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Two lawsuits take aim at Apple, AT&T over iPhone MMS

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
Two new class-action lawsuits were filed this week over the lack of multimedia messaging capabilities on the iPhone, and the apparent inability of Apple and AT&T to provide the service to U.S. customers.

One complaint was filed in a U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Illinois on behalf of Tim Meeker and other unnamed complainants, while the other, in the Eastern District of Louisiana, is on behalf of Christopher Carbine, Ryan Casey, Lisa Mauer, and others unnamed. Both lawsuits include identical language to describe the lack of MMS on the iPhone.

"Apple advertised heavily that the new version of iPhone, the 3G, as well as the even newer version, the 3GS, would allow MMS," the suits read. "Apple's print and video advertisements in and on television, the Internet, radio, newspapers, and direct mailers all touted the availability of MMS."

The attorneys in the New Orleans complaint are the Penton Law Firm, while representing the Illinois case is Rosenblum, Schwartz, Rogers, Glass, P.C. Both suits allege that the impact of the "controversy" is in excess of $5 million.

The complainants allege that they were mislead about MMS when they purchased their iPhones. The suits claim that both AT&T and Apple store representatives "misrepresented and/or concealed, suppressed, or omitted material facts as to the iPhone having MMS functionality."

All of the individuals claim that they downloaded the 3.0 software upgrade for the iPhone expecting MMS functionality to be included with the update. When Apple unveiled iPhone OS 3.0 at this June's WWDC conference, it noted that MMS capability was coming to AT&T later in the summer.

The Louisiana suit alleges that at least 10,000 individuals are to be included in their class-action suit, while the Illinois complaint states ten times that, suggesting the class will be composed of at least 100,000 people.

"Each plaintiff will be claiming damages for the 3G or 3GS iPhone he or she purchased," the suit states. "A 3G iPhone was selling for anywhere between $100 and $500."

The suit aims to find out if AT&T and Apple willingly concealed information from its customers so they did not know MMS capabilities weren't coming with iPhone OS 3.0. The suit alleges that the companies practiced in "deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation and unfair practices."

Though this summer's iPhone software update brought MMS capability to the iPhone, it is not yet offered to U.S. customers. Since stating that the feature would become available late this summer, neither company has provided any further information.
post #2 of 97
Wow, now you can sue for not delivering features fast enough. What a crazy world we live in.
post #3 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by kscottmyers View Post

Wow, now you can sue for not delivering features fast enough. What a crazy world we live in.

Well, you are paying for each month. You're not getting a discount even though they're not providing one of the advertised features.
post #4 of 97
This country needs serious tort reform starting with "looser pays". That would stop frivolous crap like this dead in it's tracks.

It would also solve the majority of our problems with our health care system without having to flush billions in yet another government bureaucracy....
post #5 of 97
I can send evidence of the first MMS I sent on the day that Apple delivered the OS 3.0 update, just as Apple said it would.

Does it matter that I'm in Australia?

For this one the ball is squarely in AT&T's court.
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post #6 of 97
Clearly people cannot read. "Coming Soon" must have some other legal definition that I'm not aware of.

If these cases are not immediately thrown out, I'll have literally no remaining faith in the legal system of the U.S.
post #7 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by livings124 View Post

Well, you are paying for each month. You're not getting a discount even though they're not providing one of the advertised features.

You are not paying for an advertised feature. AT&T isn't charging you for MMS. Apple and AT&T has made it clear that MMS is currently not available on the iPhone in the US.

I wasn't really aware you could sue to get a feature added on.

I guess everyone here who wants a matte display should sue Apple to get a 13" MBP, or 24" iMac with a matte display then......

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post #8 of 97
Marketing a feature and then not delivering is false advertisement.

But how long did it take for Push to get implemented? 1 year?

So Summer ends in late September. Let's see if MMS rolls out. If not, oh well, I'll still use their stupid "viewmymessage.com/1" page until they roll it out.
post #9 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by vandil View Post

Marketing a feature and then not delivering is false advertisement.

