clown included you in his class action suit without your permission? "Sorry, bud, you can't sue them because I already did it for you, like it or not."

Shouldn't it be the other way around, with you having the right to decide whether you're in that "class"?

Please, tell me I'm mistaken, and explain, if that's the case. Looks to me like some clown can sue Apple, and no matter what happens, I might never hear of it till I feel the need to file my own suit... and then I discover I can't. I sure hope that's not how it is, but that's how it looks to me, a person who has hardly ever even spoken to a lawyer [yes, life's been good to me, I admit].

Chef Medeski
Aug 10, 2007, 02:55 PM
He's not missing the point. And, again, Apple is printing the information to the screen. You can't control what shows up on that receipt until after it's already been transmitted and displayed, which is after the damage has already been done. What if somebody walks into the room and sees the number before you can hide the window? Even if you close your browser, are you expected not to make a PDF first? People need to keep records of their transactions, and that happens with online transactions by printing the receipt to a PDF or a printer.

The only way Apple might be absolved is if your browser had a "Don't show my credit card number" option, but that is ludicrous.

I'm pretty sure they e-mail you a reciept that would be regarded as the closest thing to a printed reciept and on that the last four digits are only shown. And if you are not allowed to even have your credit card number on the screen how the hell would you input in the first place? I'm pretty sure the e-mail is the best record and that final screen is just like a review sheet to make sure everything is right. I create PDFs of it until I recieve the e-mail but its the same thing as you usually pay before getting an actual reciept (and they will forget sometimes!) So. I think that this is not counted cause its not really the reciept. I'm sure they would be able to stop this lawsuit in court if they wanted to. They might just decide to settle for a nominal fee more likely, probably cheaper than actually fighting it. But I dont think Apple is at fault here.

surferfromuk
Aug 10, 2007, 03:00 PM
All that legal education and the best they can do with their talent is go after someone's hard earned money instead of contributing to make the world a better place. It's really got to be viewed as a form of theft.

CJD2112
Aug 10, 2007, 03:04 PM
I highly doubt there is much credibility in this suit. Would Apple honestly put their customers in serious harms way? From what I understand, the claim is that the emailed receipts have to much information about the customer, which puts them at risk if someone where to intercept said receipt. Is that the gist? If so, I'm looking at a recently emailed receipt from an Apple purchase and there isn't anything of the such that I can read that states my identity may be stolen.

I smell frivolous lawsuit 101. Seems Apple is taking a hit from a lot of different angles lately. I wonder why that is...

Ron Aldrich
Aug 10, 2007, 04:37 PM
This violates a 2003 amendment to the FCRA which states: "No person that accepts credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last five digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the card holder at the point of sale or transaction."

It seems to me that it all hinges on how you define print, and receipt. It can easily be argued that Apple doesn't actually print the data which is sent to the customer as a result of the transaction, and that an online reciept is distinctly different from a printed reciept, for legal puroses.

Chef Medeski
Aug 10, 2007, 04:40 PM
It seems to me that it all hinges on how you define print, and receipt. It can easily be argued that Apple doesn't actually print the data which is sent to the customer as a result of the transaction, and that an online reciept is distinctly different from a printed reciept, for legal puroses.
And a confirmation before the transaction also probably will not be deemed a reciept. Even if the judge sides with one of the arguments with the plantiffs, there is no way he can be so lenient on both. He'll think as well they are pulling t straws a bit since they're is a lot of technicalliteis to jump. That is of course not unless there has been precedence over these definitions in which case depending on the ruling would give a good sense of certainty and weight into the ruling. Or atleast thats how I see it as a non-lawyer.

jazzkids
Aug 10, 2007, 04:48 PM
I just bought something in the Apple Store and they asked for my email.

"why?" I asked.

"So we can send you updates and your receipt." said the clerk

"No thanks" said I.

I know that when someone asks for my email addr, they are probably going to email me. Credit Card fraud and infringement are important issues, but when someone is using a wireless hand-held device to "swipe" your credit card, then asks for an email address, I think think those suing should have know better.

Or, at the least, ask why they needed their email address at the point of sale.

offwidafairies
Aug 10, 2007, 04:59 PM
this is just so ridiculous. what is the world coming to? i hate to say it - but its so american :mad:

CalBoy
Aug 10, 2007, 05:45 PM
this is just so ridiculous. what is the world coming to? i hate to say it - but its so american :mad:

Well of course it is...the lawsuit was filed in Florida.

Other countries (esspecially Europe, Canada, and Australia) have fewer problems like this because their regulatory agencies do a better job of protecting consumers and halting useless lawsuits. This also discourages some businesses from going there, so I guess it has its trade-offs.

verniesgarden
Aug 10, 2007, 06:27 PM
this is just so ridiculous. what is the world coming to? i hate to say it - but its so american :mad:

thats kind of offensive...

it's not just the united states that have these lawsuits, the problem is that we have more ability to let consumers have rights and the ability to fight back if there is a business following unethical practices, there are just a lot of people that take advantage of those rights

these lawsuits are a lot of the reason products cost so much, and luckily I live in the united states where things are still cheaper but things like this infuriate me

gugy
Aug 10, 2007, 06:35 PM
People need to get out more rather than sue other people who have the knowledge and tenacity to get off their fat asses and do something to earn a living.

This is the best quote.

Unfortunately in America more than other countries people rather sue than take responsibility and make money in a honest way. Too bad.

synth3tik
Aug 10, 2007, 06:57 PM
Well thats a little bit of a stretch, maybe I will sue VMWare, just now II got my receipt with my name, my address and where I work. Really, if you have that unsecured of email, it's time to change.

synth3tik
Aug 10, 2007, 07:01 PM
thats kind of offensive...

it's not just the united states that have these lawsuits, the problem is that we have more ability to let consumers have rights and the ability to fight back if there is a business following unethical practices, there are just a lot of people that take advantage of those rights

these lawsuits are a lot of the reason products cost so much, and luckily I live in the united states where things are still cheaper but things like this infuriate me

about 50% of lawsuits seem legit to me. The issue is we have people that will find every little thing they can possibly sue for and lawyers that are more then happy to do this. The lawsuits are pointless. Take the class action against Microsoft a few years back. People got a check for $25 for every copy of windows that they bought, or something close to that. The lawyers in the case walked away with millions.

TheHoad
Aug 10, 2007, 07:45 PM
It seems to me that for the plaintiffs to be successful they have to prove:-

The restriction applies to online transactions; and
The definition of receipt is broad enough to include an order confirmation; and
Printing includes displaying information on screen.


The section restricting the printing of receipts goes on to say:-
(3) Effective date. This subsection shall become effective--
(A) 3 years after the date of enactment of this subsection, with respect to any cash register or other machine or device that electronically prints receipts for credit card or debit card transactions that is in use before January 1, 2005; and
(B) 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, with respect to any cash register or other machine or device that electronically prints receipts for credit card or debit card transactions that is first put into use on or after January 1, 2005.

It appears on the face of it that the section was intended to apply to Point of Sale systems such a cash registers. It is not entirely obvious that this section would apply to an online transaction at all, depending on your definition of "other machine or device that electronically prints receipts".

verniesgarden
Aug 10, 2007, 07:47 PM
about 50% of lawsuits seem legit to me. The issue is we have people that will find every little thing they can possibly sue for and lawyers that are more then happy to do this. The lawsuits are pointless. Take the class action against Microsoft a few years back. People got a check for $25 for every copy of windows that they bought, or something close to that. The lawyers in the case walked away with millions.

spill a hot cup of coffee in your lap... boom instant millionaire:D

megfilmworks
Aug 10, 2007, 07:57 PM
spill a hot cup of coffee in your lap... boom instant millionaire:D
I thought her case was thrown out of court??

megfilmworks
Aug 10, 2007, 07:59 PM
Well of course it is...the lawsuit was filed in Florida.

Other countries (esspecially Europe, Canada, and Australia) have fewer problems like this because their regulatory agencies do a better job of protecting consumers and halting useless lawsuits. This also discourages some businesses from going there, so I guess it has its trade-offs.So you're saying you want the government to control these issues. Our inept over taxing government??? I'll stick with class action lawsuits anyday.

freediverdude
Aug 10, 2007, 08:03 PM
Frivolous. They're just trying to pick at something to sue. If they won this case, every major online retailer would have to change their transaction software, they all do something similar.

freediverdude
Aug 10, 2007, 08:04 PM
No McDonald's settled with that lady who spilled the coffee for millions if I remember right.

CJD2112
Aug 10, 2007, 08:11 PM
And a confirmation before the transaction also probably will not be deemed a reciept. Even if the judge sides with one of the arguments with the plantiffs, there is no way he can be so lenient on both. He'll think as well they are pulling t straws a bit since they're is a lot of technicalliteis to jump. That is of course not unless there has been precedence over these definitions in which case depending on the ruling would give a good sense of certainty and weight into the ruling. Or atleast thats how I see it as a non-lawyer.

Hey, what happened to our posts? Did Macrumors delete our exchanges? And why? ??? :confused:

edoates
Aug 10, 2007, 09:18 PM
You remember incorrectly; a jury found for the LOL and awarded her several millions of dollars. A judge reduced that and eventually, about $650K was paid, at least 30% to LOL's attorney.

