Apple lawsuit update
Back in November, I wrote a blog post about the SIM deactivation issue on Verizon iPads. In a nutshell, Apple’s web advertising is deceptive. Apple claims that the cellular data plan can be managed from the iPad at any time, when this is clearly not the case. What Apple doesn’t tell its customers is that Verizon will deactivate your SIM card if your data plan has been inactive for five months. After both Apple and Verizon blew me off, I filed a suit against Apple in New York City’s small claims court.
On the night of the case, I arrived at the courthouse with a mountain of evidence, including:
- Apple’s iPad web advertising (current and from early 2012)
- Verizon’s iPad web advertising and support page
- Approximately 90 pages of forum posts discussing the issue
- Apple and Verizon’s Terms of Service
Apple did not show up to the court proceedings, so I presented my case to an arbitrator. I received the judgment notification in the mail two days later. I was granted a very fair monetary award. Justice was served.
If anyone at Apple is reading this, allow me to offer a suggestion: The right thing to do is tell your customers about Verizon’s SIM card policy. Even if it’s a footnote on a web page, this is better than deceptive advertising. I can only speculate why this material fact is left off your web site. Maybe you don’t want to rock the boat with Verizon. Maybe you’re not allowed to disclose the SIM policy as part of your deal with Verizon. Whatever the case, by leaving out a material fact you are screwing over your customers and treating them like fools. Very un-Apple-like.
I will now have to collect the judgment from Apple. Hopefully there will be no drama, but I’ll update the blog as needed. The judgment is valid for 20 years. I sent an email to Britani at Apple, asking to speak with someone in Apple’s legal department.
Update 2/22/2013: Britani did not reply to my email, so I called Apple’s corporate phone number. I spoke with Brian in customer relations. After being placed on hold, he said he reached out to several groups to get me a contact in Apple’s legal department. It sounded like he read from a script, telling me to have my lawyer contact Apple’s legal department. I told him I didn’t have a lawyer, and he still wouldn’t give me the phone number. I managed to find Apple’s “small claims line” on its web site and left a voicemail.
Update 2/25/2013: I received a phone call from Tim in Apple’s legal department today. We had a pleasant conversation. He said that Apple would be paying me once he received the needed documentation. He asked if I’d like to return my iPad to Apple. I reminded him that I was under no legal obligation to do so, so I won’t be returning it. The judgment was strictly monetary. I emailed Tim scans of the requested documentation this evening.
Update 2/26/2013: Britani called me to see if I was able to reach the legal department. I gave her the update. Later in the evening I received an email from Tim. He wrote that I can expect the check in a couple of weeks.
Update 3/14/2013: I received the check in the mail.