But how long did it take for Push to get implemented? 1 year?

So Summer ends in late September. Let's see if MMS rolls out. If not, oh well, I'll still use their stupid "viewmymessage.com/1" page until they roll it out.

When has Apple or AT&T marketed MMS other than saying its available in iPhone 3.0 OS, but NOT in the US?

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post #10 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by livings124 View Post

Well, you are paying for each month. You're not getting a discount even though they're not providing one of the advertised features.

Except the feature, in the US anyway, is advertised as coming later, not available now.

These are frivolous lawsuits plain and simple. The only reason they exist is because there is no risk to those that lodge them. They are gambling that the company will settle rather then take the case through trial and to resolution.

The practice is disgusting, and what's even more disgusting is that most of our politicians are lawyers. They and their buddies benefit from this loophole and refuse to do anything about it. In the end we all pay for it in higher prices and goods and services - including health care.

Hopefully one of these days the general public will stop arguing about democrat/republican or liberal/conservative and start focusing on the real issues.
post #11 of 97
*takes off fanboy hat*

Well, the point is that Apple and AT&T are selling the iPhone with MMS as a feature. Said feature is inoperative. Selling an item to consumers, claiming it will perform a certain way, when in actuality it won't, is illegal in the US. Sounds like a valid lawsuit to me, but IANAL.

*puts on fanboy hat*

Why the heck is AT&T dragging their feet on this? Apple has done it's part by providing the 3.0 update, though they should never use MMS as a selling point if the network won't support it because of the above. But WTF is AT&T's problem? Just freaking enable MMS -- there's no valid technical reason not to. (What, it'll cause high network load? I thought you guys had the best 3G network EVAR?)
post #12 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

When has Apple or AT&T marketed MMS other than saying its available in iPhone 3.0 OS, but NOT in the US?

I have never seen AT&T market MMS on the iPhone.

Apple started telling people it wasn't available in the US starting with it's announcement and every since with that little * that people tend to ignore (but that's their problem, not Apple's).
post #13 of 97
This is AT&T's problem.
post #14 of 97
I don't recall every seeing an US advertisement stating that MMS was an option on an iPhone. Also, if people downloaded the 3.0 update and expected MMS, it is obvious they don't read easily available public information.
post #15 of 97
Quote:
The suits claim that both AT&T and Apple store representatives "misrepresented and/or concealed, suppressed, or omitted material facts as to the iPhone having MMS functionality.

This person obviously wasn't aware of the scolding of AT&T by Apple at WWDC for not supporting MMS yet.
post #16 of 97
What a dumb suit. I live in Canada and even I knew that the iphone wasn't going to have MMS in the USA until later AT&T because haven't worked it out yet. I think when OS 3.0 was announced and came out it was made more than clear that MMS wouldn't be there out of the box, even I knew that.
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post #17 of 97
"But mommy, you said I could have chocolate cake! You did! You did! I want chocolate cake right now!"
post #18 of 97
It's really the issue, that the 3.0 preview in march touted MMS. And of course the let down during WWDC when AT&T was off the list. And off course it's a touted feature for the 3G S, although in lighter gray it does say "coming later this summer".

The real issue here is, why do other phones on their (At&t) network support it, and they provide it, but now that the iPhone supports it they 'choose' not to provide it.

I'm still waiting for the next revision (currently running 3G) and hoping for a new carrier to go to! At&t great customer service, but poor offerings...

(Waiting to see the death star blow up)
post #19 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldaris View Post

It's really the issue, that the 3.0 preview in march touted MMS. And of course the let down during WWDC when AT&T was off the list. And off course it's a touted feature for the 3G S, although in lighter gray it does say "coming later this summer".

The real issue here is, why do other phones on their (At&t) network support it, and they provide it, but now that the iPhone supports it they 'choose' not to provide it.

I'm still waiting for the next revision (currently running 3G) and hoping for a new carrier to go to! At&t great customer service, but poor offerings...

(Waiting to see the death star blow up)

And this seems to be an AT&T-only issue.