See this web site:

http://www.stellaawards.com/stella.html

It's just one of the more egregious examples of jackpot justice.

But the real question is why? Are such suits ever a good thing? Boy, that's tricky; sometimes, corporations/governments/individuals run rough shod over others, consequences be damned (does Enron come to mind?). If MacDonalds clobbers Procter and Gamble, well, they can both afford lots of attorneys to duke it out.

But if Mr.Big, Inc., cheats a bunch of little people out of $500 each, they can either become a swarm of gnats in small claims courts (good luck collecting even if you win), or they can jointly hire some attorneys on contingency (they get paid a portion of the winnings, nothing if they lose) and sue en masse.

The problem, in my estimation, is that judges allow far too many frivolous and baseless suits to proceed; the cost of defense (not to mention bad press due to inflammatory press conferences by plaintiff lawyers) frequently is greater than just paying them off. And the payoff is often pennies (or discounts on future purchases as in a Microsoft case, which are actually free or even profitable) to millions of plaintiffs, and 1/3 of that TOTAL AMOUNT in cash to the plaintiff attorneys: like a $10 discount on future purchases for a million plaintiffs is valued at $10,000,000 for purposes of calculating attorneys fees.

If judges would just cut 'em off, make truly frivolous suits loser pays, etc., and US legislatures institute some tort reforms so that penalties for even damaging behavior would be proportional to actual damages, things would improve.

EddieO
No McDonald's settled with that lady who spilled the coffee for millions if I remember right.

BostonMJH
Aug 10, 2007, 09:23 PM
Funny one plaintiff made three purchases on 7/30/07 the other plaintiff made one purchase on 8/1/07. Then within five days both these people know that apple is violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act and they both seek out a lawyer (Mr. Leighton) who determines this is definitely grounds for a class-action lawsuit. This Clarence Darrow then writes the 11-page complaint and signs it on 8/6/07. Files the lawsuit on 8/7/07 with $350.00 fee. Now he sleeps all snug in his bed with visions of MILLIONS dancing in his head.

These are not consumers who feels that they have been wronged and want justice, no these Plaintiffs and lawyers are money-grubbing pigs. :mad:

Remember: What do you have with a lawyer who is buried up to his neck in cement.. Not enough cement. :D

timon
Aug 10, 2007, 09:49 PM
He's not missing the point. And, again, Apple is printing the information to the screen. You can't control what shows up on that receipt until after it's already been transmitted and displayed, which is after the damage has already been done. What if somebody walks into the room and sees the number before you can hide the window? Even if you close your browser, are you expected not to make a PDF first? People need to keep records of their transactions, and that happens with online transactions by printing the receipt to a PDF or a printer.

The only way Apple might be absolved is if your browser had a "Don't show my credit card number" option, but that is ludicrous.

So what happens if someone comes in and sees your credit card with the number and exper date?

If I buy something in a store I don't want the address, numbers and dates showing up but when ordering on line I do. The difference is that I have total control over what I print. In a store they keep a copy that I have no control over.

Someone needs to $#**+ the lawers.

megfilmworks
Aug 10, 2007, 09:56 PM
Frivolous. They're just trying to pick at something to sue. If they won this case, every major online retailer would have to change their transaction software, they all do something similar.As you know, if it is determined to be "frivolous" then it will be dismissed and punitive action may be taken against the parties responsible for the frivolity.

Football1maniac
Aug 10, 2007, 10:07 PM
If you are a company attempting to sue another company over a no-big-deal sort of way, you never want to sue Mr. Jobs and his fruits of lawyers. I think Apple knows how to act in the courtroom with all their battery recalls with iPod/iPhone. So, when attempting to sue Apple, think again. Don't even come to Cupertino, just hop on a connecting flight to Redmond, WA. Say high to those Windows for me.:apple:

timon
Aug 10, 2007, 10:09 PM
WRONG! Check again, even the store printed copy does not have the full CC number. It has a transaction number that can be traced back to your CC number by the bank.

The whole point of the law was to keep people in the store from stealing you information. You NEVER want to let the store use a imprint machine.

Merchants are allowed BY LAW to keep the full copy of the receipt with the full credit card number and expiration date and signature. They are required to keep this information as part of their financial records and need this information in case of credit card disputes where they are required to show the signed receipt by the customer. It must contain the full credit card number and expiration date.

You will notice that most retailers now provide a STORE COPY (or Merchant Copy) and a CUSTOMER COPY of the receipt. Compare the two. The Customer Copy is the copy with the credit card numbers blocked but the Merchant Copy (that you add the tip to and sign) contains the full information. THIS IS THE WAY THE LAW IS WRITTEN.

megfilmworks
Aug 10, 2007, 10:09 PM
If you are a company attempting to sue another company over a no-big-deal sort of way, you never want to sue Mr. Jobs and his fruits of lawyers. I think Apple knows how to act in the courtroom with all their battery recalls with iPod/iPhone. So, when attempting to sue Apple, think again. Don't even come to Cupertino, just hop on a connecting flight to Redmond, WA. Say high to those Windows for me.:apple:

One thing class action attorneys and Apple attorneys have in common, they understand the word "settlement".

itcheroni
Aug 10, 2007, 10:21 PM
Apple could have avoided all this with a good arbitration clause along with a clause that waives the customers right to join a class action. Dell has such a clause and it has repeatedly been enforced. As a shareholder, I'm upset at Apple not having already implemented such clauses.

But I also think a lot of people here miss the point. These plaintiffs definitely have standing to sue in court. This is probably the first case in which a judge will have to interpret the word "print" in regards to the statute. It's up to them. I don't understand why people are so vehement that this is a frivolous lawsuit. Our courts are doing so much more egregious things these days with our Constitutional rights but people seem to be more outraged when their favorite retail store is sued.

Chef Medeski
Aug 10, 2007, 10:33 PM
thats kind of offensive...

it's not just the united states that have these lawsuits, the problem is that we have more ability to let consumers have rights and the ability to fight back if there is a business following unethical practices, there are just a lot of people that take advantage of those rights

these lawsuits are a lot of the reason products cost so much, and luckily I live in the united states where things are still cheaper but things like this infuriate me
Umm... I'm pretty sure it is an american trait. Here in Canada where things are very similariay structured to America one of the biggest differences is the huge lack of lawsuits. Malpractice, patent infringement.... all these things I don't know if its just the behemoth of the US economy or more so how the law system is set up. But only America tackles so many lawsuits each year.

CalBoy
Aug 10, 2007, 10:33 PM
So you're saying you want the government to control these issues. Our inept over taxing government??? I'll stick with class action lawsuits anyday.

No, I would prefer government keep out of most things. However, this law is a good law, and it ought to be enforced. We can't expect individuals to do it, and a class action lawsuit isn't always the best solution to problems like this. Believe me, I'm no fan of alphabet soup government, but some agencies do do good things.

megfilmworks
Aug 10, 2007, 10:35 PM
No, I would prefer government keep out of most things. However, this law is a good law, and it ought to be enforced. We can't expect individuals to do it, and a class action lawsuit isn't always the best solution to problems like this. Believe me, I'm no fan of alphabet soup government, but some agencies do do good things.
Yeah, I'll buy that. A good mix of private action and government regs.

Roric
Aug 10, 2007, 11:32 PM
Funny one plaintiff made three purchases on 7/30/07 the other plaintiff made one purchase on 8/1/07. Then within five days both these people know that apple is violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act and they both seek out a lawyer (Mr. Leighton) who determines this is definitely grounds for a class-action lawsuit. This Clarence Darrow then writes the 11-page complaint and signs it on 8/6/07. Files the lawsuit on 8/7/07 with $350.00 fee. Now he sleeps all snug in his bed with visions of MILLIONS dancing in his head.

These are not consumers who feels that they have been wronged and want justice, no these Plaintiffs and lawyers are money-grubbing pigs. :mad:

Remember: What do you have with a lawyer who is buried up to his neck in cement.. Not enough cement. :D

Actually, reading the information in the lawsuit, I was able to easily find that the guy who made the three purchases employs the girl who made the one purchase. This was no chance meeting of two wronged individuals.

aristotle
Aug 11, 2007, 01:31 AM
That is not an official receipt. It is a printout of the order confirmation page. It is common practice for countless websites selling products, services, accommodation etc. to display an order confirmation before the official receipt is either displayed or distributed by email.

Notice the continue shopping buttons on the scanned document. INAL but I do not believe the legislation referred to here applies to invoices or online order confirmations. The official receipt is a separate document and it is the plaintiff's problem if they printed out this page and failed to secure it.

Perhaps AAPL shareholders should file a class action lawsuit against these individuals and their lawyers for fraud and stock manipulation. They should be investigated to see if they shorted any AAPL stock.

jonatron
Aug 11, 2007, 01:31 AM
The american legal system is beginning to get way out of control. Too many ridiculous and greedy people out there. Over here in england we regularly hear of absurd stories of people trying to sue each other. I'm not saying it doesnt happen here but americans have taken it to a whole new level. You cant deny the US has become notorious across the world now for lawsuits and ridiculous disclaimers all over the place. Great country, stupid system!

