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Class action suit accuses Apple of unlawful practices, misappropriation of trade secrets

post #1 of 41
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A class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple Computer with two classes, one for Apple resellers and the other for consumers, AppleInsider has learned.

In the 26-page complaint, filed in the San Francisco County Superior Court in California on Thursday, a group of consumers and Apple resellers allege that Apple has engaged in acts of unfair and unlawful business practices, breach of contract, and misappropriation of trade secrets. These actions have also resulted in violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Song Beverly Act, the suit claims.

The class action lawsuit was filed by three firms on behalf of Jack Branning, James Seybert, Stacey Blevins, Tom Siechert and Joe Weingarten. Together they accuse Apple of repackaging and selling refurbished machines to resellers and consumers as 'new products' without notification to the reseller or end customer. They say Apple has not always honored its extended warranty contracts known as Apple Care, and have often shorted consumers on the term of new product warranties.

The plaintiffs also charge the company with further warranty abuse, and failure to extend warranty dates based on the time it takes to repair a product. For example, if Apple spends a month to repair a customer's iBook, the suit says that Apple is obligated to extend the warranty period one month because the product was not in the consumer's hands. Apple's refusal to correct warranty dates has resulted in the reseller or consumer being wrongfully charged for repairs, the suit says.

Resellers are also charging the company with unfair and unlawful competition, saying Apple has stocked its own retail stores before the retail channel in an effort to recruit customers to its own sales channels. They also allege Apple has used unfair pricing policies. The suit says Apple has sold Macs to end users at prices below their own wholesales costs, and that Apple has made promises to sell its products below the price of any other Authorized Apple Reseller.

Resellers also argue that Apple is not properly reflecting the repair costs or requirements on equipment, which unfairly places warranty repair burden on the reseller channel. The court documents also reveal allegations that Apple at times has refused to compensate for, or accept returns of, defective parts provided for repairs.

The plaintiffs say they can prove that Apple has consistently shipped product directly to end consumers faster than they have to resellers, resulting in additional losses to the reseller channels. They further accuse Apple of providing educational and government discounts to persons not qualified, which in some cases fall below or at reseller costs.

Ironically, the lawsuit also accuses Apple of misappropriating of trade secrets, saying the company is taking confidential reseller information and using it to develop customer lists for its own in-house sales force. This allows Apple to bypass resellers and secure large direct orders originally intended for the resellers. In recent months, Apple has been scrambling aggressively to protect what it claims are its own trade secrets, filing a lawsuit against ThinkSecret and subpoenaing other journalists to reveal their sources.

This latest class action lawsuit joins similar ones filed against Apple by resellers in recent years. MacAdam vs. Apple, filed in 2003, alleges breach of contract and fraud by Apple. The suit is still awaiting trial in the Santa Clara Superior Court in San Jose, Calif, following a recent change in the plaintiff's counsel.

The class action suit also comes just hours after Congress passed legislation that would transfer most large, multistate class action lawsuits to federal court. The bill, which is backed by President George Bush and expected to be signed into law, will move such lawsuits from state courts to federal venues. State courts have earned a reputation for issuing multimillion-dollar verdicts, republicans argue, where lawyers receive large fees and the class members receive virtually nothing. However, democrats say the aim of the bill is not to help the consumer, but rather to help big business escape multimillion-dollar verdicts from state courts at the ultimate expense of the consumer.
post #2 of 41
OMG, you americans never fail to amaze me. If apple has done some thing you strongly dont like don't use apple products, write letters to them, don't how ever try and make lots of $$$ out of it thats just as bad as what they are doing (if they are doing it that is)
post #3 of 41
I'm sure Apple does a lot of shady things when it comes to resellers, these practices defiantly deserve an investigation. I cant stand class action suits like this though it will do nothing to compensate the consumer or reseller, and only the lawyers will make out in the end. Waste of time
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post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by kiwimac
OMG, you americans never fail to amaze me. If apple has done some thing you strongly dont like don't use apple products, write letters to them, don't how ever try and make lots of $$$ out of it thats just as bad as what they are doing (if they are doing it that is)

That's funny, I didn't know all 300 million of us Americans were taking part in this lawsuit.

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post #5 of 41
Selling refurbished as new, not honoring warranties, not honoring agreements - these are flat out wrong and if Apple did this I hope they slapped hard enough that they desist.

OTOH, outcompeting your resellers - that in itself is not illegal or wrong any way. The only way it can be wrong is if Apple breaches terms of contract they have with the resellers.