I mean, here in Canada, among the Eskimos and penguins and igloos (a popular perception), Rogers has a beautifully fast and relaible 3G network on which the iPhone runs, with full MMS, Visual Voicemail, FREE tethering . . . the works.

Hell, MEXICO has MMS for the iPhone.
post #20 of 97
I'm going to sue the state of Indiana. My car can go 150 mph but the state won't allow that. Damn speed limits...
post #21 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

You are not paying for an advertised feature. AT&T isn't charging you for MMS. Apple and AT&T has made it clear that MMS is currently not available on the iPhone in the US.

I wasn't really aware you could sue to get a feature added on.

I guess everyone here who wants a matte display should sue Apple to get a 13" MBP, or 24" iMac with a matte display then......

And lets be fair here. Dont charge us for stuff we are not getting.
A discount by ATT would have been in order, but noooooooooooo, they don't wanna loose a dime!!!. I don't care about ATT's infrastructure, if u are gonna charge me for a product DELIVER!!!
Dumb consumers like u are the reason these corps. are running all over us..
post #22 of 97
i hope this puts a little pressure on at&t to take their heads out of their arses. no tethering - i can understand if the network cannot handle the amount of bandwidth it requires to allow this for all iphone users.


but MMS? give me a break. i bet Apple is extremely pissed that this feature is left out. im really beginning to dislike AT&T.
post #23 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I can send evidence of the first MMS I sent on the day that Apple delivered the OS 3.0 update, just as Apple said it would.

Does it matter that I'm in Australia?

For this one the ball is squarely in AT&T's court.

Apple have delivered the feature, the capability and the international community is using it. AT&T have not implemented it yet. It is there problem, not Apple's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Clearly people cannot read. "Coming Soon" must have some other legal definition that I'm not aware of.

If these cases are not immediately thrown out, I'll have literally no remaining faith in the legal system of the U.S.

Therefore the feature is not advertised as available in the U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vandil View Post

Marketing a feature and then not delivering is false advertisement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woode View Post

*takes off fanboy hat*

Well, the point is that Apple and AT&T are selling the iPhone with MMS as a feature. Said feature is inoperative. Selling an item to consumers, claiming it will perform a certain way, when in actuality it won't, is illegal in the US. Sounds like a valid lawsuit to me, but IANAL.

Apple have delivered the feature and it operates. The fact that AT&T don't have the technical know how to flip a switch is not apples problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woode View Post

Why the heck is AT&T dragging their feet on this? Apple has done it's part by providing the 3.0 update, though they should never use MMS as a selling point if the network won't support it because of the above. But WTF is AT&T's problem? Just freaking enable MMS -- there's no valid technical reason not to. (What, it'll cause high network load? I thought you guys had the best 3G network EVAR?)

Agree 100%. Apple should not be included in the law suit, not there problem. What kind of Law Firms does the US have?
post #24 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by livings124 View Post

Well, you are paying for each month. You're not getting a discount even though they're not providing one of the advertised features.

MMS isn't included in your monthly bill anyhow, so you are not paying for "features" you do not have now.
post #25 of 97
While I understand the frustration of not having MMS and those who could care less the lawsuit would have more merit to bring litigation against ATT for over charging iPhone users for a service they did not provide. MMS is included in the messaging plans automatically. Person A pays 30.00 for said service family messaging service and receives it. Person B pays the same and does not get the MMS portion. One could say that iPhone user knew this when they signed up but that still does not negate the fact that ATT has grossly over charged iPhone customers for a service it did not provide once the function was available on the device. Prior to device function I would say there is no cause for litigation but as soon as the availability was there the function should have been.
post #26 of 97
How do they advertise MMS? I looked at the new iPhone ad and they use an iPhone without MMS!


"Skateboard Ad"

"Copy and Paste"
post #27 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by kscottmyers View Post

Wow, now you can sue for not delivering features fast enough. What a crazy world we live in.

