New class action suit against Apple

Arcady

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 24, 2002
402
24
Lexington, KY
I hadn't seen this posted anywhere on here yet. If I missed it, accept my apologies:

http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=890

Briefly:

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple Computer with two classes, one for Apple resellers and the other for consumers, AppleInsider has learned.

In the 26-page complaint, filed in the San Francisco County Superior Court in California on Thursday, a group of consumers and Apple resellers allege that Apple has engaged in acts of unfair and unlawful business practices, breach of contract, and misappropriation of trade secrets. These actions have also resulted in violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Song Beverly Act, the suit claims.
 

Chrispy

macrumors 68020
Dec 27, 2004
2,126
1
Indiana
I have been through hell and back with apple sending me defective product after defective product. To make things worse, on almost every singe occasion they have fought me about taking the product back for an exchange. I am now fighting with them to get my money put back on my credit card for a product that I have proof they received at their warehouse returned from me about a month ago. Apple customer service has never been anything but dishonest, at times plain rude, and horrible to deal with. If it was not for OS X I would never own an apple product again. This suit does not surprise me one bit at all. I think apple needs this as a slap in the face to get their act together and start treating their resellers and customers with the respect they deserve. Apple has so much future potential and it would be a shame to see that lost over terrible customer service.
 

slipper

macrumors 68000
Nov 19, 2003
1,542
32
Although this topic is probably a huge conflict of interest on these forums i must say there are a couple accusations i can relate to, though most seem untrue.
 

iJon

macrumors 604
Feb 7, 2002
6,563
146
slipper said:
Although this topic is probably a huge conflict of interest on these forums i must say there are a couple accusations i can relate to, though most seem untrue.
you think these guys just sit around and make this stuff up. If you haven't already go onto the other thread about the apple stores opening, it's actually been an interesting topic on the forums this past week.

jon
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,894
31
Northern Virginia
One really needs to read the article first

Looking at the consumer side of the lawsuit:

First, it seems rather broad. I would find it odd if the five plaintiffs have suffered all of what they are accusing Apple of. I know of no company that is obligated to extend their warranty for the period that the product is out of service. They may extend it if they wish as a good will gesture, if the repairs took far longer than they anticipated.

I personally hope that the consumer lawsuit is tossed out on its ass.

For the reseller lawsuit, there are many portions that have merit. I know that working for a government Apple reseller years ago we were forced to provide "contact" info of those that we sold to. Surprisingly many of these were then later "worked" by Apple directly.

The resellers also have a point to a degree about Apple an their price matching. Given that Apple will match up to a 10% difference, and on some hardware the margins are only 8%, Apple has an advantage that resellers don't. I may be wrong, but the Apple Stores are not a separate unit with their own profit/loss statements, so they have an unfair advantage over their resellers.

Compared to other companies that I have dealt with, Apple is very lax in how they allow people to use discounts (EDU, government, and the such - just look at the threads here that basically tell people to lie about their EDU status). For many of the manufactures in my industry (photography), they require not just the student ID, but proof of full time status and/or qualifying need.

About repairs. This is a problem for many industries that has others that can provide warranty services for their customers. In some cases the type of repairs are restricted. In others it is a flat rate paid that may or may not cover the costs of providing the service. A tech has to spend the time diagnosing the problem, only to find out that the "repair" is not "covered" by the warranty service agreement between the reseller and Apple.

As a side note. The other comment in the link about the recent bill that passed Congress about class action lawsuits. It tossed the baby out with the bath water IMO. CALs do have a place in order to make companies responsible for their actions. The problem is in looking at the original five plaintiffs and their lawyers, if they succeed they they will be the only winners. The rest of us get a $10 coupon for future purchase. Congress IMo missed the mark in not limiting what lawyers could get in fees and such, so that all consumers affected by CALs could benefit.
 

Earendil

macrumors 68000
Oct 27, 2003
1,549
0
Washington
iJon said:
you think these guys just sit around and make this stuff up. If you haven't already go onto the other thread about the apple stores opening, it's actually been an interesting topic on the forums this past week.

jon
While it is tragic, I would have to dismiss it as bad luck, or dealing with the wrong person on the wrong day. The law of chance says that SOMEONE will get screwed repeatedly. Apple has, and still has afaik, one of the best costumer support and relations departments in tech business today.