Either way, if this behavior continues, of course the resellers would be wise to reassess if they can rely on doing business with Apple.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
Either way, if this behavior continues, of course the resellers would be wise to reassess if they can rely on doing business with Apple.

That's what Apple is hoping, they want these resellers to fall flat on their face or give up. This will be the second time Apple destroyed their competition, clones anyone. Everyone hailed Steve when he came back to Apple except for the thousands of people that lost their lively hood because of the clone ax. Maybe Apple didnt like Powercomputing, Radius, UMAX or Motorola making a better Apple then Apple, god forbid if you stand in the way of a monopolistic thinking CEO.
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post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
Selling refurbished as new, not honoring warranties, not honoring agreements - these are flat out wrong and if Apple did this I hope they slapped hard enough that they desist.

OTOH, outcompeting your resellers - that in itself is not illegal or wrong any way. The only way it can be wrong is if Apple breaches terms of contract they have with the resellers.

I wholeheartedly agree that the competitive practices are not wrong, unless there is a breach of contract. In my mind, there's practically no such thing as "unfair and unlawful competition" or "unfair pricing policies." However, I'm not so sure that damages would never be awarded to the plaintiff who makes such charges. Don't forget that our government has a policy of "protecting" people from companies that charge too little for their product.

I'm concerned about my Apple stock. At first I thought we'd likely see a small, brief dip in price. Then I thought, This story just broke, it could possibly be big.

Is anyone here placing a stop-loss on their Apple stock?
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Relic
That's what Apple is hoping, they want these resellers to fall flat on their face or give up. This will be the second time Apple destroyed their competition, clones anyone. Everyone hailed Steve when he came back to Apple except for the thousands of people that lost their lively hood because of the clone ax. Maybe Apple didnt like Powercomputing, Radius, UMAX or Motorola making a better Apple then Apple, god forbid if you stand in the way of a monopolistic thinking CEO.

I don't think you are making sense there. If Apple wants to shut down the resellers, they stop selling their machines to them - end of story. No?

It's good to be a monopoly. Every company wants to be, nothing wrong with that. It's a whole different question whether the "clone" affair helped or hindered Apple in terms of marketshare and profits.

The important question about retail is that if these resellers go, is Apple able to fill their shoes more effectively. In this age of Apple Stores on one hand, cheap Internet distribution and electronics chain partnerships on the other, I'm not quite sure there is demand for the specialized resellers anymore. And the specialized media etc. shops that are resellers, probably will remain so. They are not price competetive and do not need to be, because they sell whole solutions and not "boxes".
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryan1234
Is anyone here placing a stop-loss on their Apple stock?

I already sold my Apple stock two weeks ago; I thought it was a good idea since I bought at 17 initially. This of course was three years ago after Apple fell below 14. I'm thinking of shorting 100 lots before the split, there is no way Apple can keep up this momentum.
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post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
Together they accuse Apple of repackaging and selling refurbished machines to resellers and consumers as 'new products' without notification to the reseller or end customer. They say Apple has not always honored its extended warranty contracts known as Apple Care, and have often shorted consumers on the term of new product warranties.

You have got be kidding me. If this is true then Apple needs to punished because this is unacceptable by any standard.

Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
For example, if Apple spends a month to repair a customer's iBook, the suit says that Apple is obligated to extend the warranty period one month because the product was not in the consumer's hands. Apple's refusal to correct warranty dates has resulted in the reseller or consumer being wrongfully charged for repairs, the suit says.

This is also very wrong but I think this will not hold up in court. It may be moraly wrong but I don't think this is breaking any laws. Almost all buisness's follow this practice.
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post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
I don't think you are making sense there. If Apple wants to shut down the resellers, they stop selling their machines to them - end of story. No?

Two words: NOT LEGAL.

As you can see from this lawsuit, even treating their competition badly is reason enough to get sued.

They deserve to get 0wn3d on this count alone. After all, when the dual 2.5 G5s were so rare only a chosen few were getting them, Apple's retail stores were getting a handful in here and there.

Hell, even I got my G5 at the local apple store a month before mine was supposed to ship (I then canceled the order).

Retailers of Apple products MUST be given equal chances as Apple direct, otherwise it's considered collusion. Although it might seem strange, this is the law.

