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iPhone 4 owners who didn't take a free case can now claim $15 settlement

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Legal notices began arriving with iPhone 4 owners on Thursday, informing them that they can receive $15 if they refused to take a free case from Apple as a result of a class-action settlement.

It was first announced in February that Apple had settled a class-action lawsuit over reception concerns with the iPhone 4 antenna. The settlement offers users either a free iPhone bumper case, which the company sells for $29, or they can instead opt to receive $15 in cash.

Apple said in a statement that the settlement relates to a "small number" of users who experienced reception issues with the iPhone 4, but didn't take advantage of the free case program the company offered for a limited time in 2010.

Even though the iPhone 4 free bumper case program technically ended on Sept. 30, 2010, Apple quietly still offered free cases after that deadline to customers who contacted AppleCare support with reception issues. Those involved in the lawsuit only gain the new option of accepting $15, which is about half the value of the bumper case.

iPhone 4 owners were notified of the settlement in an e-mail sent out on Thursday. Customers are a "class member" of the suit if they are a U.S. resident who is or was the original owner of an iPhone 4 as of February 17, 2012.

"The settlement will provide a $15 cash payment if you are a United States resident who is or was the original owner of an iPhone 4, experienced antenna or reception issues, and satisfy other requirements explained below," the note reads. "The United States District Court for the Northern District of California authorized this notice. The Court will have a hearing to consider whether to approve the settlement so that the benefits may be paid."




Those who would rather receive a free case from Apple can visit an official support page on the company's website. They are eligible to request a free black iPhone 4 Bumper from an Authorized iPhone Service Provider.

Those who would rather receive the $15 cash payment must receive a detailed notice and claim form package. Customers can call 1-877-417-7234 or go to www.iPhone4settlement.com to get one.

"The lawsuit claimed that the iPhone 4’s signal quality attenuates when users handle the phone and that Apple engaged in misrepresentations regarding the phone," the note reads. "Apple denies all allegations and is entering into this settlement to avoid burdensome and costly litigation. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing."

To obtain a cash payment, customers must submit the claim form on or before August 28, 2012. Those who do not claim a cash payment within this time period lose their right to obtain this benefit.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 17
I bet it didn't cost Apple $15 per cover, if so this is a shame. Apple should just offer a iTunes $15 gift certificate which at least gives them their mark up. This is a bit of a waste of money IMHO. Just being a mean old share holder
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Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I bet it didn't cost Apple $15 per cover, if so this is a shame. Apple should just offer a iTunes $15 gift certificate which at least gives them their mark up. This is a bit of a waste of money IMHO. Just being a mean old share holder

So the only losers in this whole thing were the users who chose to participate in the class action, and Consumer Reports who received a black eye over their nasty review.

1. Apple sold millions of iPhone 4s. Antennagate was a miserable flop.

2. Apple's reputation was not damaged in the least. See current stock price.

3. The lawyers made off with a few million.

I wonder how that $15 makes it any better for those who sued. They are still left with what they consider to be a defective device. They didn't get a free iPhone 4s when it came out. They don't even get a free case if they take the $15. Wow, they sure showed Apple a thing or two.
post #4 of 17
I'm glad I didn't take a case. I bought a Ballistic case for something that offers real protection. I'd rather have $15 cash.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

So the only losers in this whole thing were the users who chose to participate in the class action, and Consumer Reports who received a black eye over their nasty review.

1. Apple sold millions of iPhone 4s. Antennagate was a miserable flop.

2. Apple's reputation was not damaged in the least. See current stock price.

3. The lawyers made off with a few million.

I wonder how that $15 makes it any better for those who sued. They are still left with what they consider to be a defective device. They didn't get a free iPhone 4s when it came out. They don't even get a free case if they take the $15. Wow, they sure showed Apple a thing or two.

Don't believe everything you read. If these people really thought the iPhone was defective, they would have returned it. It's all about seeing what else they can squeeze out of Apple.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Don't believe everything you read. If these people really thought the iPhone was defective, they would have returned it.

+1

I love this level of clarity. Keep it coming.
post #7 of 17
If it's like other settlements I've seen, the $15 won't cover the trouble and bother of filling out the paperwork.

These settlements are typically scams run for lawyers. The lawyers who sued get hundreds of dollars an hour for their time. You and I might get $5 an hour for our time. Apple pays the other side's lawyers and, in exchange, gets an agreement that makes claim filing so much trouble, it'll have to pay almost nothing to the alleged victims.

Class action lawsuit should be required to establish a class pool of those who dislike the settlement their alleged lawyers have negotiated. What the lawyers get would be the proportion in the class who like the resulting agreement. If only half like it, those lawyers only get half of what they're asking.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I bet it didn't cost Apple $15 per cover, if so this is a shame.

Actually it probably did. Remember the bumper retails for $29. And the 3rd party cases they were giving away the first time cost between $30-40.

So rather than giving a 'refund' of the cost a user might have paid for a case they are getting half that. With the understanding that Apple says there was nothing wrong with the phone but they are basically giving these out to shut folks up about it. Same as what they said before when they did it.

And they will be checking serials to make sure you didn't claim a case or return your phone. I'll bet if you got it replaced under AppleCare they will also exclude it, especially if it was for anything related to phone service. Why? because they can say they already dealt with the issue in your case (and at a much higher cost to them)
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Don't believe everything you read. If these people really thought the iPhone was defective, they would have returned it. It's all about seeing what else they can squeeze out of Apple.