In this case, I can see that they dont want their details to be displayed, but is there any need for a lawsuit? Maybe if someone had stolen the details and committed fraud but this hasn't happened. Its crazy that anyone should receive damages for something thats not even happened! Most I would expect is an apology.

Some people are just plain greedy, and whoever said earlier about lazy people just trying to find an easy way to make a quick buck, hit the nail on the head. Pure greed.

Blue Velvet
Aug 11, 2007, 01:41 AM
Mods note: As fascinating as political discussions are, could we please remain on topic and not let this stray into talking about Katrina, health insurance and Michael Moore? Thank you.

brooksfow
Aug 11, 2007, 01:42 AM
Get Nancy Grace on the case! Somebody's guilty!!!

rvatmp
Aug 11, 2007, 03:16 AM
Not sure if its mentioned before, because I didn't read all the messages.

But if I look at the last page of the lawsuit, I can see clearly a serial code there. Maybe should Apple sued them for this, because now they are willingly let other people use quick time pro for free. Or Am I wrong?

gnasher729
Aug 11, 2007, 03:59 AM
It seems to me that for the plaintiffs to be successful they have to prove:-

The restriction applies to online transactions; and
The definition of receipt is broad enough to include an order confirmation; and
Printing includes displaying information on screen.


The section restricting the printing of receipts goes on to say:-
(3) Effective date. This subsection shall become effective--
(A) 3 years after the date of enactment of this subsection, with respect to any cash register or other machine or device that electronically prints receipts for credit card or debit card transactions that is in use before January 1, 2005; and
(B) 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, with respect to any cash register or other machine or device that electronically prints receipts for credit card or debit card transactions that is first put into use on or after January 1, 2005.

It appears on the face of it that the section was intended to apply to Point of Sale systems such a cash registers. It is not entirely obvious that this section would apply to an online transaction at all, depending on your definition of "other machine or device that electronically prints receipts".

The whole law is about these little machines at a checkout where you insert your credit card, it is read electronically, you enter a pin number, and then a receipt is printed. This is distinct from the more ancient technology where a merchant took your credit card, put it into a machine that copied the embossed number on your credit card onto a piece of paper, and handed you a copy with the complete number. Or the method that merchants would use if that machine didn't work, filling out the form by hand and giving you a copy with the complete number.

What we have here is a completely different situation, and it has nothing to do with that law whatsoever. Makes you wonder if "the plaintiff is completely bonkers" is a legal defence.

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 11, 2007, 04:05 AM
Not sure if its mentioned before, because I didn't read all the messages.

But if I look at the last page of the lawsuit, I can see clearly a serial code there. Maybe should Apple sued them for this, because now they are willingly let other people use quick time pro for free. Or Am I wrong?

You aren't the first to point this out. As you require the full name and/or organization along with the serial, it could be tricky to get it going, but with their names in full view I think that someone may have succeeded.

sanford
Aug 11, 2007, 08:12 AM
This is a frivolous lawsuit. Apple doesn't print these receipts. Apple displays a webpage, containing information that you entered just ten seconds earlier, and tells you that you can print this webpage and keep it for your records if you choose to do so. If you don't want them printed, there is a very simple solution: Don't print them!
:mad:

Yeah. What he said. The language is "print", which may have no specific legal definition as yet -- unfortunately it may cost Apple a lot in legal fees to have one defined (the suit probably has a long passage explaining plaintiff's theory on how displaying on a browser page is tantamount to printing). But it's not "display" or "create" or "generate"; and the "receipt" is created in what is a secure system for ordering products the process of which requires a login name and password to complete the sale and have the receipt generated. I have an online credit/bank account from which you couldn't get enough information to do anything and one from which you could -- both are secure, login systems. Neither actually prints out receipts without my interaction. I pay some bills online for which I use a credit card to make payment and *most* of them include the last four digits of the card number *and* the expiration date on the browser page receipt.

The spirit of the *law* is that you don't at a physical store get handed a piece of paper that contains enough information to fraudulently use your credit card, a piece of paper which you can easily drop and have the wind carry off before you can retrieve it -- which if so interpreted nixes the browser page as printing argument. And also the law makes it so you don't feel you need to shred all those receipts you don't file for warranty or tax purposes, the ones with tiny amounts from Starbucks and convenience stores, etc.

The spirit of the *lawsuit* is to stretch the definition of this consumer protection law so that trial lawyers make a lot of money. If plaintiff were to settle or win, unless actual participants in the class have actual damages -- I doubt -- plaintiff's attorneys could make millions plus expenses while plaintiffs of the class will get a $5 gift card to the the Apple Store.

Apple gets hit with a lot of this ridiculous class-action litigation because despite having only a very small share of the personal computer market and being nothing like a Microsoft in scale -- iPod notwithstanding -- they are a cash-rich company.

a p.s. to trial lawyers and their loved ones reading this: Some of you trial lawyers are true heroes of our legal system and protectors of real victims with limited means to defend themselves. You stop bad doctors, bad products, bad drugs, bad employers and all sorts of bad acts from continuing egregious behavior and victimization in our market; you seek damages to restore your clients near as whole as possible; and then you financially punish the defendants for doing things in violation of the law or decency, things they most often know they shouldn't have done to unwitting consumers in the first place -- therefore hopefully preventing future violations of ethics, not only from them but from others in selling in the market. But in any profession, in any group of people, there are greedy little pinheads, and trial law is no different.

bjb
Aug 11, 2007, 09:17 AM
and where does it say the class would get $100 - $1000 each!?

I read point 27:

"However, plaintiffs do not seek to quantify or recover actual damages in this case. either for themselves or the class"

That says to me they are seeking no damages and are therefore taking Apple to court for the hell of it to get them to sort themselves out.

The Act provides for statutory damages of $100-$1000 (not sure if that's per person or per violation) - see Section 616(a)(1)(A). That is an alternative to actual damages, and is usually given when it is too difficult to prove actual damages.

sanford
Aug 11, 2007, 11:39 AM
The Act provides for statutory damages of $100-$1000 (not sure if that's per person or per violation) - see Section 616(a)(1)(A). That is an alternative to actual damages, and is usually given when it is too difficult to prove actual damages.

Or it would indicate that plaintiffs suffered no actual damages and are therefore seeking only statutory damages which may possibly be awarded in the case there are no actual damages. In other words, they can't prove them because there aren't any. And I should say plaintiffs' attorneys because this is quite cooked up. Plaintiffs -- ahem, plaintiffs' attorneys -- will seek fees, expenses and punitive damages, too. Plaintiffs' attorneys will retire on the proceeds of the settlement -- I can't imagine Apple will expend the time and money to fight this, although I wish they would because it would in the context of this law establish the definition of "printed" -- and all of us who ever purchased anything from the Apple Store will get a letter in the mail -- most long-time Apple customers have received a few of these -- establishing a deadline for registering as part of the class to be included in the settlement, which in recognition of the significant financial losses we have incurred from having our credit card expiration dates displayed on a secure web page in an online store will award us a $10 discount on future purchases from the Apple Store Online.

I just went through a folder full of PDF receipts I keep from online purchases and bill payments with credit cards and most of them do in fact include both the last four digits of the credit card number and the expiration date. I used to have an Xbox Live subscription and Microsoft displays same in their payment confirmation screens, which can be considered "receipts" as much as Apple Store Online browser pages. I would expect somewhere, sometime one of these firms, including Apple, has had their legal team look over the "receipt" and establish that complies with the federal regulations, even if it just because it is not "printed" -- although no one ever went broke overestimating the sheer incompetence of corporations.

Why are they only going after Apple? Because these other companies are bigger, meaner and will fight this until they bankrupt the law firm that is doing this on contingency, on expenses alone. (That would be funny.) Or they are too small or cash-poor to pay a tidy settlement, so they will have to enter a reconstructive bankruptcy for protection -- in which case plaintiffs' attorneys don't make a dime and are out expenses -- or will be forced to fight it as best they can -- in which case plaintiff's attorneys will have to expend a lot of those expense quite well may lose.

This is indefensible. Apple's practice, the practice in general since it is not just Apple's, in my opinion provides no substantial risk, but more importantly does not violate the the spirit of the law -- which is aimed at *pieces of paper* -- or quite likely not the letter, either. But Apple makes the business decision to settle, so plaintiffs' attorneys make a fortune, those who bother to register in the class receive a pittance usable under limited circumstances, Apple's customers absorb the cost of the settlement in higher prices and their employees absorb same in lower wages.

And we wonder why every year everything is much more expensive but we make less and less money. You got to love it. I wish I'd slept through my ethics courses, too.

tikitavi7
Aug 11, 2007, 12:55 PM
... sorry, but I for one am glad these folks are suing for this reason. I'm a Mac addict and I've been with Apple through many ups and downs, but suits like this are part of living in this country. By this I mean that although it is a bit offensive to use our propensity to sue as a typifier of what it means to be American, the fact is our federal govt's official stance toward business and the govt's attitude concerning the relationship between business and the consumer basically boils down to these phrases: "lassiez-faire" and "caveat emptor."

It still amazes me how many businesses I've been to continue to print out ALL of the account numbers on receipts for credit- or debit-card purchases. Suits like this are meant to change this behavior. Imagine what an identity thief could do at a bar or restaurant that printed out all those numbers on receipts, where customers generally leave their receipts unattended for the server to retrieve.