~Tyler
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,894
31
Northern Virginia
Chrispy said:
I have been through hell and back with apple sending me defective product after defective product. To make things worse, on almost every singe occasion they have fought me about taking the product back for an exchange. I am now fighting with them to get my money put back on my credit card for a product that I have proof they received at their warehouse returned from me about a month ago. Apple customer service has never been anything but dishonest, at times plain rude, and horrible to deal with. If it was not for OS X I would never own an apple product again. This suit does not surprise me one bit at all. I think apple needs this as a slap in the face to get their act together and start treating their resellers and customers with the respect they deserve. Apple has so much future potential and it would be a shame to see that lost over terrible customer service.
As they say, YMMV. My repair on my PB and SDD was done in less than a week. Though they did blame on the environment that my PB was used in (there are many heavy smokers around me, and I too am a smoker - for now). They covered the repair, but said that future repairs might not be covered.

Keep in mind that in your situation, unless Apple provided an RMA # authorizing the return of a product; your sending them a product for credit is not generally covered. Whether this is right or wrong is a topic for another thread.

What we and resellers deserve is generally spelled out in the contracts or warranty statements that we agree to. For consumers there is nothing that I remembering seeing about the extensions of the warranty due to repair times. What clouds the issue is that while we have certain rights under federal law, that is clouded by rights granted under each state and how they want to protect the consumer.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,894
31
Northern Virginia
Earendil said:
While it is tragic, I would have to dismiss it as bad luck, or dealing with the wrong person on the wrong day. The law of chance says that SOMEONE will get screwed repeatedly. Apple has, and still has afaik, one of the best costumer support and relations departments in tech business today.

~Tyler
I think that iJon may not have posted clearly his thoughts on this based on an email I got from him. He and I have dealt with Apple from a reseller stance. And i think I have a few years on iJon in dealing with manufactures in general.

I will speak for myself and my experiences. Some here think that Apple and others make 20%+ on everything that is sold at retail. Far from it. And this goes for many of the "commodity goods" as well.

From a consumer standpoint, in my experience Apple is one of the best. As a reseller, they have to be the worst. What Apple and other companies have not realized is that they have to keep both channels happy in order to have total success. Otherwise Apple should take a page from Dell and do everything themsleves. For what I and others see, this is what they truly want.
 

Chrispy

macrumors 68020
Dec 27, 2004
2,126
1
Indiana
Chip NoVaMac said:
As a side note. The other comment in the link about the recent bill that passed Congress about class action lawsuits. It tossed the baby out with the bath water IMO. CALs do have a place in order to make companies responsible for their actions. The problem is in looking at the original five plaintiffs and their lawyers, if they succeed they they will be the only winners. The rest of us get a $10 coupon for future purchase. Congress IMo missed the mark in not limiting what lawyers could get in fees and such, so that all consumers affected by CALs could benefit.
I completely agree with Chip on this issue. Lawyers go fishing for issues that they see as CALs just so they can reap all the benefits. Also, I agree that the claims of the plaintiffs are extremely broad and will probably never stand up in court. From what I read, however, there seems to be some very unfair business practices going on with apple and their relationship with thier resellers. What I would really like to see is the lawyers get nothing and for Apple go correct the problems that many consumers and resellers are obviously facing. I only hope that if I need a repair in the future, I have the luck Chip NoVaMac has had. At least the good experiences of many members here can fill me with hope that things will only get better from here in terms of customer service. I commend Chip for a well written and fresh look at a tricky topic. Thanks!
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,894
31
Northern Virginia
Chrispy said:
I completely agree with Chip on this issue. Lawyers go fishing for issues that they see as CALs just so they can reap all the benefits. Also, I agree that the claims of the plaintiffs are extremely broad and will probably never stand up in court. From what I read, however, there seems to be some very unfair business practices going on with apple and their relationship with thier resellers. What I would really like to see is the lawyers get nothing and for Apple go correct the problems that many consumers and resellers are obviously facing. I only hope that if I need a repair in the future, I have the luck Chip NoVaMac has had. At least the good experiences of many members here can fill me with hope that things will only get better from here in terms of customer service. I commend Chip for a well written and fresh look at a tricky topic. Thanks!
From what I have heard your experience is not the norm. Keep in mind you will see many more on the net post the bad, rather than the good. I wish that Apple would have treated you better in your experience.