Besides, if Apple is selling computers under wholesale prices to their retailers to inflate their profit, that's not legal either.
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post #12 of 41
i do hope all of you arguing against apple's repackaging of used goods as new realize that all of the tech vendors do this... for everything. i bought a wireless phone from best buy, and not only found it preconfigured, but is had a list of phone numbers still logged in its recently dialed list. and this phone was shrinkwrapped and put back on the shelf as brand-new.

part of it is our demand for the "no questions asked" return policies. you can open a box these days, do unmentionable things with it, and then take it back to a store and just say "it clashes with my drapes," and, in an effort to make everyone happy, the store takes it back, "no questions asked." and then others pitch a huge fit over a %15 restocking fee. well, if that 15% goes to pay to verify the unit truly is in working order like the customer said it was, as well as resetting the unit back to brand-new conditions, then i am all for it.

i am NOT saying that reselling used merchandise as new is a good thing. but i know where it's coming from, and lawsuits like these are simply symptomatic of the root illness. i would like to see a similar class-action against best buy, circuit city, compusa, etc., etc. etc. let's not JUST make apple the whipping boy for all the rest...
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post #13 of 41
Apple's reliability and service are THE best in the industry.

But this sounds like some genuine exceptions that DO need to be addressed. If the charges are not fiction, then this is no frivolous suit.

Quote:
Originally posted by rok
part of it is our demand for the "no questions asked" return policies. you can open a box these days, do unmentionable things with it, and then take it back to a store and just say "it clashes with my drapes," and, in an effort to make everyone happy, the store takes it back, "no questions asked."

You can't do that with Apple.

Quote:
Originally posted by kiwimac
OMG, you americans never fail to amaze me. If apple has done some thing you strongly dont like don't use apple products, write letters to them, don't how ever try and make lots of $$$ out of it thats just as bad as what they are doing (if they are doing it that is)

Did you read the specific complaints? Apple is accused of doing illegal things, and using the law to correct that (not just to "make $$$") IS appropriate.

Using Windows is the way to make Apple change? Hardly. And rather a high price to pay for us And further, it's the way that's not just AS bad as performing illegal activities? Hmmm...
post #14 of 41
Quote:
[i]I am NOT saying that reselling used merchandise as new is a good thing. but i know where it's coming from, and lawsuits like these are simply symptomatic of the root illness. i would like to see a similar class-action against best buy, circuit city, compusa, etc., etc. etc. let's not JUST make apple the whipping boy for all the rest... [/B]

This doesn't happen at APPLE'S retail stores, which is why this suit was brought up--it gives an unfair advantage:
"if you want to get new products, you'll have to go to apple direct"
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post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by rok
i do hope all of you arguing against apple's repackaging of used goods as new realize that all of the tech vendors do this... for everything. i bought a wireless phone from best buy, and not only found it preconfigured, but is had a list of phone numbers still logged in its recently dialed list. and this phone was shrinkwrapped and put back on the shelf as brand-new.

part of it is our demand for the "no questions asked" return policies. you can open a box these days, do unmentionable things with it, and then take it back to a store and just say "it clashes with my drapes," and, in an effort to make everyone happy, the store takes it back, "no questions asked." and then others pitch a huge fit over a %15 restocking fee. well, if that 15% goes to pay to verify the unit truly is in working order like the customer said it was, as well as resetting the unit back to brand-new conditions, then i am all for it.

i am NOT saying that reselling used merchandise as new is a good thing. but i know where it's coming from, and lawsuits like these are simply symptomatic of the root illness. i would like to see a similar class-action against best buy, circuit city, compusa, etc., etc. etc. let's not JUST make apple the whipping boy for all the rest...

If this is true as you say with the formerly mentioned companies then I agree they should be sued. I myself had no idea this practice was so wide spread if what you say is true.

As for Apple being the whipping boy, I say if you have found a company doing this red handed then they should be punished. You have to start with one and move on from there.

I personaly as I believe everyone else here loves most of Apple's products. But with that being said I personaly will not give them a pass or turn a blind eye just because I would like to see the company prosper.

IMHO
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post #16 of 41
First remember that that the charges stated were written by a lawyer that is probably being compensated with a percentage of any jury award that may be issued. Sort of like a hard driving salesman that gets a 50% commission. He's going to say any and everything he can, but it is not proven.

The reply by Apple won't get the same press coverage as the original suit and this suit will probably spend a year or so progressing through the courts.

Also try to remember that large companies get hit with law suits on a continual basis - I would hate to think how many active ones Wal-Mart has going at any one time.

Apple Store do compete with resellers in a lot of areas and, if the reseller cannot take care of customers at the same level as the Apple Stores, the resellers are going to have a hard time staying in business. There have been too many complaints about various resellers who have gone out of business because of grubby stores, poor service and not taking care of the customer to make supply issues the only factor in a reseller closing their doors.