You can cry frivolous lawsuits all you want, but our right to sue is extremely important, and we exercise it more in America because we aren't as protected as well we probably should be against corporate interests. And the McDonald's lady? Serious burns on the insides of her legs for coffee that was heated far past the company's own specifications. She deserved all the money she got, and we should be THANKING HER and her attorneys for helping make sure that the rest of us don't get scalded in the same way. As far as I'm concerned, she EARNED that money for stepping up to the plate the way she did.

jonatron
Aug 11, 2007, 01:18 PM
... sorry, but I for one am glad these folks are suing for this reason. I'm a Mac addict and I've been with Apple through many ups and downs, but suits like this are part of living in this country. By this I mean that although it is a bit offensive to use our propensity to sue as a typifier of what it means to be American, the fact is our federal govt's official stance toward business and the govt's attitude concerning the relationship between business and the consumer basically boils down to these phrases: "lassiez-faire" and "caveat emptor."

It still amazes me how many businesses I've been to continue to print out ALL of the account numbers on receipts for credit- or debit-card purchases. Suits like this are meant to change this behavior. Imagine what an identity thief could do at a bar or restaurant that printed out all those numbers on receipts, where customers generally leave their receipts unattended for the server to retrieve.

You can cry frivolous lawsuits all you want, but our right to sue is extremely important, and we exercise it more in America because we aren't as protected as well we probably should be against corporate interests. And the McDonald's lady? Serious burns on the insides of her legs for coffee that was heated far past the company's own specifications. She deserved all the money she got, and we should be THANKING HER and her attorneys for helping make sure that the rest of us don't get scalded in the same way. As far as I'm concerned, she EARNED that money for stepping up to the plate the way she did.
IWow. I have to pretty much disagree with you 100% there. I thought the McDonalds case was absolutely pathetic. Thats the difference between American/British culture with regards to these things I guess.

oldwatery
Aug 11, 2007, 01:28 PM
"......let's kill all the lawyers"

W.Shakespeare

CalBoy
Aug 11, 2007, 01:34 PM
IWow. I have to pretty much disagree with you 100% there. I thought the McDonalds case was absolutely pathetic. Thats the difference between American/British culture with regards to these things I guess.

All things aside, you need to remember that McDonalds did a lot of things wrong in that case. Firstly, they knew that the coffee makers were malfunctioning ahead of time, and that there was potential for someone to get hurt. Secondly, they didn't do anything to fix the problem, and thirdly, how do you get 3rd degree burns from coffee? This lady was an old grandma who didn't like to go around suing people, but she had no other choice after McDonalds gave her the brush-off. What she did allowed others to know that they don't have to take abuse from corporations.

Back to Apple though, if they are quilty of doing what the plantiffs aledge, then Apple deserves to pay up. It will only make the company we all love stronger if they have to be mindful of consumers' wishes.

Uragon
Aug 11, 2007, 03:22 PM
Funny one plaintiff made three purchases on 7/30/07 the other plaintiff made one purchase on 8/1/07. Then within five days both these people know that apple is violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act and they both seek out a lawyer (Mr. Leighton) who determines this is definitely grounds for a class-action lawsuit. This Clarence Darrow then writes the 11-page complaint and signs it on 8/6/07. Files the lawsuit on 8/7/07 with $350.00 fee. Now he sleeps all snug in his bed with visions of MILLIONS dancing in his head.

Nice observation. ....

sanford
Aug 11, 2007, 03:34 PM
Up a ways the post that started the run of quotes from old plays and then the contemporary death threats completely lacking a sense of irony, in that post the argument that frivolous lawsuits are good and should be allowed to continue because they are the American Way is like arguing that we should tolerate child molesters and not speak out against them because having your children molested is part of the risk of having children. We are not compelled to accept the bad with the good without attempting to fix the bad. The right in this country to sue anyone for anything is important policy; the right to chastise some plaintiffs' attorneys for abusing that right is just as important.

But it should be understood this is *not* about protecting consumers from Apple's "reckless" online receipt displays. It's about money, and not for consumers "damaged" by this practice. This isn't a bunch of Apple customers who noticed this practice potentially in violation of federal consumer protection laws who then found a trial firm willing to take the case on contingency and thus moved forward with aiding in protecting us all. These are plaintiffs' attorneys who go out and *troll* for these sort of violations on potential technicalities and then *recruit* clients to act as named parties for the class. That's indefensible on ethical grounds. It's one thing to say it's important we should be able to sue anyone for anything no matter how trivial, it's another thing to say it's okay to subvert reasonable ethic to actually do it just for money. Do I think greater restrictions should be placed on the right to sue in the States? No. Do I think the plaintiffs and attorneys in some ridiculous suits should called upon to apply higher ethical standards in exercising this right? Yes.

As for the McDonald's case the punitive reward was far out of scale with what happened. As I recall, and I'm not bothering to look up that case so grab a grain of salt, the actual damages award was rather small and reasonable, chiefly covering the woman's medical expenses. And a punitive award was called for; the woman was after all somewhat permanently disfigured. But tens or hundreds of millions in punitive damages should be reserved for cases of gross misconduct -- discovering from human trials that will be redacted or buried that a new drug developed to treat a trivial or non-critical condition will kill or injure lots of people, but marketing it anyway; not incorrectly following the procedure for making fast food coffee -- and the same in actual damages is reasonably reserved for the chronic lifelong care of some who has been severely, permanently disabled by negligence. Also, as I recall, the punitive award in that ridiculously infamous coffee case was significantly reduced upon appeal. That's how it goes with awards of that size: the popular press makes sure *everyone* hear about it, but 18 months later when the award is reduced on appeal, there's little but a brief mention.

The Monkey sounds like he might be a trial lawyer, related to one or aspiring to the profession. May he and any other trial lawyers feeling put upon please see my postscript to a previous post a few pages back: to wit, I don't hate you, I think most of you serve us all well and play an irreplaceable role in defending the public and our limited resources against professional malpractice big business and with their often massive war-chests. But you can't justify fishing for stupid cases like this merely to make a buck.

This receipt case is just stupid, even if "printed" can be interpreted to mean an online display. If the plaintiffs' attorneys are so altruistic, why not merely write a few letters to Apple's corporate counsel explaining why they think Apple may be in violation of a federal consumer protection law?


Nice observation. ....

This happens all the time. The trial firm found the potential case and then recruited clients. No one complained before they were enlisted by the attorneys. Unethical as all hell, but hardly uncommon.

bousozoku
Aug 11, 2007, 04:10 PM
"......let's kill all the lawyers"

W.Shakespeare

Did Shakespeare really use a contraction? I'm surprised.

Besides, not all lawyers are ambulance chasers. There are times when they can be helpful. (I'm surprised that I'm saying that.)

I don't understand how things got so blown out of proportion but I still don't understand how a woman could be burned by hot coffee and win or someone else could get a settlement over cherry pits at McDonalds.

aristotle
Aug 11, 2007, 04:19 PM
I would like to point out that printing the order confirmation page would be akin to taking a digital camera and photographing the screen of the order summary on the cash register screen although you might get in trouble for doing the latter.

megfilmworks
Aug 11, 2007, 04:32 PM
Well, the law degree may be the most popular professional degree and that means lots of less than adequate lawyers who are in it for the money.
But what about the lawyers who work for environmental causes, civil rights, public defenders, etc., protecting citizens from the DA, IRS, FAA and other government agencies intent on destroying the lives of people caught up their web. The good lawyers may be few and far between but they DO exist!!
And there are many successful class action lawsuits which have protected consumer rights.

sanford
Aug 11, 2007, 06:19 PM
Did Shakespeare really use a contraction? I'm surprised.

There were more contractions in common usage in his day than in modern English.

oldwatery
Aug 11, 2007, 07:38 PM
Did Shakespeare really use a contraction? I'm surprised.

Besides, not all lawyers are ambulance chasers. There are times when they can be helpful. (I'm surprised that I'm saying that.)

I don't understand how things got so blown out of proportion but I still don't understand how a woman could be burned by hot coffee and win or someone else could get a settlement over cherry pits at McDonalds..

Thanks for the moderating....I intended no offence with my quote of the Bard.
Just a bit of levity is all. :D

I'm sure there are many fine lawyers out there who do what they do for the cause not the effect.

Meanwhile, I'm very pleased to see the conversation turn to more erudite matters......
Yes, Will was quite the contractionist. ;)

As for the boiling coffee...I had one from MacD the other day and it was so scalding hot that it would have melted flesh! So what does that say about the system?

itcheroni
Aug 11, 2007, 07:38 PM
I don't understand how things got so blown out of proportion but I still don't understand how a woman could be burned by hot coffee and win or someone else could get a settlement over cherry pits at McDonalds.

The woman suffered burns due to the coffee. The damages she received included medical expenses and pain and suffering which we should all agree is reasonable. But her big windfall was in punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to change the defendant's conduct. A company as large as McDonald's will not change their behavior for just $10,000. The way they calculated the punitive was by adding up two days worth of nationwide coffee sales. The point is to make it large enough so McDonald's won't do it again.

