Apple faces lawsuit over data bills tied to Wi-Fi Assist

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Sued Over iOS 9 Wi-Fi Assist.

A Florida couple has filed a suit against Apple for $5 million with the claim that Wi-Fi Assist is a misleading feature that contributes to higher data charges, Re/code reported.Some people have complained about seeing a significant uptick in cellular data usage since downloading Apple’s , and now the iPhone maker is facing a legal battle over the issue.

A class action suit filed Friday in federal court in San Jose, Calif. claims that Apple AAPL -2.99% failed to properly warn iOS 9 users that a new feature, called Wi-Fi Assist, automatically switches to using cellular data when a device is connected to a weak Wi-Fi signal. 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. Florida-based William Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt Phillips filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple over Wi-Fi Assist, according to AppleInsider.

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. The lawsuit, which was first reported by AppleInsider, claims that the overuse charges stemming from Wi-Fi Assist exceed $5 million, and it asks that the court award damages to the plaintiffs and other potential class action members. The lawsuit accuses Apple of misleading its customers and of violating California’s Unfair Competition Law as well as the state’s False Advertising Law. “[Apple] intentionally chose to have the default setting of the Wi-Fi Assist as activated while at the same time chose to omit the likelihood of data overcharges to consumers that do not have an unlimited data plan,” the lawsuit says. 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.

The lawsuit also notes that Apple finally posted instructions on its website showing users how to turn off the Wi-Fi Assist’s default setting only after a “flood of articles, comments and complaints” appeared online as users noted the feature’s use of cellular data. But the numerous complaints available online do not support this position,” according to the filing, which points to several tweets from people who were irked by increased data usage.

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