Unfortunately for many resellers Apple has set a new standard of what a computer store should be. They are now caught between the very well designed & operated Apple Stores and the mass merchants, like CompUSA.

Other factors in supply issues are things like how well the reseller handles paying invoices (pay slow and you get deliveries slow), their ordering speed (if they put their order in after the Apple Stores they get delivery after the Apple Stores), etc.
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post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
Two words: NOT LEGAL.

As you can see from this lawsuit, even treating their competition badly is reason enough to get sued.

They deserve to get 0wn3d on this count alone. After all, when the dual 2.5 G5s were so rare only a chosen few were getting them, Apple's retail stores were getting a handful in here and there.

Hell, even I got my G5 at the local apple store a month before mine was supposed to ship (I then canceled the order).

Retailers of Apple products MUST be given equal chances as Apple direct, otherwise it's considered collusion. Although it might seem strange, this is the law.

Besides, if Apple is selling computers under wholesale prices to their retailers to inflate their profit, that's not legal either.

I object to the law, then.

There's no moral responsibility for anyone to sell anything to anyone else. None. If they don't want to sell, that is their property and their business. A law that says otherwise is morally wrong.

Any pricing strategy is similarly up to the persons responsible for the sale/trade and should be legal. I don't fully understand what you mean by "selling computers under wholesale prices to retailers" in this case, and why you assert it is illegal.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
I object to the law, then.

There's no moral responsibility for anyone to sell anything to anyone else. None. If they don't want to sell, that is their property and their business. A law that says otherwise is morally wrong.

Any pricing strategy is similarly up to the persons responsible for the sale/trade and should be legal. I don't fully understand what you mean by "selling computers under wholesale prices to retailers" in this case, and why you assert it is illegal.

I meant if Apple is selling products at less than wholesale prices to Apple-brand Apple retailers (the resalers Apple owns), then that's not legal.

There are TONS of stupid rules corporations have to abide by, but on the other hand, corporations are unconstitutional anyway. They're basically tiny little branches of the government. Congress can make hordes of stupid laws governing them, and there's a reason corporations put up with it:

Limited liability, and "public" market stock exchange.

Limited liability means nobody in the corporation is responsible if the corporation makes products that tarket babies for termination, or pollute to the point of mass extinction. All that can happen is the corporation dissapears. Meanwhile, everyone who profitted off of those misdeeds get away without criminal or civil suits, and probably sold their stock so they have a ton of money as well. This, of course, is unconstitutional, but, as any libertarian will tell you, nobody freakin cares but us.

If Apple doesn't like it, they should've stayed a partnership and never become a "public" corporation (where anyone may buy your stock). Once you cross that line, you have to take it in the botox from the government, and they can change the deal whenever they feel like.

Example: After enron, congress passed a law saying CEO's had to sign their financial statements, and certify them; this means they're held responsible if anything goes wrong. If any corporation has a problem with it, they can either go to another country, go F themselves, or become a proprietorship/partnership.

Edit: I know I spelled a lot of things wrong, believe me if I had the time to correct them.. I probably still wouldnt
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post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by rok
i do hope all of you arguing against apple's repackaging of used goods as new realize that all of the tech vendors do this... for everything. i bought a wireless phone from best buy, and not only found it preconfigured, but is had a list of phone numbers still logged in its recently dialed list. and this phone was shrinkwrapped and put back on the shelf as brand-new.

Yeah and when that's happened to me, I've promptly packed it up and headed back to the store to return it for a new one. If they're out of stock, I have them take it as a return without restocking fees since I never used it.
post #20 of 41
Two years back I bought a iBook for a friend of mine, the unit was DOA direct from Apple. When we contacted them and gave them the product reg code, the iBook was apparently already registed in the Apple care system under someone elses name. Apple promptly gave us a new machine no questions asked, but I wonder how many people has pre-opened machines and don't know about it?
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post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
They deserve to get 0wn3d on this count alone. After all, when the dual 2.5 G5s were so rare only a chosen few were getting them, Apple's retail stores were getting a handful in here and there.

Hell, even I got my G5 at the local apple store a month before mine was supposed to ship (I then canceled the order).

Retailers of Apple products MUST be given equal chances as Apple direct, otherwise it's considered collusion. Although it might seem strange, this is the law.

