or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Class action suit claims Apple Store POS system discriminates against visually impaired
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Class action suit claims Apple Store POS system discriminates against visually impaired

post #1 of 90
Thread Starter 
A class action lawsuit filed last week asserts Apple's point of sale system discriminates against visually impaired customers as the specialized iPod touch-based equipment is impossible to operate without help from a staff member.

POS


The complaint, lodged with a Florida district court last Friday (via TUAW), asserts Apple's deployment of iPod payment systems is in violation of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), which calls for retail outlets to provide a POS system independently accessible by a blind customer. More specifically, plaintiff argues that entering a secret PIN when paying with a debit card is nearly impossible without guided help.

Defendant's use of flat touch screen POS Devices discriminates against blind and visually impaired consumers in violation of the ADA by denying them full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations at Defendant's stores.


Central to the plaintiff's argument is the fact that other businesses use POS systems that feature tactile key inputs, some of which have braille or other raised markings to denote numbers. Because Apple uses a flat capacitive touchscreen, visually impaired customers cannot independently navigate the on-screen UI when entering a debit card PIN.

At many Apple Stores, employees carry around EasyPay iPod POS systems that feature a magnetic card reader and integrated barcode scanner.

While Apple has baked in various accessibility options into iOS, including VoiceOver, the features are largely audio-based, meaning they are useless in a secure POS environment. It is possible that headphones could be used to direct visually impaired users during the payment process, though the solution would likely be too cumbersome for Apple's liking.

Unlike other suits brought against Apple of late, the class action is not seeking damages. Instead, the suit is looking to have Apple's POS systems updated or replaced to be in compliance with ADA regulations.

As is the norm in such cases, plaintiff also seeks to be recompensed for costs associated with the suit and payment of reasonable attorneys' fees.

post #2 of 90

You should try a Samsung store

bb
Reply
bb
Reply
post #3 of 90
"looking to have Apple's POS systems updated or replaced"

I laughed only cause my mind constantly chooses to look at all contexts.
post #4 of 90
Seems reasonable to me:

- Telling your PIN to a retail employee is certainly unacceptable.

- They are seeking a solution, not a payout.

Apple is a leader in this stuff and I'm sure a fix will come. If not VoiceOver (due to potentially loud background) then a Bluetooth tactile numpad located in the store and paired with one of the units, ready to call on when the situation arises.
post #5 of 90
You dont use pins for debit at an Apple store. They all get ran as credit and signed for.
post #6 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Seems reasonable to me:

- Telling your PIN to a retail employee is certainly unacceptable.

- They are seeking a solution, not a payout.

Apple is a leader in this stuff and I'm sure a fix will come. If not VoiceOver (due to potentially loud background) then a Bluetooth tactile numpad located in the store and paired with one of the units, ready to call on when the situation arises.

How about just allowing them to plug in their headphones and have the employee enable VoiceOver, which is already part of those iOS devices. All it needs is a little training of the employees to get them up to speed on the rare occasions they would service the visually impaired in this way.

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #7 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Apple is a leader in this stuff and I'm sure a fix will come.

 

Pretty much.  I associate with a blind person on a semi-regular basis and he swears by Apple products and their accessibility options.  I trust his word when he says Apple is light years ahead in that category.

post #8 of 90
All drive thru windows discriminate against the blind. Ice cream stores discriminate against the lactose intolerant. Wheaties discriminates against those with a gluten allergy. Don't get me started on the Big 3 (Jif, Skippy, & Peter Pan) and how they simply refuse to help those with nut allergies.
post #9 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

Pretty much.  I associate with a blind person on a semi-regular basis and he swears by Apple products and their accessibility options.  I trust his word when he says Apple is light years ahead in that category.

Same here. One of my best friends is blind. The world in general is not a very blind friendly place. I would imagine one way to solve this Apple Store problem is to use the Apple Store app. Then they hand you the product and you walk out of the store. That way you can pay for it in advance from the privacy of your home where a friend or family member can assist you if for some reason the built-in iOS accessibility settings are not good enough on their own. 

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #10 of 90
I don't mean to be rude, if you're too visually impaired to see a touchscreen, what exactly are buying from the apple store? It is a bit unreasonable to expect every piece of technology to cater to the visually impaired. Do tablets and smart phones also discriminate because of lack of tactility? Also, I don't recall ever buying anything from an apple store without using a physical mobile keypad.
post #11 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by freqsound View Post

All drive thru windows discriminate against the blind. Ice cream stores discriminate against the lactose intolerant. Wheaties discriminates against those with a gluten allergy. Don't get me started on the Big 3 (Jif, Skippy, & Peter Pan) and how they simply refuse to help those with nut allergies.