For those who don't understand this logic-remember the Ford Pinto. Ford did the math; they could have added a part to the Pinto for less than $100 per car or pay out an average of $200,000 per death. The total for fixing the Pintos were higher than if they just paid out per death, so they didn't fix it.

megfilmworks
Aug 11, 2007, 07:48 PM
If not for class action lawsuits who would protect consumer rights? Big Business? Inept Government? People, any real solutions out there?
Until then, thank your lucky stars for class action lawsuits and the threat of them. Otherwise you would be the victim of reckless commerce and outright fraud. That being said, I think we could do with a whole lot less of the "get rich" law degrees.

itcheroni
Aug 11, 2007, 07:57 PM
If not for class action lawsuits who would protect consumer rights? Big Business? Inept Government? People, any real solutions out there?
Until then, thank your lucky stars for class action lawsuits and the threat of them. Otherwise you would be the victim of reckless commerce and outright fraud. That being said, I think we could do with a whole lot less of the "get rich" law degrees.

If you know of a way to get rich with a law degree, please do tell. :(

tikitavi7
Aug 11, 2007, 08:06 PM
Up a ways the post that started the run of quotes from old plays and then the contemporary death threats completely lacking a sense of irony, in that post the argument that frivolous lawsuits are good and should be allowed to continue because they are the American Way is like arguing that we should tolerate child molesters and not speak out against them because having your children molested is part of the risk of having children. We are not compelled to accept the bad with the good without attempting to fix the bad. The right in this country to sue anyone for anything is important policy; the right to chastise some plaintiffs' attorneys for abusing that right is just as important.

But it should be understood this is *not* about protecting consumers from Apple's "reckless" online receipt displays. It's about money, and not for consumers "damaged" by this practice. This isn't a bunch of Apple customers who noticed this practice potentially in violation of federal consumer protection laws who then found a trial firm willing to take the case on contingency and thus moved forward with aiding in protecting us all. These are plaintiffs' attorneys who go out and *troll* for these sort of violations on potential technicalities and then *recruit* clients to act as named parties for the class. That's indefensible on ethical grounds. It's one thing to say it's important we should be able to sue anyone for anything no matter how trivial, it's another thing to say it's okay to subvert reasonable ethic to actually do it just for money. Do I think greater restrictions should be placed on the right to sue in the States? No. Do I think the plaintiffs and attorneys in some ridiculous suits should called upon to apply higher ethical standards in exercising this right? Yes.

As for the McDonald's case the punitive reward was far out of scale with what happened. As I recall, and I'm not bothering to look up that case so grab a grain of salt, the actual damages award was rather small and reasonable, chiefly covering the woman's medical expenses. And a punitive award was called for; the woman was after all somewhat permanently disfigured. But tens or hundreds of millions in punitive damages should be reserved for cases of gross misconduct -- discovering from human trials that will be redacted or buried that a new drug developed to treat a trivial or non-critical condition will kill or injure lots of people, but marketing it anyway; not incorrectly following the procedure for making fast food coffee -- and the same in actual damages is reasonably reserved for the chronic lifelong care of some who has been severely, permanently disabled by negligence. Also, as I recall, the punitive award in that ridiculously infamous coffee case was significantly reduced upon appeal. That's how it goes with awards of that size: the popular press makes sure *everyone* hear about it, but 18 months later when the award is reduced on appeal, there's little but a brief mention.

The Monkey sounds like he might be a trial lawyer, related to one or aspiring to the profession. May he and any other trial lawyers feeling put upon please see my postscript to a previous post a few pages back: to wit, I don't hate you, I think most of you serve us all well and play an irreplaceable role in defending the public and our limited resources against professional malpractice big business and with their often massive war-chests. But you can't justify fishing for stupid cases like this merely to make a buck.

This receipt case is just stupid, even if "printed" can be interpreted to mean an online display. If the plaintiffs' attorneys are so altruistic, why not merely write a few letters to Apple's corporate counsel explaining why they think Apple may be in violation of a federal consumer protection law?
.

... I hope "the Monkey" doesn't mean me. After all, my screen name is a reference to a mongoose, not a monkey. And I am not a trial lawyer, am unrelated to any trial lawyers, and have zero aspirations to be any sort of attorney.

Anyway, if it's me Sanford is referring to, I never said frivolous lawsuits suits should be allowed to continue because they are the American way; I only said that lawsuits are part of living in this country, and that they are a function of the fed. govt's attitude concerning business and the relationship between business and consumers. That's closer to arguing that better federal regulation of business practices would reduce the number of these kinds of lawsuits than it is to asserting that frivolous lawsuits are the American way.

So if it is to me that Sanford is replying, he/she has to a certain degree mischaracterized what I said ... but he/she is also guilty of an apples-to-oranges comparison. Quoth my probable interlocutor: "In that post the argument that frivolous lawsuits are good and should be allowed to continue because they are the American Way is like arguing that we should tolerate child molesters and not speak out against them because having your children molested is part of the risk of having children." Really? Because I'm pretty sure that these kinds of lawsuits, which result at most in monetary compensation, are quite different from child molestation, which (and you can ask any kid who's been molested) results in something radically different. Not to mention that filing a lawsuit is perfectly legal, while molesting a child is most certainly not ....

megfilmworks
Aug 11, 2007, 08:25 PM
If you know of a way to get rich with a law degree, please do tell. :(Yeah, I guess there are just too many lawyers, kinda a dime a dozen. Used to be the sure fire career. And the lawyers who do the best work for society will make the least.

.I only said that lawsuits are part of living in this country, and that they are a function of the fed. govt's attitude concerning business and the relationship between business and consumers. I agree. You don't take everyone's freedom away from them because of terrorism, and you don't stop class action lawsuits because some people abuse the form.
That is the price we pay to attempt to live in a free society.
That is the American way.

bousozoku
Aug 11, 2007, 09:12 PM
.

Thanks for the moderating....I intended no offence with my quote of the Bard.
Just a bit of levity is all. :D

I'm sure there are many fine lawyers out there who do what they do for the cause not the effect.

Meanwhile, I'm very pleased to see the conversation turn to more erudite matters......
Yes, Will was quite the contractionist. ;)

As for the boiling coffee...I had one from MacD the other day and it was so scalding hot that it would have melted flesh! So what does that say about the system?

It tells me that people should be smart enough not to put hot coffee in between their legs. The system did its work and the jury dealt justice to the big evil company. Perhaps, she should have also sued Bunn for making a coffee maker that made hot coffee.

The woman suffered burns due to the coffee. The damages she received included medical expenses and pain and suffering which we should all agree is reasonable. But her big windfall was in punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to change the defendant's conduct. A company as large as McDonald's will not change their behavior for just $10,000. The way they calculated the punitive was by adding up two days worth of nationwide coffee sales. The point is to make it large enough so McDonald's won't do it again.

For those who don't understand this logic-remember the Ford Pinto. Ford did the math; they could have added a part to the Pinto for less than $100 per car or pay out an average of $200,000 per death. The total for fixing the Pintos were higher than if they just paid out per death, so they didn't fix it.

There is a difference. People were caught in an accident in a Pinto and they died. McDonald's weren't able to regulate the placement of the coffee once the woman took hold of it. If they had, it's likely that she would not have been burned.

itcheroni
Aug 11, 2007, 09:21 PM
There is a difference. People were caught in an accident in a Pinto and they died. McDonald's weren't able to regulate the placement of the coffee once the woman took hold of it. If they had, it's likely that she would not have been burned.

My point is that the Pinto illustrates why we need punitive awards and the McDonald's coffee lady is an example of a punitive award.

As for not putting hot coffee between your legs, it may seem like common sense. But the coffee though was hot enough to give the woman 3rd degree burns. A person might go ahead and do something stupid like risk spilling hot coffee on themselves, but would they do the same thing if they knew it would severely burn them? If a warning, such as "hot coffee: may cause severe burns" would cause people to act differently, then they may be required to make such a warning. I'm not read up on the case, so I'm not sure, but this seems to be the reasoning.

Docrjm
Aug 11, 2007, 09:21 PM
All things aside, you need to remember that McDonalds did a lot of things wrong in that case. Firstly, they knew that the coffee makers were malfunctioning ahead of time, and that there was potential for someone to get hurt. Secondly, they didn't do anything to fix the problem, and thirdly, how do you get 3rd degree burns from coffee? This lady was an old grandma who didn't like to go around suing people, but she had no other choice after McDonalds gave her the brush-off. What she did allowed others to know that they don't have to take abuse from corporations.

Back to Apple though, if they are quilty of doing what the plantiffs aledge, then Apple deserves to pay up. It will only make the company we all love stronger if they have to be mindful of consumers' wishes.

You let the hot liquid to stay on your skin for a prolonged period of time, you can get 3rd degree burns with 60C temps.

The Monkey
Aug 11, 2007, 09:52 PM
The Monkey sounds like he might be a trial lawyer, related to one or aspiring to the profession. May he and any other trial lawyers feeling put upon please see my postscript to a previous post a few pages back: to wit, I don't hate you, I think most of you serve us all well and play an irreplaceable role in defending the public and our limited resources against professional malpractice big business and with their often massive war-chests. But you can't justify fishing for stupid cases like this merely to make a buck.