You should also realize that there could be reasons that certain stores are favored. For example, if a particular store is a high volume store, Apple Corporate may favor it and give it hot products sooner than others. Other rating factors may be how many complaints come in, how well they pay their accounts, how many AppleCare contracts they sell, how many accessories they sell with the computer, etc.

If the resellers are low volume stores or whatever, Apple may place them lower in the totem pole. For example, outpost.com had stock of the hot iPod mini last year the day of release! I was able to order one and get it shipped overnight (w/a Saturday shipment nonetheless) and all 3 of my local Apple stores had none to speak of.

This happens in the auto dealership industry all the time. My local Audi dealership got fewer of the new A6s than the Audi dealership 30 miles away because they've been racking up complaints in their service department (so says a third Audi dealership anyway). Hot cars go to the dealerships that sell well, have good customer service ratings, etc.

Anyway, the Apple stores are a godsend. I know of no local Apple resellers and don't remember any going as far back as 98.
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
I meant if Apple is selling products at less than wholesale prices to Apple-brand Apple retailers (the resalers Apple owns), then that's not legal.

There are TONS of stupid rules corporations have to abide by, but on the other hand, corporations are unconstitutional anyway. They're basically tiny little branches of the government. Congress can make hordes of stupid laws governing them, and there's a reason corporations put up with it:

Limited liability, and "public" market stock exchange.

As a libertarian you should know that two wrongs never make a right, they make at least two wrongs and probably more.
I'm a rabid libertarian myself, I'm all for ending owners' limited liability. There is nothing wrong with stock market, is there?
Anyway, if a company prices their products dearer or cheaper, that has absolutely nothing to do with if it's also polluting us out of existence. Both things should be addressed: first one by making it unequivocally, permanently legal, and the second one by internalizing the costs via a tax.
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Relic
That's what Apple is hoping, they want these resellers to fall flat on their face or give up. This will be the second time Apple destroyed their competition, clones anyone. Everyone hailed Steve when he came back to Apple except for the thousands of people that lost their lively hood because of the clone ax. Maybe Apple didnt like Powercomputing, Radius, UMAX or Motorola making a better Apple then Apple, god forbid if you stand in the way of a monopolistic thinking CEO.

it's not apple's fault the resellers were doing an absolute piss poor job. if apple hadn't opened up the chain stores like they are, do you think the resellers would have? the answer to that is a big fat no. the simple truth is it takes a company like apple to get the ball rolling on something as expensive as designing, staffing, and opening 100s of stores in malls across america. none of the resellers would have had the capital to take on a project like this.
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post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Relic
That's what Apple is hoping, they want these resellers to fall flat on their face or give up. This will be the second time Apple destroyed their competition, clones anyone. Everyone hailed Steve when he came back to Apple except for the thousands of people that lost their lively hood because of the clone ax. Maybe Apple didn�t like Powercomputing, Radius, UMAX or Motorola making a better Apple then Apple, god forbid if you stand in the way of a monopolistic thinking CEO.

Well, the problem was that Apple should NEVER have allowed clones in the first place and although it may not matter to you or others in the class action suits, Apple barely survived the clones and if it were not for the monopolisitic CEO, Apple would not exist today. Yes *some* would have lost their jobs when SJ returned and thousands more would have done so had he *not* returned- take your pick. Since then Apple products and its OS have established the benchmarks for great products. Perhaps you wouldn't mind if that all went away and then we could reap the benefits of having just Wintel! Now, imagine THAT!!!
In case you are wondering, I think Apple should pay an appropriate price for any illegalities it entered into.
post #25 of 41
First, you can sue someone for getting out of bed in the morning. The suit might not go anywhere, and the judge might come down on you for wasting the court's time, but you can do it. So this in itself doesn't mean much.

However, I've been hearing about real complaints with Apple from dealers for years, long before the first Apple Store opened. I believe the case has merit—which is not to say that the outcome is a foregone conclusion, only that I'm sure there'll be enough meat to the lawsuit for the court to give it a full hearing.

Quote:
Originally posted by kenaustus
First remember that that the charges stated were written by a lawyer that is probably being compensated with a percentage of any jury award that may be issued. Sort of like a hard driving salesman that gets a 50% commission. He's going to say any and everything he can, but it is not proven.

And the flip side of this is that no award == no money for months and years of work, which is a built-in disincentive against taking on frivolous lawsuits. It also means that a smaller claimant can't simply be drowned in legal fees by a larger defendant.

Quote:
Unfortunately for many resellers Apple has set a new standard of what a computer store should be.