 

Try getting through an average day with a blindfold on, and tell us how that goes.

post #12 of 90

Just put a screen protector on which has a raised dot over the 5.

 

Then it will be just like any other POS keypad.

 

In Australia we've been using PIN's for twenty or more years, it's about time the US caught up.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #13 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I don't mean to be rude, if you're too visually impaired to see a touchscreen, what exactly are buying from the apple store? 

Blind people, in the US at least, have overwhelmingly endorsed iPhones. With the accessibility options, dictation and Siri, it has made their daily lives much improved.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #14 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I don't mean to be rude, if you're too visually impaired to see a touchscreen, what exactly are buying from the apple store? It is a bit unreasonable to expect every piece of technology to cater to the visually impaired. Do tablets and smart phones also discriminate because of lack of tactility? Also, I don't recall ever buying anything from an apple store without using a physical mobile keypad.

Apple's iOS and Mac OS X-based devices cater to a wide range of impairments, especially the visually impaired.

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #15 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Blind people, in the US at least, have overwhelmingly endorsed iPhones. With the accessibility options, dictation and Siri, it has made their daily lives much improved.

It seems ironic on the surface since the display doesn't offer any tactical feedback.

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #16 of 90
Bet you a competitor is behind this bogus lawsuit.
post #17 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Blind people, in the US at least, have overwhelmingly endorsed iPhones. With the accessibility options, dictation and Siri, it has made their daily lives much improved.

It seems ironic on the surface since the display doesn't offer any tactical feedback.

You can turn on Voiceover and check it out for yourself.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #18 of 90

I'm surprised that Apple stores don't have a solution for this already.  Either a physical pin entry terminal at the back of the store for use as needed, or via the Apple.com Web site using any of the MacBooks available.

 

Apropos of nothing, just yesterday I made a purchase from an Apple store with the assistance of a deaf employee.  We communicated via the MacBook Air that he carried around.  I think that's the first time I've engaged with a ear-impared salesperson at any store, so I suspect Apple is slightly ahead of the game in this disability stuff.

post #19 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Bet you a competitor is behind this bogus lawsuit.

Probably just your run of the mill disability law attorney 

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #20 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Bet you a competitor is behind this bogus lawsuit.

I would doubt it because of the very high chance it could backfire. Apple can show they are above board but much better than their competitors.

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #21 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I don't mean to be rude, if you're too visually impaired to see a touchscreen, what exactly are buying from the apple store? It is a bit unreasonable to expect every piece of technology to cater to the visually impaired. Do tablets and smart phones also discriminate because of lack of tactility? Also, I don't recall ever buying anything from an apple store without using a physical mobile keypad.


iOS incorporates a lot of accessibility options for the visually impaired.  Consider iOS' compatibility with Braille monitors, among other features.  This seems to indicate that it's a market that they value. 

 

https://www.apple.com/accessibility/ios/braille-display.html

 

Also, recall Tim Cook's outburst at last week's shareholder meeting when he took issue with a right-wing think tank's assertion that Apple needed to abandon its sustainability initiatives and only focus on the ROI when doing anything.  Even though the media narrative focused on Apple's environmental stances, the example that Cook cited in his retort was Apple's work on making its devices accessible. 

 

Quote:

What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR's advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.

"When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind," he said, "I don't consider the bloody ROI." He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/tim-cook-soundly-rejects-politics-of-the-ncppr-suggests-group-sell-apples-s

 

This is about as emphatic as anything I've heard from Cook, and seems to indicate that this is a priority for Apple. I would guess that Apple will come up with a solution in short order.  When they went to the current iOS-based POS setup for their retail stores, accessibility probably took a backseat to other priorities such as eliminating centralized POS terminals and cash payments.  Decentralizing the stores such that all of their employees could complete a sale anywhere within the store (and now with iBeacons, consumers being able to complete a sales transaction on their iOS device) is a pretty radical departure from the norm in retail, especially for stores like Apple's that handle very high sales volumes. But, in the process, the smaller more portable devices used for POS transactions are definitely less accessible. 


Edited by Woochifer - 3/5/14 at 4:01pm
post #22 of 90
Has any company ever done more for the handicapped?
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
post #23 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

Pretty much.  I associate with a blind person on a semi-regular basis and he swears by Apple products and their accessibility options.  I trust his word when he says Apple is light years ahead in that category.