What some are missing is that the dynamics of customer service are changing in the day of the internet. I think that the old saying that one bad experience equals twenty bad referrals is out of date. Only because a few bad "apples" have decide to use it to their advantage. And many companies see it as lose-lose situation to try and have some address internet concerns about customer service.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
The class action lawsuit bill finally passed, should be signed into law by the President today, or very soon.

So they had to step it up an get it filed on Thursday or risk having to fight it out in Federal court.

Though Apple may very well try to get this class action's venue changed to Federal Court anyway.
 

Santaduck

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2003
627
0
Honolulu
It sounds a bit too broad-based and idiosyncratic (rather than consistent) to merit the chances that the G3/OS X suit did.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
I guess it'll be signed this morning...
Victory For Bush On Suits
New Law to Limit Class-Action Cases

By John F. Harris
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 18, 2005; Page A01

President Bush will sign legislation this morning to rewrite the rules for class-action lawsuits, a measure he has coveted for years and whose swift passage in the new Congress illustrates the expanded influence of Republicans and their business supporters.

The Class Action Fairness Act is designed to funnel most such lawsuits from state courts to the federal system -- a procedural change that could have substantive implications, because federal courts traditionally have been less sympathetic to class-action cases waged by plaintiffs claiming they have been victimized by fraud or negligence by corporations....

[deleted to end]
Which means Apple and a bunch of corporations could see a drastic drop in the number of class actions filed.
 

slipper

macrumors 68000
Nov 19, 2003
1,542
32
iJon said:
you think these guys just sit around and make this stuff up. If you haven't already go onto the other thread about the apple stores opening, it's actually been an interesting topic on the forums this past week.

jon
you seem a little disconcerted about the whole subject and im sorry if i upset you. but on the other hand no where did i imply that they made it up.
 

iJon

macrumors 604
Feb 7, 2002
6,563
146
slipper said:
you seem a little disconcerted about the whole subject and im sorry if i upset you. but on the other hand no where did i imply that they made it up.
You by no means made me upset. It is just a few members like Chip and I know more about this whole situation than probably 90% of the posters on here. Many of you don't understand the situation to its fullest nor do I expect anyone. I just like following up on these threads to see people's opinions and time to time I will make a quick post when it was probably unnecessary.

jon
 

letskeepitstr8

macrumors newbie
Feb 14, 2005
23
0
Chip NoVaMac said:
For consumers there is nothing that I remembering seeing about the extensions of the warranty due to repair times. What clouds the issue is that while we have certain rights under federal law, that is clouded by rights granted under each state and how they want to protect the consumer.
I am aware of a numbers of acquaintenances had to wait over a month for Powerbook and iBook repairs. Apple did not have the part and when they called Apple to expedite the part it was sent to the dealer defective. Enough that someone is out of his computer for that long. No car manufacturer would dare tell us that they do not have a part for a month for a car under warranty.SO YES the warranty should be extended in those situations.
 

letskeepitstr8

macrumors newbie
Feb 14, 2005
23
0
Chip NoVaMac said:
Looking at the consumer side of the lawsuit:
I personally hope that the consumer lawsuit is tossed out on its ass.
I have a friend that experienced first hand the wrong date warranty issues. It took the dealer time and major delays in the repairs to make it happen under warranty. Apple seems to have the manufacturer date in the system vs. the purchase date. In another situation Apple sold an Applecare with an iBook to a co-worker Apple but did not record the Applecare. When time came to service delays occured because of it. Eventually after numerous phone calls it was straightened up. I also heard the same from others that purchased Applecare direct from Apple. Yes we all love Apple products so much that we seem willing to overlook a lot. But lately I have seen Apple treating the customer the same as we have been told they are treating their dealers. Apple internal culture is that you are guilty until proven innocent. It all goes back to signals given by an egomaniac. He is losing site of the importance of the customer and think that product alone can make up for all the crap he throw around.
 
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