Class Action Suit for iPhone 4/4S Owners Experiencing Sound Problems

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Chellspecker, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. Chellspecker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    #1
    I have an iPhone 4S which is 18 months old, outside of warranty, and one day, during a phone call the person on the other end couldn't hear me at all. I could hear them perfectly. The problem is persistent but unpredictable. I tried testing it with Voice Memos, made a couple recordings. On both tests the levels were very low and there was a regular clicking sound and a lot of static. I had saved on my iTunes some other recordings I made with my previous iPhone 3G which never had any sound problems. The difference between the two is shocking. Bottom line: the microphone is not working on my current phone as it should.

    I went to my local Apple store (Vancouver, BC, Pacific Centre) and they said they couldn't fix it. I was on the phone last week with Apple Tech Support for an hour. I did a full system re-install as a "new phone" and the problem persisted. I am halfway through a three-year contract (Fido Canada) under which I can't upgrade my phone. Today I called Apple again and they said the only thing they could do is "repair or replace" for $199. I have been searching various forums, eg. on Apple's website, MacRumours.com and looking at videos people have posted with DIY methods to fix this issue. I believe it is a common issue with both the 4 and 4S models, more common than Apple would like to admit.

    I'm looking for people who have had the same or similar issues with sound on their phone. There seems to be a wide range of problems with sound on this phone, with the speakers, and with the microphone. If anyone has more detailed technical experience with this issue I would be very curious to hear what they have to say. From the type of problems people are having I think the cause might be a poor physical connection between two components in the phone, but I am not an electronics engineer.

    I am interested in filing a class action suit against Apple addressing the poor quality standards of the microphone design on the iPhone 4/4S and holding them accountable for the poor design of this phone, and offering replacement phones to those who have had the misfortune to be affected by this issue. Any interested parties please reply, comment or private message me, as applicable. I am posting this in as many places as I can to see if there is a strong basis for a class action suit.
     
  2. musika macrumors 65816

    musika

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #2
    Isn't there an easier way to solve this without suing the company? You've had your phone for 18 months and things break. I know it sucks.

    That doesn't mean you have to immediately look for a big wad of cash. Unless there is something I'm missing?
     
  3. dannyjames8, Sep 14, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  4. rocknblogger macrumors 68020

    rocknblogger

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    Unless there truly is a widespread problem a class action is not a good idea.
    I do agree however that a phone, any phone, should at least be functional for making and receiving calls for the duration of a contract.

    Buttons and things that can break because of wear and tear are a different story but I expect a phone to function as a phone for a good long time.
     
  5. Chellspecker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    #5
    Such as? I'm not sure a class action suit is the right way to deal with this either, but I'm at my wit's end with Apple holding their customers responsible for problems with products which they design, market, and sell for huge profit as if we should be grateful to even be allowed to purchase their wondrous creations. A class action suit was filed against them and won by plaintiffs who found the batteries on their expensive first-generation iPods couldn't be replaced when they no longer held a charge. Apple continues to use ruthless built-in obsolescence to insure customers purchase the latest gadget with the new connector which has no backward compatibility. Their new MacBook Pro's battery is glued in place (a big ******* you to recycling facilities) and features a new type of screw which you can't use without a special screwdriver. Just two examples of their exploitative tactics. What exactly am I supposed to do with a phone just over one year old which doesn't perform the basic function of a phone i.e. to place and receive calls? Yes I'm angry and frustrated.

    ----------

    There is. I'm not looking for a huge wad of cash. I would like Apple to admit fault on their behalf and replace customers' iPhone 4 and 4S models experiencing sound problems free of charge. I think I'm not the only one. There might be thousands of phones affected and every customer cursed with one is only being told to fork out more cash to the company that created a defective product in the first place. It doesn't seem right.
     
  6. Skika macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #6
    What evidence do you have that this is a wide spread problem other than you feel like it is?
     
  7. Chellspecker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    #7
    Reading accounts of problems people have had on forums like this one and the Apple website forums, the number of videos for fixes of audio problems on YouTube, and the assumption that if it happened to me due to no fault of my own, it probably has happened to other people. Less likely is that among all iPhone 4 and 4S users, I am the only one experiencing sound issues. It's also why I started this thread. To see if there are any other people. If no one responds with experience of a similar issue, I'll leave it at that. I just think it's unacceptable that an $800 phone stops working a year and a half after purchase. So now we should all just throw our phones out every two years and get a new one?
     