A lawyer with experience, yes. A member of the Plaintiff's bar, no. Many of my clients get hit with frivolous lawsuits. It sucks. But it's a balancing act, and one that works in this country. The alternative is to shut the doors to the courtrooms for all but the richest, biggest corporations. I am always amazed by how pro-corporation so many of you are at heart--this from a defender of coporate America.

aristotle
Aug 12, 2007, 12:20 AM
A lawyer with experience, yes. A member of the Plaintiff's bar, no. Many of my clients get hit with frivolous lawsuits. It sucks. But it's a balancing act, and one that works in this country. The alternative is to shut the doors to the courtrooms for all but the richest, biggest corporations. I am always amazed by how pro-corporation so many of you are at heart--this from a defender of coporate America.
This is not just some blind defending of Corporate America but rather a fight against establishment of ridiculous precedents which would not only hinder Apple and existing corporations but any corporation any one of us might found in the future.

This lawsuit also has the potential of making my life as a consumer even more onerous and it could ironically open up consumers to fraud caused by man in the middle attacks. I want to have my address appear in the order confirmation page so I can use it for future reference should a dispute arise or my shipment disappear in transit.

I see nothing wrong with what appears there.

We have the following:
Billing Address (often same as shipping address)
Last four numbers of the credit card and expiry date.

Showing the billing address and the shipping address (if different) can help establish whether the purchase was made fraudulently by a third-party. Showing the last four digits and expiry can help determine which card was used.

oldwatery
Aug 12, 2007, 12:41 AM
A lawyer with experience, yes. A member of the Plaintiff's bar, no. Many of my clients get hit with frivolous lawsuits. It sucks. But it's a balancing act, and one that works in this country. The alternative is to shut the doors to the courtrooms for all but the richest, biggest corporations. I am always amazed by how pro-corporation so many of you are at heart--this from a defender of coporate America.

Yeh it really sucks....cha ching :rolleyes:

But seriously ;)
it's not about pro corporation or being on whatever "side".
It's about people taking responsibility. It's about reason. It's about civility.

For you or anyone else to suggest that we need to explore the extremes of reason to get justice is absurd. You use the end to justify the means. And the means is what sucks!

This law suit defines the meaning of frivolous and the people involved are doing nothing to further the general good of "The People". Just themselves.

CalBoy
Aug 12, 2007, 02:14 AM
You let the hot liquid to stay on your skin for a prolonged period of time, you can get 3rd degree burns with 60C temps.

I seriously doubt she let the liquid stay on her lap for a long time. When something like that happens, your reflex is to move in a manner to get the coffee/liquid off of you.

Anyways, the point is that sometimes lawsuits like this and the one Apple is about to face, bring important issues to the fore. In this case, even if Apple was doing everything right, the judge may decide that it is relevant to protect consumers, and force all online retailers to follow the same rules as other retailers (after all, we all know the principle of stare decisis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stare_decisis) ;)).

After all, the Kansas board of education was following the letter of the law, but that didn't make it anymore right. I suspect that Apple is following the letter of the law, but that it still may not be enough to help fight identity theft. Who cares if it's a sleeze ball that starts the case? As long as the right thing is done in the end, the general public will benefit.

All that said, and I'm still not sure whether or not this lawsuit has any reasonable foundation. Thankfully, that decision is not up to me, or any of the posters on this forum, since we don't know all the facts yet. The people who do (namely the judge for the case, and the potential jury), should be trusted to make the right decision, as they will/should have all the relevant facts before them; a luxury none of us has at this point.

gnasher729
Aug 12, 2007, 03:02 AM
IWow. I have to pretty much disagree with you 100% there. I thought the McDonalds case was absolutely pathetic. Thats the difference between American/British culture with regards to these things I guess.

Actually, I didn't. The plaintiff had originally asked for her hospital bills to be paid. The jury then went a bit overboard with their damages, but the judge fixed that.

It is common sense that spilling coffee over you will hurt, and it will also make it necessary to clean your clothes, so people avoid it. It is not at all common sense to expect coffee to cause third degree burns. The injuries that this woman suffered were not something I would wish anyone to suffer, and not something that I would expect as the natural risk of drinking coffee. If you showed your wife/girlfriend/mother/daughter a description of the injuries, and asked her if she would want to suffer these injuries for $200,000, they would most likely refuse.

And MacDonald's had a history of several _hundred_ cases where people were injured, ending in settlements. So they clearly knew about the danger. And their coffee isn't as hot anymore...

sanford
Aug 12, 2007, 08:11 AM
... I hope "the Monkey" doesn't mean me. After all, my screen name is a reference to a mongoose, not a monkey. And I am not a trial lawyer, am unrelated to any trial lawyers, and have zero aspirations to be any sort of attorney.

Nope, tikitavi, I know my Kipling. "The Monkey" meant, well, some guy named The Monkey -- who did turn out to be a lawyer, which would explain why he was so defensive. He posted above you

...That's closer to arguing that better federal regulation of business practices would reduce the number of these kinds of lawsuits than it is to asserting that frivolous lawsuits are the American way.

If you want to promote increasing federal regulation of free market business practices, then we'd likely agree.

So if it is to me that Sanford is replying, he/she...

Thanks for the gender neutrality, but if someone ever named their girl Sanford, well poor, poor child.

Really? Because I'm pretty sure that these kinds of lawsuits, which result at most in monetary compensation, are quite different from child molestation, which (and you can ask any kid who's been molested) results in something radically different. Not to mention that filing a lawsuit is perfectly legal, while molesting a child is most certainly not ....

As to the latter argument, it my statement was hyperbole, an accentuation of taking the bad with good, to emphasize my point. But, still, as to the former argument, that's naive. Monetary compensation is one results, but it's not the most, which can include sanctions against the business's future conduct, etc. And we're just talking about the outcome of the suit. It hardly stops at monetary compensation. *Frivolous* suits to "protect" consumers result in higher prices for these consumers and lower wages for employees, who when they punch off the clock become these same consumers the suits ostensibly seek to protect. With friends like those...

Anyway, I'm not against class actions. I'm not even willing to say I would be willing to restrict by law a class action such as this. But I do think it's entirely appropriate to call *this* class action, or any such action in which the plaintiffs' attorneys go fishing for a violation and then drum up private parties to then *become* injured by the violation which is already known to them, ridiculous and unethical.

sanford
Aug 12, 2007, 08:23 AM
A lawyer with experience, yes. A member of the Plaintiff's bar, no. Many of my clients get hit with frivolous lawsuits. It sucks. But it's a balancing act, and one that works in this country. The alternative is to shut the doors to the courtrooms for all but the richest, biggest corporations. I am always amazed by how pro-corporation so many of you are at heart--this from a defender of coporate America.

Yeah, that's explains why you were so defensive. And I'm hardly pro-corporation. But I can't tolerate plaintiff's attorneys who, as I mentioned above, obviously fish for violations and then enlist parties to become injured by that violation so they can then file suit. Speaking of violations, that's a violation of both legal and common ethics.

As to your defensiveness, I don't blame you. I know quite a few attorneys and all of you catch hell for the actions of a few. There are many situations in life in which you may find yourself, civil and criminal, in which you are a victim or at no great fault in actions, when a good attorney is your best friend on earth. Anyway, you can go and read my postscript to trial lawyers a couple pages back: Don't want to repeat the whole thing here, but in summary, some members of the Plaintiff's Bar are true heroes of our society who protect people of limited means and even restore some of them as best as possible to their circumstances before their injury -- not just physical injury. So I not only don't hate or blame all attorneys, I don't have ill will even to all trial lawyers. But, yeah, goofballs like this suing Apple over a drummed-up case on an obvious gray area over an online order confirmation: they should be disbarred whether they've strictly earned it by the applicable code of ethics or not. They're making a fortune on settlements, they may cost me more money every time I buy an Apple product, and their suit does not reasonably protect me as the matter of harm or risk here is entirely trivial.

alec
Aug 12, 2007, 10:56 AM
i can't wait to get my 58 cents in the mail!!

oldwatery
Aug 12, 2007, 11:52 AM
Yeah, that's explains why you were so defensive. And I'm hardly pro-corporation. But I can't tolerate plaintiff's attorneys who, as I mentioned above, obviously fish for violations and then enlist parties to become injured by that violation so they can then file suit. Speaking of violations, that's a violation of both legal and common ethics.

As to your defensiveness, I don't blame you. I know quite a few attorneys and all of you catch hell for the actions of a few. There are many situations in life in which you may find yourself, civil and criminal, in which you are a victim or at no great fault in actions, when a good attorney is your best friend on earth. Anyway, you can go and read my postscript to trial lawyers a couple pages back: Don't want to repeat the whole thing here, but in summary, some members of the Plaintiff's Bar are true heroes of our society who protect people of limited means and even restore some of them as best as possible to their circumstances before their injury -- not just physical injury. So I not only don't hate or blame all attorneys, I don't have ill will even to all trial lawyers. But, yeah, goofballs like this suing Apple over a drummed-up case on an obvious gray area over an online order confirmation: they should be disbarred whether they've strictly earned it by the applicable code of ethics or not. They're making a fortune on settlements, they may cost me more money every time I buy an Apple product, and their suit does not reasonably protect me as the matter of harm or risk here is entirely trivial.