True, mostly, but irrelevant. Testimony about this kind of behavior by Apple predates the existence of the Apple Stores, and the Apple Store Online, and it has allegedly continued right along.

We simply don't know enough to say where this will go. It will wind through the courts, as you put it. But I would be surprised indeed if the lawsuit were purely a desperate act by store owners unwilling to invest in brighter overhead lighting and a Swiffer. I doubt it would have gotten this far, and from what I've been hearing for years, there should be no shortage of real material evidence and testimony to bring to bear.

Apple is a corporation, and the temptations to cut corners and short people you don't really care about can be hard to resist, especially when you're powerful enough to feel that they can't hit back. It looks like we'll find out whether they succumbed to that temptation in a year or two. Or three. Or five.
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post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
I meant if Apple is selling products at less than wholesale prices to Apple-brand Apple retailers (the resalers Apple owns), then that's not legal.

Actually what you've got there isn't a legal issue so much as an accounting issue. I read a disagreement over this issue that it would be illegal for Apple to charge itself wholesale prices. Remember that wholesale price isn't 'cost' to apple, its 'cost + profit'. If Apple were to charge its own store 'cost + profit' for merchandise, you could claim that they were illegally moving money within the corportation to make Apple sales look better (vs. the complaint that it makes apple retail look better).

As for selling 'refurbished' equipment as new, there needs to be a definition of refurbished vs. used. Just because an item is returned doesn't mean it falls under a company's concept of 'refurbished', its 'returned', and unless there was something wrong with it, its still 'new'. Refurbished only technically applies to hardware that was returned due to defect, fixed, and put back on the shelf.

When dealing with Best Buy, though, I always make sure to go through the boxes and look for one that doesn't appeared to have been resealed (if its a big item), or open the box up and make sure all the pieces are there.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
I meant if Apple is selling products at less than wholesale prices to Apple-brand Apple retailers (the resalers Apple owns), then that's not legal.

You actually think Apple sells itself computers??? Internal accounting does not equal sales.


Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
corporations are unconstitutional anyway.

You actually expect people to take you seriously after points like that?

Too many people get personal over business. Apple is not your friend, they are a publically held corporation who is duty bound to make money for it's shareholders. Apple will do it's best to make those shareholders happy and remain on the right side of the law, but that in no way means they have any moral responsibility to keep any particular reseller in business.

Apple will help resellers remain in business if those resellers actually show Apple they can help the bottom line, that is in Apples shareholders best interest, you sell more product that way. But whining and suing the goose that is laying the golden eggs is not a good way to show their value in helping the goose.

I have yet to see an Apple reseller that I would repeatedly buy from. That goes back 20 years. I can't remember a single one that didn't either use the "You can only get it here within 100 miles price jacking strategy" or was a sloppily run barely there front end for a mail order outfit. I don't have an ounce of sympathy for any of those folks. I do know people who do make reasonable money providing services for Apple products. They are quite happy. And not suing.
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post #28 of 41
it appears timing is everything... Bill signed to limit frivilous class action suits

Even liberal CA senators signed up for this one making it hard to label it a conservative republican action.

Quote:
In the Senate, the new rules for class-action suits were supported by Democrats with generally liberal voting records such as Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.). They agreed with such advocates as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that waging class-action lawsuits amid a patchwork of state laws produces irrational verdicts and invites abuse by plaintiffs' attorneys filing lawsuits in certain courts known to be sympathetic to the cases, no matter if there is any particular logic to hearing the case in that jurisdiction.
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post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Relic
That's what Apple is hoping, they want these resellers to fall flat on their face or give up. This will be the second time Apple destroyed their competition, clones anyone. Everyone hailed Steve when he came back to Apple except for the thousands of people that lost their lively hood because of the clone ax. Maybe Apple didn't like Powercomputing, Radius, UMAX or Motorola making a better Apple then Apple, god forbid if you stand in the way of a monopolistic thinking CEO.

Do yourself a favor and work for Apple. Then you'll get access to the whopping just over 300,000 Reseller buyers and just then you'd realize that the Clone Market didn't do shit to grow Apple's markets--they just cannibalized already existing Mac users.

Apple isn't Intel. Apple doesn't develop chipsets, motherboard specs and then license them to 3rd parties.

The clone market was designed around the Windows Market and by its very design was doomed to fail.
post #30 of 41
well.. sometimes corporations don't listen and legal action is required. i think some of the stuff stated in the suit is flaky, HOWEVER they site many things i know to be true which apple should be held accountable for.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Hiro
You actually think Apple sells itself computers??? Internal accounting does not equal sales.