  8. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #8
    Lol.

    From the "only in america" department.


    Your phone broke
    out of warranty
    Bad luck.

    if you think it is unacceptable for the phone to break 12 months after ownership and not be fixed, maybe you should have taken out applecare.
     
  9. Mrbobb, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013

    Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #9
    Doesn't class action works by getting like tons of signatures from users who claim to have had the same problem? OK, hope the attorney in question works pro-bono, otherwise it's straight out of your pocket.

    Occasionally I get mails from a class action whatever and says I qualify to be a plaintiff and if I mail in the application, am good for $10 bux (after spreading the winning minus attorney fees$$$). I usually don't bother.
     
  10. Chellspecker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    #10
    Actually, I'm in Canada, which you would have realized if you'd bothered to read my post. And why are you being so rude? Or was your douchey summary of my situation meant to be comforting in some way? I know my phone broke. I know it's out of warranty. I know it's bad luck. Pointing it out is not particularly helpful. I am looking for a solution to a frustrating situation, so if you have nothing but scorn to add to the discussion, maybe you should keep your thoughts to yourself.
     
  11. Phone Junky macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2011
    Location:
    Sunshine State
    #11
    Which is in North AMERICA if I'm not mistaken.
     
  12. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #12
    I'm not being rude, i'm simply cutting to the chase and stating the relevant facts (which some people may consider rude, but that's their malfunction).

    Your warranty, which covers things like this, has expired.

    You have no recourse to sue anybody, you didn't buy the coverage you seem to be expecting.
     
  13. sdsvtdriver macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #13
    Use a headset and next time purchase Applecare. Mobile devices are just that, mobile... and susceptible to damage.
     
  14. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #14
    I'm on my second iPhone 5 in a year and I was told by the Genius bar that I should think about Apple Care to cover the phone for faults in my second year. I asked the guy 'why, do you not expect it to be reliable then?'. He looed a little awkward. When I spend £650 for a device, I expect it to at least last the length of my contract! If it doesn't, then as far as I am concerned it was not fit for purpose to begin with. If the phone encounters a significant hardware fault in the second year, I will be visiting the Apple Store fully briefed with my consumer rights. A friend of mine got a free replacement after 15 months when his home button failed, as he knew his rights. Not sure what it is like in North America, but in Europe there are reasonable amounts of time that products should last and we have European guidelines. Most shops push 12 month warranties expecting consumers not to question it, but most electrical items are covered in the EU for 2 years by law.
     
  15. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #15
    You have a right to expect the device to last for the length of the warranty you purchased - your contract is an entirely seperate deal between yourself and your phone company, who is essentially financing your purchase of the iphone hardware for you.

    No different to buying a car with 3 yr warranty using a 5 year loan.
     
  16. RoyalElephant macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    #16
    LOL I'm on my third iPhone 5 this year and due to a system fault on their side I've been unable to extend my AppleCare but they have agreed to make an exception and let me purchase it when they resolve the issue despite my warranty expiring TODAY.

    You are correct to assume we do have a 2 year warranty in the EU but it's a very basic warranty and Apple are horrible to deal with when you're out of warranty.

    They were very rude to me in the Apple Store when they thought my iPhone was out of warranty.

    ---------------------------------

    As for OP I would say take them to court only if you can can confirm that the audio problems are the same issue with every device and that it is in fact wide spread and only ask for everyone who has had the issue to have their device replaced or a refund.

    That's what's fair.
     
  17. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #17
    I do understand the warranty and contract are two separate things. I wasn't suggesting they were not. Its just a 24 month contract (2 years) is a reasonable amount of time to expect a £650 gadget to last. White goods in the UK are expected to last 5 years, the same with televisions. An iPhone shouldn't be failing after 7 months and if it fails again in the second year, I would expect the company to at least take some of the responsibility.

    Since I wrote my last post a work colleague has had the speaker fail on his iPhone 5. He's on his third device now since September 2012 and his latest device was replaced in August of this year. Apple told him it was out of warranty even though his device was only in its third month of use because of the warranty of his original iPhone! He ended up buying a speaker kit online and changing the part himself. A very risky thing to do and not something I would have attempted. Personally I would have made a massive fuss and asked for the store manager had I been in that situation. It was very poor on Apple's part and they could have at least offered to have it repaired as a gesture of good will IMO.

