Class-Action Suit Filed Against Apple

stoid

macrumors 601
I wouldn't consider it completely unexpected that Apple would do things like this under Steve's leadership. When he first came back, there was a lot of "Steve what about our obligation to these people?"

"F*** 'em!"
 

mkubal

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2002
557
0
Tampa
Sweet, so we'll all get a check for about 7¢ and the lawyer will get a check for $50 million. Justice at its finest.

Not sure about the reseller's suit though. I'd want to see some specific examples of things they did that were underhanded. Unless these people have contracts with Apple that say differently, Apple can favor their stores if they darn well please.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,195
I for one am willing to let the courts decide whether Apple is innocent. That answer is not going to come from our assumptions alone.

Reading the article, it seems like there's good reason to think Apple HAS acted illegally, and if that's true, then they should be held accountable.

Some lawsuits are frivolous. Not ALL lawsuits.

I can't help but think of all the people who said the OS X on G3 lawsuit was frivolous. Apple lost it and they should have--but to see that, you had to look at the DETAILS of the case, not make assumptions based on too little information and wanting Apple to never be wrong.

Apple may have the best service in the industry, and many resellers may be bad at their business. But that doesn't mean it's impossible for Apple to do wrong.

Some of the other points sound even more clear cut:

"they accuse Apple of repackaging and selling refurbished machines to resellers and consumers as 'new products' without notification to the reseller or end customer."

If it's a lie, the courts should throw it out. If not, let it proceed.
 

suntzu

macrumors regular
Sep 20, 2003
145
0
I don't know. Some of the things don't make sense. We won't know the truth until we read the legal brief and see their evidence.

I read awhile ago that the Apple stores are drawn from the advertising budget. So that if they don't sell anything, they're okay with that because it gets the word out about their products. I remember when the first Apple stores came out. A lot of resellers starting attacking Apple because they said Apple was going to steal away their business. Maybe this lawsuit is about revenge. It would be interesting to see which resellers are suing and how close they are to an official Apple store.

The part where it says: "accuses Apple of misappropriating of trade secrets, saying the company is taking confidential reseller information and using it to develop customer lists for its own in-house sales force"

This could be view in different ways which has nothing to do with the "trade secrets" that that rumor sites leaked. What that statement could mean is that Apple is taking the list of customers who buy Apple products from resellers and combining with their records to see which products are selling in which areas. It's called demographics and every large scale company uses it regardless if they're selling direct or through resellers. Irony? Don't think so.

Lastly, they talked about Apple selling the products lower than the resellers. There's a possible explanation for this. There was an article talking (I believe from AppleInsider no less) about internal company security at the Apple stores. One of the issues that was brought up was that some of the employees were changing the prices on big money items for their friends which is a clear violation of company policy.

If the resellers are using this as evidence, then they'll lose this point because they have to prove that Apple willing enforced this price drop. But since this is a problem the company is trying to FIX, the resellers won't win.
 

virus1

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2004
1,191
0
LOST
mkubal said:
Sweet, so we'll all get a check for about 7¢ and the lawyer will get a check for $50 million. Justice at its finest.

Not sure about the reseller's suit though. I'd want to see some specific examples of things they did that were underhanded. Unless these people have contracts with Apple that say differently, Apple can favor their stores if they darn well please.
except we already paid for it w/ our macs and ipods and stuff.

I understand why the resellers are mad, but i don't think it should be considered illegal. Apple is just simply taking advantage of both making and selling thier products.
 

ALoLA

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2003
186
0
Greater Los Angeles Area
Who are these resellers? I've purchases reconditioned/refurb'd hardware before. It was clearly identified as such, and even packaged differently. This sounds to me like an attempt to get back some of profits lost to Apple's new retail strategy.
 

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Apr 12, 2001
47,518
9,355
AppleInsider & Forbes.com have details of a class-action lawsuit being filed against Apple Computer, Inc. for unlawful practices and misappropriation of trade secrets.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in California Superior Court in San Francisco on behalf of consumers and resellers of Apple products. It seeks to include in the consumer class any person in the U.S. who purchased Apple products or repair services since Jan. 1, 1995, except for someone affiliated with Apple or the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs allege that Apple failed to fully honor service contracts and warranties, didn't get repair and service businesses properly licensed, stole trade secrets from its own resellers, and sold used computer equipment as new.

They are charging Apple with Unlawful Business Practices, Misappropriation of Trade Secrets, Breach of Contract, and violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the Song Beverly [Consumer Warranty] Act.
 

ZipZilla

macrumors regular
Dec 7, 2003
159
30
nagromme said:
Some of the other points sound even more clear cut:

"they accuse Apple of repackaging and selling refurbished machines to resellers and consumers as 'new products' without notification to the reseller or end customer."

If it's a lie, the courts should throw it out. If not, let it proceed.
Surely Apple is not that stupid. There have been any number of lawsuits over this, and companies have been penalized through the nose.

