Apple faces class action lawsuit over Wi-Fi Assist Feature in iOS 9

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Is Being Sued Over That Data-Guzzling Feature of iOS 9.

Introduced on the iOS9, the system allows the phone to move freely between wifi and mobile data internet – the latter of which can do serious damage to your phone bill. On Friday, plaintiffs William Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt Phillips have filed a $5 million class-action lawsuit against Apple alleging that the Wi-Fi Assist feature on the iPhone resulted in data overcharges, Apple Insider reported.Shortly before Apple released iOS 9, the tech press reported that the new operating system would include an “amazing feature” to fix the “most annoying thing about using Wi-Fi on the iPhone.” That feature was Wi-Fi Assist, an option that instructed the device to “automatically use cellular data when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor.” Shortly after the update was released, though, it became clear that Wi-Fi Assist wasn’t quite as amazing as people had initially thought. The tool is supposed to help users out by having the phone automatically switch to the phone’s data connection rather than Wi-Fi if the latter is running slow.

District Court in San Jose, Calif. — the Cupertino-based company is accused of negligent misrepresentation, and breaching California’s Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law. The feature attracted some controversy when it launched, with many claiming that it caused significant increase in data usage (though it may actually be your settings). But the lawsuit claims that users are being charged for data use without knowing it, since their phones are automatically switching over to cellular data and so using up their allocation.

Apple updated its website earlier this month to clarify the feature’s functionality, noting cellular data usage might be a “small percentage higher” than it would be with Wi-Fi Assist turned off. Defendant’s corrective statement does not disclose any basis for its conclusion that an average consumer would not see much increase in cellular usage.” To turn it off, people had to dig through their settings (Mobile Data > scroll to bottom > Wi-Fi Assist), something they might not think to do until receiving that first confusingly large data bill.

Apple says that the feature doesn’t activate on third-party apps that stream video or music or download large attachments, but the suit alleges that high data charges come specifically from these sorts of apps. Per Apple Insider, Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit claiming the company failed to properly alert users to the data-guzzling potential of Wi-Fi Assist: The complaint asserts that Apple did not properly explain Wi-Fi Assist on its website until only after a “flood of articles” were written about unintended cellular data use.

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