Yes Sanford, like you I'm not into the blame the lawyer game but it strikes me that many of these Professionals use the law to further their own goals and not for the general good.
This is clearly one of those instances.

guzhogi
Aug 12, 2007, 11:57 AM
I'll admit, I haven't read the whole thing. But I feel people have a right & responsibilty to file lawsuits should someone hurt them. But people shouldn't file lawsuits just to get a quick buck or because of something stupid they did. Like people shouldn't sue McDonalds for spilling coffee between their legs. It's not like McDonalds makes those people sit w/ the coffee in between their legs. (Hint: that's why cars have cupholders!) As for punitive damages, I agree a big $$$ thing would help corporations change, but the $ shouldn't be paid to the victim. The victim already probably gets damages. Instead, the punitive money should go to charities that help prevent this from happening or those that help victims. There's a line in the John Cusack version of Runaway Jury that goes something like "I won't pay the widow a bunch of money just so she can break a heal on her new Gucci shoes on the way to the funeral." Greed is, unfortunately, the driving force in many of these lawsuits which is sad.

edoates
Aug 12, 2007, 02:03 PM
I'm going to point to it again: http://www.stellaawards.com/

To quote part of it:

"Here's the Kicker: Coffee is supposed to be served in the range of 185 degrees! The National Coffee Association recommends coffee be brewed at "between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction" and drunk "immediately". If not drunk immediately, it should be "maintained at 180-185 degrees Fahrenheit." (Source: NCAUSA.) Exactly what, then, did McDonald's do wrong? Did it exhibit "willful, wanton, reckless or malicious conduct" -- the standard in New Mexico for awarding punitive damages?"

Yes, hot coffee can burn you (in 2 to 7 seconds); people aren't aware of that fact; but people aren't aware, apparently, that falling off of a ladder can hurt you, too (about 40% of the price of a US ladder is for product liability claims). Next time you buy hair dryer or toaster, read the cautions: don't use in a bath tub! Maybe, people are stupid, but that shouldn't give them the right to assume someone else (that is, all of the rest of us) should pay for that stupidity.

The Pinto is an oft referenced, but flawed analogy. The Pinto was built like most cars in those days (1971ish) with the gas tank exposed at the rear of the car. Some of those collisions were rear enders at up to 70 miles per hour. Discovery found a memo, but there was never any proof that Ford acted due to that memo exclusively. There was also no proof that the $11 part would actually have fixed the problem. But juries feel sorry for folks who get burned, and since someone must pay, and Ford had (notice the past tense) lots of money, they did. (Edit: here is a nice reference to Pinto lawsuit urban legends, including the false $11 part and $200,000 per life claims: http://newmarksdoor.typepad.com/mainblog/2005/07/the_pinto_myth.html).

There is way to much of this in the US, and the list of nonsense suits or excessive awards for good suits is endless and a complete crap shoot. It is NOT the juries' fault, nor the plaintiffs, nor even their lawyers. It is the fault of judges who will let anything go to trial, accept pseudoscience as testimony, ignore actual science (see the thermisol and autism travesty which is proceeding as we speak), and the fault of congress and state legislators being in the pockets of the Trial Lawyers Association (since renamed something more appealing). If legislators were in the pockets of big business as many claim, you wouldn't be able to sue McDonald's if they came out and poured the hot coffee on you.

My point is that the Pinto illustrates why we need punitive awards and the McDonald's coffee lady is an example of a punitive award.

As for not putting hot coffee between your legs, it may seem like common sense. But the coffee though was hot enough to give the woman 3rd degree burns. A person might go ahead and do something stupid like risk spilling hot coffee on themselves, but would they do the same thing if they knew it would severely burn them? If a warning, such as "hot coffee: may cause severe burns" would cause people to act differently, then they may be required to make such a warning. I'm not read up on the case, so I'm not sure, but this seems to be the reasoning.

tikitavi7
Aug 12, 2007, 02:39 PM
... thanks for the response, Sanford. Gender neutrality always seems appropriate when dealing in screen names. Would you guess my gender by my screen name?

You're right about the "monetary compensation"; what I should've said is "monetary damages," which are the most significant damages that you can inflict against a company or corporation. Most if not all of the sanctions etc. that you mentioned boil down to money. If a judge tells a company that it can no longer do business in a certain way, then making that change will affect that company monetarily. Even shutting a company down completely is a matter of monetary damages, since the effect of that action is to discontinue the ability of the company to do business and hence make money. You can send executives to jail all day, for sure (although that certainly doesn't happen often enough), but against a corporation, the sad fact is in the end the most significant thing that you can do is affect it monetarily. The law simply cannot punish a company the same way that it can punish a real person. So no, that statement, while a bit imprecise, was most certainly not naive.

And believe it or not, there may be much more significant factors determining price increases than lawsuits which, in the end, often cost corporations what are to them fairly negligible amounts. Millions appear far larger to people than they do to corporations. That's precisely why punitive damages are often so large—they usually have to be affect change in a corporation's behavior (whereas, say, $50 in damages would be enough to affect my behavior). But as has already been argued here, punitive damages are often whittled down in appeal. Honestly, if it's the effect of these lawsuits on your wallet that's bugging you, you're probably better off looking at other factors (I mean besides the obviousness of supply and demand). Take, for instance, the $200 million in compensation the recently ousted CEO of Home Depot just received despite having led that company unprofitably. I'd argue that stuff like that (and the attitude behind it) is more the problem ...

gnasher729
Aug 12, 2007, 05:02 PM
I'm going to point to it again: http://www.stellaawards.com/

To quote part of it:

"Here's the Kicker: Coffee is supposed to be served in the range of 185 degrees! The National Coffee Association recommends coffee be brewed at "between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction" and drunk "immediately". If not drunk immediately, it should be "maintained at 180-185 degrees Fahrenheit." (Source: NCAUSA.) Exactly what, then, did McDonald's do wrong? Did it exhibit "willful, wanton, reckless or malicious conduct" -- the standard in New Mexico for awarding punitive damages?"

Yes, hot coffee can burn you (in 2 to 7 seconds); people aren't aware of that fact; but people aren't aware, apparently, that falling off of a ladder can hurt you, too (about 40% of the price of a US ladder is for product liability claims). Next time you buy hair dryer or toaster, read the cautions: don't use in a bath tub! Maybe, people are stupid, but that shouldn't give them the right to assume someone else (that is, all of the rest of us) should pay for that stupidity.

I'll give you another link: http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

To quote part of it:

"McDonalds coffee was not only hot, it was scalding -- capable of almost instantaneous destruction of skin, flesh and muscle. "

"During discovery, McDonalds produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebecks. This history documented McDonalds' knowledge about the extent and nature of this hazard. "

"McDonalds also said during discovery that, based on a consultants advice, it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to maintain optimum taste. He admitted that he had not evaluated the safety ramifications at this temperature. Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees. "

"Plaintiffs' expert, a scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds. Other testimony showed that as the temperature decreases toward 155 degrees, the extent of the burn relative to that temperature decreases exponentially. Thus, if Liebeck's spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees, the liquid would have cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn. "

"McDonalds asserted that customers buy coffee on their way to work or home, intending to consume it there. However, the companys own research showed that customers intend to consume the coffee immediately while driving. "

So the first assertion from stellaawards, that the "National Coffee Association" recommends coffee to be kept at 185 degrees, may be true. However, following that recommendation and serving coffee at this temperature creates a substantial and unnecessary health hazard. That temperature is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than coffee you make at home. There were 700 cases of injuries caused by that temperature that McDonalds knew about. Serving coffee at the temperature that you do at home would have prevented the injury. And McDonalds knew that people bought coffee to drink it immediately.

So the first part of your stellaawards quote is deliberately misleading. You brew coffee at 200 degrees to drink it immediately - but not at that temperature! I can assure you that none of McDonalds lawyers would have drunk coffee at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, even if that had meant winning the case. And the ultrahot temperature does keep the coffee taste better, but it is dangerous! What follows can only be called a rant.

sanford
Aug 12, 2007, 06:00 PM
The Pinto is an oft referenced, but flawed analogy.

The Pinto case has been mythologized first by the novel "Fight Club" and then its popular film adaptation -- although neither work makes specific reference to the Pinto case. It's not uncommon today to hear people say that's how the *entire* auto industry determines whether or not to issue recalls. Before "Fight Club" it was an interesting footnote to a sensational case; now it's an admonition of the entire auto safety philosophy.

... thanks for the response, Sanford. Gender neutrality always seems appropriate when dealing in screen names. Would you guess my gender by my screen name?

You're male. Women aren't into Kipling.

So no, that statement, while a bit imprecise, was most certainly not naive.

I didn't mean you were naive to say that financially hitting a corporation is the best and often only good recourse for punishing it; I meant it was naive to say that it all stops at a monetary award paid by the corporation. The sheer number of profiteering, nuisance lawsuits of this type have significant financial repercussions in our economy.

Take, for instance, the $200 million in compensation the recently ousted CEO of Home Depot just received despite having led that company unprofitably. I'd argue that stuff like that (and the attitude behind it) is more the problem ...