Indeed. And Apple have delivered their side, as it works in other countries, so how it can include Apple is beyond me. Apple put in a disclaimer in the US adverts saying late summer - some people don't appear to understand that summer ends in mid September.
post #28 of 97
It almost makes me well up with tears, to think that somebody actually cares THIS much about MMS, to not only make up a scenario that doesn't exist (false advert), and then try to prosecute it....over MMS on a phone.

Do these people have any idea what's been happening in this country with Flu fear mongering? Anti Second Amendment Propaganda? HEALTHCARE!!!!!

I literally want to weep at the idea that someone could, in these times, find this important. Makes me so sick.
post #29 of 97
While AT$T absolutely SUCKS, this lawsuit is a crock.

These people are trying to sue because they purchased blue sky. To friggin bad folks. Caveat Emptor.

I love my 3GS, hate AT$T and who really cares about MMS anyway?!?
post #30 of 97
Wish I lived in America. I'm sure I could think of something to sue Apple over.

I know, the iTablet is not coming fast enough and I have to carry my MacBook everywhere or else make do with an iPhone. Why should I put up with these hardships? That should be worth $5million. Anyone want to join in with me?
post #31 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woode View Post

... Well, the point is that Apple and AT&T are selling the iPhone with MMS as a feature. Said feature is inoperative. Selling an item to consumers, claiming it will perform a certain way, when in actuality it won't, is illegal in the US. Sounds like a valid lawsuit to me, but IANAL. ...

You are misrepresenting things here, seemingly based on some kind of xenophobia.

The facts are that the iPhone *is* being sold with MMS as a feature, but MMS *is* available in every country they sell it in except one. In that country, they said it would come "later in the summer."

There is no misdirection here, no lies have been told, and no feature is "inoperative." In one country, out of all the countries that sell the iPhone, the *implementation* of the feature has been delayed, which was announced previous to them selling the feature in that country.

These people only have a case if the feature doesn't arrive in the next month or so, and even then, it's a matter of a delay in implementing a service, not an "inoperative feature."
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post #32 of 97
Well, Apple's web site does say, "Messages Send text, photos, videos, and more." without any indication associated with that text that such support may be conditional on anything. The fine print of "MMS support from AT&T coming in late summer," is on the other side of the page, easy to overlook (I almost didn't see it and I was looking for it), hard to read (gray on gray), and not really associated with the much larger text touting the feature in any way. Most consumers don't follow "announcements", just advertising, and even though this is completely AT&Ts fault, the limitation should be clearer in Apple's marketing.

The plaintiffs may not win, but the suit probably does not merit the label frivolous. I think it would be very easy for someone to look at the marketing information on the web site and not be aware of limitations.

EDIT: I would also point out that the way the iPhone is most frequently sold would make it unlikely that any confusion created in consumers by the web site marketing would be dispelled during the purchase. The scenario would essentially be: Consumer sees information on Apple web site about new iPhone, overlooking the gray on gray fine print not associated with the marketing text. Consumer goes to Apple store to purchase iPhone. Purchase is made from Apple employee using handheld POS device and no mention of this limitation is made by Apple employee. The calling plan information provided to the consumer at the store also does not make clear this limitation. (Since this is typically either the screen of the handheld device or a little card with minimal information.) Consumer completes transaction and commits to 2 year AT&T contract with the expectation of MMS support, only to be unable to send MMS and told by AT&T (and/or Apple) that they don't support that yet.
post #33 of 97
After which the lawyers should be refferred for disbarment. I mean really if they can't understand the phrase "late summer" then they have no business practicing law. It is very clear what has been advertised in this case, no reasonable person could argue otherwise.

It would be a different ball game if this was the dead of winter and 2010. It is not however, at best it is mid summer. I don't see how either company could be held liable for something they clearly said wouldn't be coming yet.

In any event it is fairly stupid to be seen getting worked up over what is essentially obsolete technology. This makes about as much sense as somebody asking for security updates for their Apple 2. In the end it just looks like another sleazy grab for money. Unfortunately our system has gotten out of hand due to the lack of enforced balance with punitive policies for cases such as these.