    I treat my phones very carefully and I'm proud to say I don't have a single scruff or scratch on my iPhone. Its always in a case and is never dropped or kept in pockets with other items. I would expect the phone to last 2 years without suffering a hardware failure. Most of my other phones in the past apart from the HTC's I've owned have lasted the entire contract. People buy from Apple because they expect quality and that is what should be delivered.

    I don't want to tempt fate, just sharing my opinions on what I would do should the worst happen :)
     
  18. honglong1976 macrumors 6502a

    honglong1976

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    So, do you think Apple should provide 12 months warranty with any replacement they offer?

    I have worked in a repair center before dealing with repairing warranty products and there are faults that should be covered out of warranty (a faulty chip for example) but everything else is hard to prove/disapprove that it is an inherent fault with the product or something cause from use or misuse.

    The original poster had an iPhone that worked for over 1 year. How could you argue this is an inherent fault? It's very hard to. You accept the terms of the warranty when you you purchased it and had a choice to purchase extended warranty (Apple Care) but chose not to. You don't really have a case.

    I know from repairing products consumers lie to get the product replaced out of warranty. My favorite was "Lines started to appear on the LCD screen as I was watching Youtube" they sent a whole letter with the product. But as we know, LCD's do not crack on there own. So, I understand how frustrating it can be from Apple's point of view with those who are genuine and those who just BS to get something fixed. Who knows what you have done with the product for 1 year +. It could of been dropped or hit, not enough to break the glass but enough to cause damage inside.

    Good luck anyway! whatever happens!
     
  19. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #19
    You crazy?

    How about replacing the dock connector/speaker/microphone assembly for the grand total of $6.19 with free shipping (or $18.99 for the 4S) and cleaning the gunk that muffles the sound off the mesh on the microphone first?
     
  20. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #20
    The rules in the EU are also very different. There are reasonable amounts of time to expect a product to last and if you are forceful and know your rights, usually a retailer is obliged to adhere to these rules. You are never offered a 5 year warranty with your TV, but under the sale of goods act you are legally covered during a reasonable length of time as long as you have proof of purchase. I've had a Samsung television repaired 4 years after I've purchased it and I'm pretty sure a mobile phone to the value of the iPhone should have a reasonable amount of time expected for it to last. As I said, I know somebody who challenged it and won. I also know somebody who didn't and walked away disappointed. Its the same with Apple computers. You spend £2000 on a MacBook Pro and they give you a 12 month warranty, you are actually covered for 3 years in reality.

    Apple and every other company have warranty guidelines, but they don't expect it to be challenged and even the mighty Apple have to obey European legislation. I haven't had to challenge it and hopefully I won't, but I won't be walking away should the hardware fail on my iPhone if I know its through no fault of my own. :)
     
  21. irnchriz macrumors 65816

    irnchriz

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #21
    Unlucky! Either pay Apple or a third party for a repair.
     
  22. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #22
    Its also worth reminding Apple when you speak to them, the 1-year limited warranty they offer is on top of, and in addition to, your statutory rights. You'll hit a few brick walls where they'll attempt to pass you on to your carrier or retailer, but under EU law you can pursue the manufacturer to solve defective devices even if it is a simply repair. They are not legally allowed to mislead a consumer concerning their rights and this is the point where they have to be very careful what they advise.

    Apple provide this on their own website and is something they have been made to supply recently. Its worth a read before you visit their genius bar:

    http://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/
     
  23. dungeonette macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    #23
    4S Class Action

    I'm interested in class action. There are 3 of us in the same household, 50+ and take great care of our phones. The 4S's range from 6 months to 18 months old and all are having this problem and Apple is not helpful at all without going through many loops and paying the deductible on the replacement.
     
  24. Leolo007 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    #24
    Count me in for the class action.

    I too have an iPhone 4S that I've had for around 18 months. Out of warranty but still under contract.

    I went to apple store, they said it's not repairable, all they can do is replace the phone for $200.

    I've been faithful to Apple for years, I've owned an iPhone since 2008. I think its time for a change.

    I'm in PA
     

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