Certainly there are other factors that affect retail price. I'd say right now, against most traditional b-school instruction, it's what the market will bear, even it if the market bearing it eventually breaks the back of the market. But liability is if not the most significant factor -- and I'd say it's not -- in what we pay for and services, it is a significant factor. Medical liability awards alone have driven malpractice insurance rates through the roof -- of course farther through the roof than is warranted by the awards paid out -- and substantially effects what we pay out of pocket for medical services, or in healthcare premiums, co-payments and, ahem, "co-insurance".

Still and all, I'm much, much more Nader than Enron or Tyco, so I doubt we disagree in general on the topic of consumer protection as much as it seems from this discussion.

edoates
Aug 12, 2007, 09:46 PM
So is the water which comes out of my HOT dispenser of my water dispenser. Coffee is supposed to be hot; knives are supposed to be sharp; ladders are supped to be high. It is up the use to take reasonable precautions when using these objects. Just because 1000 people fall off of ladders and The Little Ladder Company knows about it doesn't make it negligent. 700 people spilled not coffee on themselves. Probably a billion others managed to ingest coffee without such damage. If it was so da**ed dangerous, I would think the injury rate would be higher.

Face it, the suit was frivolous, the jury stupid, and the system flawed for not allowing individuals to take some responsibility for their actions. No one with even a single neuron left would put hot (even 150 degree coffee) between their legs and squeeze. I feel sorry for the woman who so erred, but it is her fault, or at least the fault of the person who was with her driving the car: "Grandma, don't do that, you'll burn yourself. Let me help you."

But it is so much easier to foist responsibility onto someone else for money.

But apparently we disagree. I do hope you never own a business and get sued because one of your customers drops one of your products on their foot and breaks a toe. You should know that those things are heavy and should have provided steel toed shoes (and put them on the customer yourself), and a warning, "Gravity still works."

The system is deeply flawed. Those who should get compensated frequently don't; those who deserve nothing sometimes win the legal lottery; and the lawyers always win. I don't advocate discarding the right to redress, monetary and otherwise, I just advocate reforming the system to make it just and proportionate.

Ed

I'll give you another link: http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

To quote part of it:

So the first part of your stellaawards quote is deliberately misleading. You brew coffee at 200 degrees to drink it immediately - but not at that temperature! I can assure you that none of McDonalds lawyers would have drunk coffee at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, even if that had meant winning the case. And the ultrahot temperature does keep the coffee taste better, but it is dangerous! What follows can only be called a rant.

bousozoku
Aug 12, 2007, 10:19 PM
...
Face it, the suit was frivolous, the jury stupid, and the system flawed for not allowing individuals to take some responsibility for their actions. No one with even a single neuron left would put hot (even 150 degree coffee) between their legs and squeeze. I feel sorry for the woman who so erred, but it is her fault, or at least the fault of the person who was with her driving the car: "Grandma, don't do that, you'll burn yourself. Let me help you."
...

You would think that would be the case but plenty of people do things that could kill them every day. In Central Floriduh, people sit on the train tracks to get a jump on the green light on the other side. Somehow, for them, there is no danger from a train that weighs several times the weight of their car. Of course, it's the train's fault, if they're hit.

gnasher729
Aug 13, 2007, 05:36 AM
Face it, the suit was frivolous, the jury stupid, and the system flawed for not allowing individuals to take some responsibility for their actions. No one with even a single neuron left would put hot (even 150 degree coffee) between their legs and squeeze. I feel sorry for the woman who so erred, but it is her fault, or at least the fault of the person who was with her driving the car: "Grandma, don't do that, you'll burn yourself. Let me help you."

That's why her compensation was cut down by 20%: Twenty percent her fault for being stupid and putting a cup of coffee between her legs, 80 percent MacDonalds fault for serving coffee at 185 degrees instead of 150 (all Fahrenheit).

Gasu E.
Aug 13, 2007, 08:27 AM
Interesting: the lawsuit states that your eligibility to be part of the plaintiff class depends on when you installed the printer you printed the receipt with.

According to the lawsuit, if you installed your printer was "first put into use on or after January 1, 2005, any purchases after that are eligible. However if you put your printer into use prior to that date, only purchases after December 4, 2006 are eligible.

The lawsuit states this is explicit in the law. This restriction sounds absurd, unless you acknowledge that the law is clearly written with retail point of sales in mind. It seems Apple can easily claim that the law was not intended to cover online sales and receipts printed under the control of the customer on his own property.

grockk
Aug 13, 2007, 09:40 AM
Did anyone else notice the QuickTime 7 for Windows serial number on the very last page of the complaint? ..... :eek:

Thank you, Todd Narson! Full screen mode is mine at last.



j/k :D

Maccus Aurelius
Aug 13, 2007, 10:46 AM
With all this talk of the greater good and the rights to sue, regardless of how trivial, there should at least be some actual consideration for these trials before they really start wasting everyone's time, for example, the jurymen. These kinds of nuisance suits serve no greater good, but are rather an unfortunate (and likely unavoidable) side effect of a system that grants such freedoms towards this greater good. Maybe a Judge can finally stand up and scream out "Bailiff! Wack his peepee!"

tikitavi7
Aug 13, 2007, 03:47 PM
Sanford: Again, good points—except it's a bit of a blanket assumption that women aren't into Kipling. And it's possible, just possible, to be into a cute, cartoon mongoose without being into Kipling.

I think that you're right that we don't really disagree ... but I do think that, while our direction is similar, the paths we take tend to differ dramatically. For instance: I firmly believe that the rise in medical costs ascribable to skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums is a chiefly a function of medicine and medical care that is at times unacceptable to the modern public. And I think that it takes a surfeit of confidence in our medical system and a lack of faith in our judicial system to argue otherwise.

Now, I'm not saying that malpractice insurance companies aren't using an increase in malpractice lawsuits as justification for raising their rates. Just like I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't argue against the statement that the rise in rates likely outpaces the increase in amounts paid out due to the greater number of suits (think of how unusual it would be for any company to NOT take advantage of a situation like that to make a profit). All I'm saying is those increased premiums are most firmly rooted in the modern public's expectations concerning medical care.

I usually avoid personal testimonies, since they're often too local to be of any wider benefit. But I'm thinking of something that happened to me, where I went to the doctor for something and got a prescription for a medication with which I was unfamiliar. I left his office and went home, where I Googled the name of the pills and realized that the medicine I was prescribed was for symptoms that were almost exactly the opposite from mine. Later, I went back to the office, where another doctor was now on duty. I explained the situation and showed her the prescription; her eyes widened and she told me that she had no idea what the other doctor had been thinking, and that I was lucky I was smart enough to have done that bit of research. I knew what she meant; I had seen that the chief effects of the mis-prescribed medication boiled down to significantly worsening my condition. That is, if the medicine I was prescribed worked, then I would've gotten worse, not better. She then asked if she could discard the prescription and I said that was OK ... but had I actually gotten the pills from the pharmacy and taken even a single one, this story would've had a very different ending.

I'm more of a Nader person too, Sanford, but I do think it's pretty clear where we differ ....

spanading
Aug 14, 2007, 03:55 AM
I really don't think anyone in the UK has a leg to stand on with this claim given what the UK land registry divulge about someone's mortgage details, which is just about everything baring the agreement number with their bank. This is a Government site and they really should know better, and as for Apple giving the last 4 digits and an expiry date you would have to make a lot of phone calls or transactions to guess the other 12, some what suspicious nes pas? I really do wish the American's would pull their heads in and use some common sense for a change!

Spence

:rolleyes:

Gasu E.
Aug 14, 2007, 12:27 PM
about 50% of lawsuits seem legit to me.


Do you really mean, "I examined every lawsuit and considered whether it seemed legit to me, and 50% actually did seem legit", as you said; or did you really mean to say "it seems to me about 50% of lawsuits are legit", which indicates you pulled the number 50% out of your posterior?

Roric
Aug 15, 2007, 12:26 AM
As for punitive damages, I agree a big $$$ thing would help corporations change, but the $ shouldn't be paid to the victim. The victim already probably gets damages. Instead, the punitive money should go to charities that help prevent this from happening or those that help victims.

I have thought this for years. Punish the company AND do some good in society at the same time. But that is just too radical to be acceptable.

There's a line in the John Cusack version of Runaway Jury that goes something like "I won't pay the widow a bunch of money just so she can break a heal on her new Gucci shoes on the way to the funeral."

Don't forget the Eagles, "You say you haven’t been the same since you had your little crash But you might feel better if I gave you some cash"

So many times, society seems to show that cash is the answer to every slight. I agree with a monetary settlement for medical expenses and loss of income, but not for some of the other categories. Getting cash for "Pain and suffering" isn't really going to erase the memories of the pain just like getting cash for "Loss of companionship" isn't really going to bring back the lost one, but it seems to be the acceptable answer. I think people who can be bought off like that are shallow. "My loved one is dead, but I got some money so it is all right in the end." Yeah right. :rolleyes:

A Pittarelli
Aug 15, 2007, 12:58 AM
a must restate that peopleare always just trying to get something for nothing, legit or not, its a big boy who cries wolf

cliffjumper68
Aug 15, 2007, 10:10 AM
Big to do about nothin' my apple store reciept has no credit cards numbers on it.