Class action lawsuits have their place in the world (well the USA), but there has to be checks and balances. Especially considering that the vast majority of these actions do absolutely nothing for members of the class. The best thing that could happen here is for the judge to take a quick look at the advertising and then the calendar, from which he/she can make the decision to kick the idiots out of the court room. After which maybe a fine could be applied for wasting the courts time. This issue is all about time and right now is not the time to address features advertised to come in the late summer.


Dave
post #34 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

It almost makes me well up with tears, to think that somebody actually cares THIS much about MMS, to not only make up a scenario that doesn't exist (false advert), and then try to prosecute it....over MMS on a phone.

Do these people have any idea what's been happening in this country with Flu fear mongering? Anti Second Amendment Propaganda? HEALTHCARE!!!!!

I literally want to weep at the idea that someone could, in these times, find this important. Makes me so sick.


So true....


Everyone knew I was not coming out yet......still a bummer though. \
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post #35 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

MMS isn't included in your monthly bill anyhow, so you are not paying for "features" you do not have now.

In my opinion we are paying for MMS each month. Or atleast for picture messaging. If you look online at your data plan and messaging plan one of them says the plan includes unlimited data text and pictures messaging.

I dont agree with the class action case for misleading customers. But i wouldnt be opposed to one takin action against not providing services that your service plan say you have.
post #36 of 97
The world is moving so fast that there's no point not to be using email. SMS, MMS aren't worth the price you pay. Some will say they like the push notification. I say, it won't matter next year. Some say, but I need it now. I say, How the hell did you make it through the 80's?
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post #37 of 97
Am I understanding this correctly?

SMS = text only
MMS - text + audio and or video attachment?

But, since we have Smart Phones how are those SMS + MMS better than email, which is much more widely used, and is more flexible!?!

Can SMS + MMS messages be offloaded to computer, and shared as easily as email?

iChat, on iPhone or any other device, during a meeting etc. - that might be easier than email, but a Chat via SMS + MMS, that seems less practical, to me, particularly if a "thread" can't be archived on the computer and easily shared various ways!

A friend once told me that his kids were using SMS, so that they don't eat up Cell Phone minutes! Let's say same goes for MMS. But, that's for kids, who don't care about archiving, and they are mostly on the run! Adults need more industrial strength tools, particularly when doing business, right? The exceptions could be: "Honey, please grab some milk on the way home!" which might not require archiving, unless one needs an alibi!

Can't wait for someone to explain that SMS+MMS vs.Email advantage to me!

TIA!!!!

 

Go  Apple, AAPL!!!

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post #38 of 97
MMS support from AT&T coming in late summer. MMS is not supported on first-generation iPhone.

Some features, applications, and services are not available in all areas. See your carrier for details.
Some applications are not available in all areas. Application availability and pricing are subject to change.

Apple's disclaimer pretty much covers this issue.
post #39 of 97
they did say they'd have mms by the end of summer, right? so about five more weeks? tick-tock, at&t, tick-tock.

i wouldn't mind seeing a suit against them for the 'unlimited' data plan, however. not because i can't tether my phone, but because i can't download over 3g apps that are larger than a certain size (what is it, 10MB?). what's up with that? if an app is over the limit it has to be downloaded over wifi? undoubtedly some more fine print i didn't read.
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post #40 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

MMS support from AT&T coming in late summer. MMS is not supported on first-generation iPhone.

Some features, applications, and services are not available in all areas. See your carrier for details.
Some applications are not available in all areas. Application availability and pricing are subject to change.

Apple's disclaimer pretty much covers this issue.

I don't think it does. This is what most consumers will see:

http://www.apple.com/iphone/

(Click on the "Messages" icon to view the marketing on SMS/MMS.)

Unless the consumer "digs around" they aren't going to see the disclaimer you posted. Again, it's AT&Ts fault that this isn't available yet, but Apple's marketing seem to have designed their web content to avoid drawing any attention to the limitation.
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