I know from talking to a reseller that Apple is very tight with product and very tight with parts with a lot of the mom and pops. I think the bias at Apple is that a lot of these places are leeches, and have been over the years. They just live off of Apple, and don't grow marketshare or represent the product well.

I actually see this being settled, like most Class actions are.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
37,679
3,791
Los Angeles
It seems that legal maneuvering is all the rage these days. Maybe we need a new cable channel: Apple-Related Court TV.
 

Maxx Power

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2003
861
332
About time.... see www.tellonapple.org

They've been at this for a while now, the resellers in my area are all closing down because of Apple's shoddy business practice. Would be nice to see some viable alternatives to the Apple store still surviving.
 

jrober

macrumors regular
Jan 22, 2003
212
0
Heathfield, UK
hmmm

Not so good. I work for an global American owned company and if we lost a big part of our external perception it would cripple us. Apple need to take care and ensure they act ethically in all they do to ensure all their fans who delight in being part of the community do not begin to see them as a corporate monolith.

Not sure if they are guilty or not, but the recent reseller closure announcements could be related.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
37,679
3,791
Los Angeles
The plaintiffs allege that Apple failed to fully honor service contracts and warranties, didn't get repair and service businesses properly licensed, stole trade secrets from its own resellers, and sold used computer equipment as new.
Which of these allegations have we heard about before? "Sold used computer equipment as new" is one I haven't heard about before.
 

AngusB

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2002
39
0
Washington DC
Lawsuit Date

The interesting thing here is the choice of date of filing. As of tomorrow, all class action lawsuits will have to be filed in federal court (new law signed into effect today...) so this was a last gasp effort to get this in front of a CA judge before the new rules took over. Federal judges are loathe to give big awards, especially to lawyers.

However, being that the case wasn't filed earlier, I would guess that the evidence is flimsy and that the lawyers would rather try flimsy evidence in California than wait for more hard evidence that would have to be presented in federal court...

I also wonder how many other class actions were filed today....

Angus
 

Eniregnat

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
1,841
0
In your head.
I don't know if this has real merit. As a consumer, I haven't had any problem with AppleCare, as far as resellers; the small stores are getting nailed. Sony opened Sony stores, Bose has Bose stores, Harmon Karden has
Harmon Karden stores, etc... I wrote Apple about how it favored the Big Box Stores over their resellers (i.e. Wal-Mart getting the shuffle before its repair shops), but as one friend that works at a repair shop put it, "there is no money in Apple hardware or software sales- so it's just a pisser."

I don't really see what the resellers are pissed at, unless there was a contract signed that allowed for regional sales rights.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
This is either a case of shoddy business practices or a case of sour grapes. Have any consumers been hurt by Apple? Probably not, but then again, class action lawsuits rarely re-imburse anyone but the lawyers.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
Doctor Q said:
Which of these allegations have we heard about before? "Sold used computer equipment as new" is one I haven't heard about before.
Could be the practice some companies/industries have of refurbishing some parts and slipping them back into the parts supply chain used for warranty repairs.
 

rosalindavenue

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2003
837
213
Virginia, USA
AngusB said:
The interesting thing here is the choice of date of filing. As of tomorrow, all class action lawsuits will have to be filed in federal court (new law signed into effect today...) so this was a last gasp effort to get this in front of a CA judge before the new rules took over. [...].

I also wonder how many other class actions were filed today....

Angus
Hundreds, if not thousands. According to the Washington Post, 19 in the last week in one target county alone. (Madison County, Ill)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35084-2005Feb18_2.html
 

jamdr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
659
0
Bay Area
they accuse Apple of repackaging and selling refurbished machines to resellers and consumers as 'new products' without notification to the reseller or end customer.
This happened to me and Apple didn't even want to do anything about it. I ordered a 700MHz iBook G3 and when I opened it up, it was obvious it was refurbished. But when I called them they said it was tagged as new and they wouldn't let me return it. I got really angry because I had paid full price for a used machine and eventually I was able to return it, after weeks of frustrating phone calls. In the end, however, I had the impression that it was simply an honest mistake and that a group of used iBook was somehow mislabeled. I don't think Apple did it intentially.
 

decksnap

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
3,070
70
AngusB said:
The interesting thing here is the choice of date of filing. As of tomorrow, all class action lawsuits will have to be filed in federal court (new law signed into effect today...) so this was a last gasp effort to get this in front of a CA judge before the new rules took over. Federal judges are loathe to give big awards, especially to lawyers.

However, being that the case wasn't filed earlier, I would guess that the evidence is flimsy and that the lawyers would rather try flimsy evidence in California than wait for more hard evidence that would have to be presented in federal court...

I also wonder how many other class actions were filed today....

Angus
Extremely good point. I think that may very well be the case, and if so, it probably means they weren't quite ready to proceed and are rushing into it.
 
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