Yes, actually they do sell themselves computers.

Accounting is tricky, but basically Apple-brand Apple retail stores MUST release their net income.

Recording a lower Cost of Goods Sold (you obviously being an accountant [sarcasm] should know) is a way to scam investors.

Quote:
Originally posted by Hiro
You actually expect people to take you seriously after points like that?

If you would've read where I explained how ADVANTAGES GRANTED TO CORPORATIONS were unconstitutional.. oh wait "read" being the operative word, nevermind.

This is not an anti-capitalism thing, this is not an anti-business thing, this is not even an anti-corporate thing, this is a PRO-free market, ANTI-limited liability, and PRO-freedom thing.

Of course, why should anyone take their freedom to exact retribution on the real villians seriously...

Anyway we're way off topic. I hope I explained why you should take this seriously though. I should probably have not even mentioned it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Hiro
Too many people get personal over business. Apple is not your friend, they are a publically held corporation who is duty bound to make money for it's shareholders. Apple will do it's best to make those shareholders happy and remain on the right side of the law, but that in no way means they have any moral responsibility to keep any particular reseller in business.

They're a publicly held corporation that must operate from within the rules.

Obey the law, even if you don't respect it.

IF Apple is indeed inflating it's retail sales figures in this way, investors will drop out of the competition and invest in Apple instead.

How about that, unfair business practices. It's a case for disgorgement if nothing else.

This isn't an Apple-only issue.

Quote:
Originally posted by Hiro
Apple will help resellers remain in business if those resellers actually show Apple they can help the bottom line, that is in Apples shareholders best interest, you sell more product that way. But whining and suing the goose that is laying the golden eggs is not a good way to show their value in helping the goose.

Apple makes more money by selling its own product than having resellers do it for them.

Thus, by eliminating the competition in the reseller areas in which they can compete (IE california and wherever else they have their own stores), they are making more money.

There are ways that NON-Apple-brand Apple resellers can expand the market, such as in areas in which there is no Apple presense. Or, in the case of Macmall, people who don't want to have to pay sales tax who would otherwise not buy a mac in the first place.

The stores who are suing, however, are invading on Apple's self-proclaimed "turf" and thus Apple is allegedly screwing them.

Quote:
Originally posted by Hiro
I have yet to see an Apple reseller that I would repeatedly buy from. That goes back 20 years. I can't remember a single one that didn't either use the "You can only get it here within 100 miles price jacking strategy" or was a sloppily run barely there front end for a mail order outfit. I don't have an ounce of sympathy for any of those folks. I do know people who do make reasonable money providing services for Apple products. They are quite happy. And not suing.

So they're just mean old price gougers who deserved to be illegally destroyed anyway.

Anything to give Apple a leg up, eh?

I agree the law should be changed.. I'd change a lot of things if I could. However, rules are rules and they must be consistant if we wish to compare investment opportunities (which is the whole point of most of these regulations).
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post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Hiro
it appears timing is everything... Bill signed to limit frivilous class action suits

Even liberal CA senators signed up for this one making it hard to label it a conservative republican action.

I'm for eliminating all class-action law suits, not just the frivilous ones.

Such a thing will always be more corrupt than it is useful, so let's stick with 1 plaintiff like the founding fathers wanted, k?

According to most experts, however, this bill will effectively eliminate most if not ALL class actions anyway, without discriminiation between frivilous and substantive.
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post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
As a libertarian you should know that two wrongs never make a right, they make at least two wrongs and probably more.
I'm a rabid libertarian myself, I'm all for ending owners' limited liability. There is nothing wrong with stock market, is there?

I'm for keeping the stock market too, I just don't know how it could work without intense regulation though, unless we just made GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) a law, which would be nightmarish (because accounting is not nearly as exact as you think it is).

Maybe a system like now, but with no LLC's. I donno, what did Badnarik say about it? He tells me what to think.
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post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by sandboxface
well.. sometimes corporations don't listen and legal action is required. i think some of the stuff stated in the suit is flaky, HOWEVER they site many things i know to be true which apple should be held accountable for.

OK, you intrigue us. Examples please!

The coverage of the suit doesn't exactly paint a picture of blatant abuse. The refurb and AppleCare issues may turn out to be true legal problems, or maybe not. The rest of the points in the story sound like a sob story rather than legal problems. This is also on top of another suit by resellers that is going nowhere fast, hence making this one all to easy to color with the same brush. And Trade Secret stealing? Since when is using registration and AppleCare data stealing trade secrets of the retailers? Or do we hear head slapping as to how the customer lists get to look the same...

