Apple sued by California Couple for $5 million due to cellular data overuse

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple faces class action lawsuit over Wi-Fi assist data usage.

The feature, named “Wi-Fi assist”, senses when there are problems with the wireless network the phone is connected to, and instead routes the device over mobile data.Apple has been rattling up quite a few authorities with its policies and devices, but this time round Apple should have smelled this one; the last episode in Apple battling in the courts is that it has been struck with a class action lawsuit by Suzanne Schmidt Phillips and William Scott Philips over the Wifi Assist feature integrated in iOS 9. Controversially, the feature is enabled by default in the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 9, and it isn’t always clear when it is active (the only explicit acknowledgement is that the Wi-Fi logo in the top-right of the phone’s screen becomes greyed out).

Defendant’s corrective statement does not disclose any basis for its conclusion that an average consumer would not see much increase in cellular usage,” read an excerpt of the complaint. As a result, users have reported accidentally running up large bills for mobile-data usage when they used their phones while believing they were on their home Wi-Fi. The funny part is that Apple has a penchant for including features in updates and products that breach on certain boundaries without users knowing about it and Apple has paid quite a lot for it, but still doesn’t budge. Now, AppleInsider reports that a California couple has launched a class-action lawsuit after they received one such overage bill, arguing that Apple should reimburse affected customers.

It says the advice “still downplays the possible data overcharges a user could incur,” and that “reasonable and average consumers use their iPhones for streaming of music, videos, and running various applications – all of which can use significant data.” Apple is not the only company that ships a feature similar to Wi-Fi Assist. Samsung, HTC and LG all have equivalent features on their own phones (Samsung’s is called Smart Network Assist); none of the Android manufacturers have faced a similar lawsuit, however.

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