I agree. Apple will come up with a sensible fix. A shame people didn't just ask instead of immediately going the lawsuit route. Kind of undermines the motivation here.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #24 of 90

While improving the purchasing process for a visually impaired person is a commendable goal, filing a lawsuit seems unnecessary. It's just an ambulance chaser type of suit. I feel if the people filing it, not the lawyer, actually reached out to Apple with constructive criticism, Apple would listen...more so than their competitors.

post #25 of 90
I feel for the blind. But this is absurd. This is like saying a car is discriminating against the blind. Does anyone HONESTLY think Apple's intention was to discriminate??? If you do, then you are clueless about Apple. Move along. Nothing to see here.
post #26 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Bet you a competitor is behind this bogus lawsuit.

More likely an attorney looking for a big paycheck.

Edit: Oops. Somebody beat me to the punch on this.

post #27 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Has any company ever done more for the handicapped?

There's several major companies very actively recruiting the handicapped. Twenty years ago that didn't happen.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #28 of 90
.

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #29 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Bet you a competitor is behind this bogus lawsuit.

No, just a lawyer troll making a living by looking for ADA issues he can blow up into a class-action suit. This kind is worse that an ambulance chaser because no one needs to be hurt to create a suit. Sooner or later every company has to deal with these bloodsuckers.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
post #30 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Has any company ever done more for the handicapped?

There's several major companies very actively recruiting the handicapped. Twenty years ago that didn't happen.

Interesting tidbit: Go to Apple's website and play any video. You will notice the "CC" button in the controller to turn on closed caption. Then head over to Google's YouTube channel.

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/Google

 

None of the videos that I tried there had "CC" available.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #31 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

There's several major companies very actively recruiting the handicapped. Twenty years ago that didn't happen.
Check out Walgrens employment of disabled (not 'the handicapped'), and others.

http://www.walgreens.com/topic/sr/disability_inclusion_home.jsp?stop_mobi=yes

And it's not out of charity

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3749414/
post #32 of 90

Do you want the good or bad news first?

 

The bad news is that Apple is facing a class action lawsuit from visually impaired citizens living in the Land-Of-The-Free-To-Sue-Whoever-I-Want-If-I-Don't-Like-Something.

 

The good news is that this class action won't occur until previous class actions against car manufacturers, movie theatres, book publishers, TV stations, and window manufacturers are completed.

I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
Reply
I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
Reply
post #33 of 90
Apple Stores already have non-iOS based POS touch points. I was a manager at the Stockton street store in SF and there is at least one "traditional" POS terminal per floor for tactile input. Hopefully that store had there's set up.
post #34 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Interesting tidbit: Go to Apple's website and play any video. You will notice the "CC" button in the controller to turn on closed caption. Then head over to Google's YouTube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Google

None of the videos that I tried there had "CC" available.

Google doesn't produce very many of those Youtube videos, so if the owner didn't add CC then it's not available for the most part . To Google's credit tho thay are tryign to add closed captioning to several videos by using their speech recognition tech if the original audio is clear enough for it. . Apple produces all the videos on their site don't they? The two are not really comparable. Kudos to Apple tho if they're ensuring every video they produce is accessible to the hearing impaired. . . or those with a sleeping infant nearby. 1biggrin.gif
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #35 of 90
Good use of the legal system.

The ADA is federal law, and if any group is out of compliance with it, this is precisely the way to get compliance. Disabled people know all too well the deaf ear (pun intended) they are met with when ADA non-compliance is broached outside of court - many businesses and municipalities won't spend the money to come into compliance with federal law until the courts force them to.
post #36 of 90

I picked up on Tim Cook's reference to the blind in his response during that Apple shareholder meeting. As a person who is both visually and aurally impaired, Apple has my confidence, based on their track record, that they will provide a reasonable fix.


Edited by BertP - 3/5/14 at 4:48pm

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

Reply

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

Reply
post #37 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


No, just a lawyer troll making a living by looking for ADA issues he can blow up into a class-action suit. This kind is worse that an ambulance chaser because no one needs to be hurt to create a suit. Sooner or later every company has to deal with these bloodsuckers.

 

If this is the case, then why is the lawsuit not seeking damages and only seeking remedies?

post #38 of 90

If doesn't seem to me that a lawsuit is necessary to convince Apple to address such an issue. This is the generate legal fees. The Apple Santa Monica store had a blind employee (with dog) helping customers. I have seen Stevie Wonder shopping in an Apple store.

Cubist
Reply
Cubist
Reply
post #39 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woochifer View Post

If this is the case, then why is the lawsuit not seeking damages and only seeking remedies?

Good catch. I'd missed that in the first read. So they don't want any money, they just want it fixed. Doesn't sound like anything to complain about then.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #40 of 90
BS complaint. The easy pay system isn't a user system for anyone. Only staff use easy pays. Period.

And they have accessible keypad systems for debit cards. For the rare times they use a debit card that won't run as credit. No one puts a PIN number into an easy pay.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Class action suit claims Apple Store POS system discriminates against visually impaired