I'm all for the big ugly stick when something actually illegal is done, but I don't believe something is illegal just because someone doesn't like it. Give us something to work with and decide if it's jilted-lover complaining or big bad corporate abuses.
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post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
I'm for eliminating all class-action law suits, not just the frivilous ones.

Such a thing will always be more corrupt than it is useful, so let's stick with 1 plaintiff like the founding fathers wanted, k?

According to most experts, however, this bill will effectively eliminate most if not ALL class actions anyway, without discriminiation between frivilous and substantive.

I don't remember anything in the constitution about how you can file a lawsuit. Just general fair protections of our rights. Let's not go revisionist. Filing methods and their restrictions are procedural, not constitutional. I doub't the experts on either side of the issue are 100% correct either. There will still be Class action suits, it's just harder to not get tossed right away for frivoloty in a Federal Court.
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post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Hiro
You actually think Apple sells itself computers??? Internal accounting does not equal sales.

Yes, actually they do sell themselves computers.

lost cause
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post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Hiro
Yes, actually they do sell themselves computers.

lost cause

IN ACCOUNTING TERMS YOU SILLY MONKEY!!


Quote:
Originally posted by Hiro
I don't remember anything in the constitution about how you can file a lawsuit. Just general fair protections of our rights. Let's not go revisionist. Filing methods and their restrictions are procedural, not constitutional. I doub't the experts on either side of the issue are 100% correct either. There will still be Class action suits, it's just harder to not get tossed right away for frivoloty in a Federal Court.

Well I am not a lawyer, I just read the synopsis and it makes sense. Essentially the federal civil courts would be so flooded it would take up to a decade just to have your day in court.

If they officially banned class actions, Nader would probably finish off what's left of the democrats next election. This way, it's harder to say what they're doing, but perfectly clear what they're trying to accomplish.

BTW I didn't mention the constitution that time, I was merely talking about the general time frame. There are rules for courts that the founding fathers talked about, for instance, in the Cato papers. It's not revisionist to say that class actions are a relatively recent invention, and that the system was working "well enough" before then.

If you think about it, it makes more sense for each case to be heard, so that way there's no dispute about who owes whom and how much. Also, the real victim (if there is one) stands to gain what they lost, instead of with most class actions where they get like $100 and the laywer gets a few hundred million (like in the recent M$ state settlements).
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post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
If you think about it, it makes more sense for each case to be heard, so that way there's no dispute about who owes whom and how much. Also, the real victim (if there is one) stands to gain what they lost, instead of with most class actions where they get like $100 and the laywer gets a few hundred million (like in the recent M$ state settlements).

IANAL nor do I play in real life. And I generally agree with you until the lawsuit turns into: Consumer plaintiff with $1000 available for a lawyer to fight for $100 in damages goes up against Corporate defendant with billions in cash to pay for a lawyer. How do you go about legitimately winning a case if you can barely afford to bring it to trial?
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
I'm for keeping the stock market too, I just don't know how it could work without intense regulation though, unless we just made GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) a law, which would be nightmarish (because accounting is not nearly as exact as you think it is).

Would you invest in a company whose financial wellbeing you can't determine by any means? I don't think so. And that is why they will have to keep their books in order, if they expect to keep their capital.

If you can't figure out their books yourself - and obviously most people can't - then the market is able to provide the necessary services for assessing the financial state of the company and if the company is telling the truth or not. If regulations decrease, these services will be in greater demand, and consequently there will be more competition among the info vendors. The prices will decrease and quality will go up. Free market is fully capable of "regulating" itself in a question that does not include negative externalities... such as this one.

If there are no regulations, at any moment in time there will be businesses that do bad accounting, but they can't expect to get much capital when competitors significantly exceed their trustworthiness.
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by foshizzle
IANAL nor do I play in real life. And I generally agree with you until the lawsuit turns into: Consumer plaintiff with $1000 available for a lawyer to fight for $100 in damages goes up against Corporate defendant with billions in cash to pay for a lawyer. How do you go about legitimately winning a case if you can barely afford to bring it to trial?

I suppose a laywer would pony up a half million dollars of his own money, get ten thousand clients (half of them just shills), and each of you would get precisely $1 while he rakes in millions.

And by the way, $100 is small claims and therefore they'll probably just give it to you, or send some clown down there with a clip-on tie and a sketch pad to waste your time for an hour.
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