iPhone owners sue Apple over excess data usage in iOS 9

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

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.

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. 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.

When the feature is turned on, users may “use more cellular data,” but that “this should only be a small percentage higher than previous usage,” according to Apple’s website. “Reasonable and average consumers use their iPhones for streaming of music, videos, and running various applications — all of which can use significant data. 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. 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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