Exactly. Apple offered to take the phones back even then. And every buyer has 30 days with no restock fee and no ETF. Even that original Consumer Reports said "in areas with poor cell phone coverage" but everyone drops that bit (including CR in their follow ups).

So these folks are pissed that they missed the deadline and tried to sue. So Apple says 'okay we will let them have a case now or give them back half the cash to make them suit the F up'. That they took that deal just shows how deeply wounded they felt or how thin they knew their case was.
post #10 of 17
The frightening part of the "class action" system is again demonstrated... If Apple/MS/Exxon/Whoever can easily "settle" for a few dollars per person, having made way more in profits... let's just do whatever we please, profit, and then class-action-settle.
Suppose person Z comes now and wants to sue "no sorry, this already has been settled". It's a system designed to shield big corporations from the little persons... maybe it should be designed the other way around.

Imagine a fantasy world where Barbarians are protected from the dangerous Peons. Yeah. Did not think so either.

Note: I'm not saying anything about the validity or non-validity of the claim itself, it's a general remark. As to settling, I never really understood that. Either Apple is right and it should crush the claimers for tarnishing its image, either Apple is wrong and it should feel the pain for lying to the general public. That's just my opinion

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post #11 of 17
It was reported the the settlement offer applies to approximately 25 million iPhone 4 buyers. I'd be shocked if any more than 10% file a claim, so Apple's out of pocket to the consumers will almost certainly be less than $40M. Even adding program administration fees and the probably exorbitant attorney fees Apple will owe it's just a minor cost of doing business, no biggie. There's no real financial harm.
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post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

If it's like other settlements I've seen, the $15 won't cover the trouble and bother of filling out the paperwork.

These settlements are typically scams run for lawyers. The lawyers who sued get hundreds of dollars an hour for their time. You and I might get $5 an hour for our time. Apple pays the other side's lawyers and, in exchange, gets an agreement that makes claim filing so much trouble, it'll have to pay almost nothing to the alleged victims.

Class action lawsuit should be required to establish a class pool of those who dislike the settlement their alleged lawyers have negotiated. What the lawyers get would be the proportion in the class who like the resulting agreement. If only half like it, those lawyers only get half of what they're asking.

Agreed. Or the lawyers get a cut of the lowest common denominator. 30% of 15$ is going to be a bit low to pay for those expensive bills

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post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

There's no real financial harm.

That's where it's unfair. If Apple really was in the wrong, explaining why the h*** they settled, then they SHOULD feel the harm. Judicial system is broken.

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post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Don't believe everything you read. If these people really thought the iPhone was defective, they would have returned it. It's all about seeing what else they can squeeze out of Apple.

I don't know about you, but in my case, returning the iPhone would have meant I had to pay for two years of an expensive contract AND HAVE NO MORE PHONE. Better have an imperfect phone, but it still is unfair it was advertised as what it was not. The point is, you get into that 2 years contract BECAUSE you believe the phone will be fabulous, and then it has that horribly annoying defect.
In my situation, the Apple free case solved the issue. I'm ready to believe that some people found the solution to be insufficient, maybe due to the fact the case is quite ugly.

I find your intolerance a bit frightening.

In three short sentences:

- some people have had the issue (for those still denying the issue, I HAVE HAD IT)
- some people are ALLOWED in a free world to find Apple's "free case solution" unsatisfying
- some people are due to the telecom industry set in a situation where they can NOT return their phone in an acceptable situation

This raises the question of "should subsidized phones be returnable? should the contract be automatically cancelled if you return your phone?". Not necessarily Apple's fault, but it's the phone business they went in, not the TV business. It's their role to deal with the telcos, not mine.

I actually believe, like you do, that those people are suing to make money off Apple. However, I may be wrong, I just explained why, and that's why I feel your message is intolerant. I would have not said so if you had said "in my opinion, these guys are after the money for this and that reason".

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post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

I don't know about you, but in my case, returning the iPhone would have meant I had to pay for two years of an expensive contract AND HAVE NO MORE PHONE. Better have an imperfect phone, but it still is unfair it was advertised as what it was not. The point is, you get into that 2 years contract BECAUSE you believe the phone will be fabulous, and then it has that horribly annoying defect.
In my situation, the Apple free case solved the issue. I'm ready to believe that some people found the solution to be insufficient, maybe due to the fact the case is quite ugly.

I find your intolerance a bit frightening.

I find your lack of facts frightening.

You had 30 days to cancel your contract and return your phone without penalty.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #16 of 17
I got the refund for the Bumper I bought with my iPhone 4. The rubber at the bottom separated within the warranty period and the Apple Store gave me the redesigned one to replace it.

So I got two cases, free of charge.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I find your lack of facts frightening.

You had 30 days to cancel your contract and return your phone without penalty.

+1

Sad to say, it's the same thing with the iPhone 4S today. Class Action lawsuits going around over "Siri" not being exactly what it is marketed as (but Siri does do everything seen in commercials so I don't know what the issue is. . . I'm guessing Siri can't process poorly spoken english. . . . .)

Ask any of the people if they would want to return there 4S for a full refund. See how many would!
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