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Apple faces new class-action suit over locked iPhones

post #1 of 77
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Apple Inc. is facing yet another class-action lawsuit over its iPhone, this time from a New York State resident who claims the company failed to adequately disclose to consumers that the handset is locked to AT&T's network and that using the device internationally would result in substantial data roaming charges.

Herbert H. Kliegerman's 9-page complaint, filed Monday in a New York Supreme Court, accuses Apple of engaging in deceptive and misleading practices by failing to properly disclose to iPhone buyers that their phones would be locked to only work with AT&T SIM cards and that the unlock codes would not be provided.

Approximately two weeks after purchasing his iPhone, Kliegerman traveled to Mexico for a week where he continued to use his iPhone to check emails and surf the web. He did so, according to the suit, after reading a statement on Apple's iPhone website stating that "[y]ou can browse the Internet and send emails as often as you like without being charged extra."

Upon returning from Mexico, Kliegerman claims to have received a bill from AT&T with $2,000 in international data roaming charges. Being a frequently traveler, he turned to the wireless carrier in order to obtain an unlock code for his iPhone, but was informed that such unlock codes would not be provided to him, according to the suit.

Kliegerman and his attorneys at Randall S. Newman, P.C argue that had AT&T allowed him to purchase and use a SIM card from a foreign wireless carrier, he would have been able to utilize iPhone internationally at fees substantially less than the $2,000 charged by AT&T. They note that AT&T has always provided unlock codes for non-iPhone handsets in the past when requested by a customer.

"As a result of [Apple's] deceptive and misleading acts, members of the Class have been injured because they are unable to unlock their phones for use with non-AT&T SIM cards," the suit states.

As a result, Kliegerman is asking the Court to award a judgement barring Apple from selling locked iPhones, as well as an order requiring the company to provide unlock codes to all iPhone owners. He's also requesting that Apple be forced to adequately disclose to New York consumers the fees charged for using the iPhone's data features while traveling internationally.

For Apple, Kliegerman's formal complaint represents the third class-action lawsuit to be filed against the company in regards to the iPhone in just four weeks. Two previous suits -- one filed in the Bay Area and another in Illinois -- similarly charged the company with unfairly steering its customers towards buying frequent and expensive battery replacements for the handset.
post #2 of 77
Yet another stupid customer who is trying to 'pass the buck', why can't these people do some homework!!

Ian
post #3 of 77
Service Plans brochure available in Apple stores the first day of sales said:

"International Roaming: Substantial charges may be incurred if phone is taken out of the U.S. even if no services are intentionally used."

I assume there is similar wording in the activation/contract agreement.

It may suck that you can't unlock the phone, but I don't think Apple or AT&T were being misleading or deceptive.
post #4 of 77
Yes he is an idiot, but his lawyers obvoiusly think theres a chance to win.

And if he does you wont be chained to at and t anymore.

When you buy a car you have many places to fill up the gas tank, not just one, shouldnt it be the same with a cell phone?
post #5 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post

Yet another stupid customer who is trying to 'pass the buck', why can't these people do some homework!!

Ian

I completely agree with you!

How they could pretend that the advertisement wasn't enough clear?
When I read the post, I couldn't believe my eyes...
Please: instead of buying phones and bore us with your foolish demands, buy a bicycle and ride through the country, relax, take a deep breath and, most of all, get lost.
Please.
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post #6 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tecton View Post

When you buy a car you have many places to fill up the gas tank, not just one, shouldnt it be the same with a cell phone?

And you have many cell towers in which to use your cell phone.

It is the same for a cell phone in country you purchased it from. I call BS that this guy wasn't aware of International Roaming charges for cell phones across international lines. Especially since he's a frequent traveler.

By you analogy, I would have a case if my unleaded gas auto didn't work when I tried to use ethanol, natural gas, or diesel.
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post #7 of 77
Great news, I'd love to see it unlocked--it would suck for AT&T but wouldn't be bad for Apple at all.
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post #8 of 77
"Herbert H. Kliegerman" is a twat.
With $2 000 less to show for it.

I don't think lawyers think he can win, I think they were hoping at&t would hush it up with a $0 bill.

said perfectly:
"It may suck that you can't unlock the phone, but I don't think Apple or AT&T were being misleading or deceptive."

Not to mention they ARE able to unlock their phones - if they're l33t haxors. If not, pay the man. bitch.
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post #9 of 77
"He's also requesting that Apple to forced to adequately disclose to New York consumers the fees charged for using the iPhone's data features while traveling internationally."

I don't think Apple charges anything for the iPhone's data features. Did this guy receive a bill from Apple?
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post #10 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tecton View Post

Yes he is an idiot, but his lawyers obvoiusly think theres a chance to win.

And if he does you wont be chained to at and t anymore.

When you buy a car you have many places to fill up the gas tank, not just one, shouldnt it be the same with a cell phone?

Cars and Gas are not the same business model and Phones and Network Operators.

Gas Stations don't pay the car manufacturers to get their cars into specific gas stations.
AT&T are paying Apple part of the revenue, how does this work if it is unlocked?

They have a business model that is very clear to the buyer, if you don't like it then don't buy an iPhone - no one is forcing you to buy one.

If the iPhone and AT&A where the only cellphone supplier in the US then it would be a problem, but you have other choices so it is not. If you want an unlocked phone then buy one!
post #11 of 77
AT&T has aways give customers an unlock code for traveling outside the US and everyone know it. Although we all suppected that they might not do this with the iPhone until they started selling them no one knew for sure.

If there is no way to keep the phone from accessing the data network when roaming then I think both Apple and AT&T should be hit hard, i.e., you should not have to pay the data roaming bill. That's just telling your customers "We don't care about you and we're going rob you blind when you travel and not tell you till you get home".

What should happen whenever you move into a roaming area is the phone should require you to OK using the data channel. When you move back to into AT&T service area data turns back on automatically until you enter roaming again. This way you don't get stuck with the bill.

Personally I sick and tird of the carriers locking you in to their phones and not letting you use any sim with a phone you purchased. I for one hope that this suit has legs and that they win their case. It's about time for a "Carter phone" like decission to happen to the wireless carriers.

And why did he get three, maybe the other two are for his wife and child.
post #12 of 77
...I'd be happier if the iPhone would come unlocked out-of-the-box. Possibily in a legal way. Possibly by Apple.
Possibly... ooook, well, I'm blabbing about something I'd eventually see the next year, if any.
Sorry
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post #13 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tecton View Post

Yes he is an idiot, but his lawyers obvoiusly think theres a chance to win.

And if he does you wont be chained to at and t anymore.

When you buy a car you have many places to fill up the gas tank, not just one, shouldnt it be the same with a cell phone?

In this case- NO!!! Both ATT and Apple made it crystal clear that your agreement was with ATT ONLY.

After all, you are NOT forced to buy this phone. You have all the other choices in the world-- no wait! You don't. Each company has only certain phones they support AND they cripple features on many of those phones. Why not complain about that?

It's funny that no one is crediting ATT with doing a great job in partnering with Apple on this venture. Without ATT, there would not be an iPhone out there right now! Apple needed a network--- they could not do it alone and had they simply floated the phone out there, there was no guarantee that any carrier would pick it up. Indeed, if history is to go by, NO ONE would have picked it up because NO ONE wanted APPLE to get into the phone business in the first place. Can't you imagine what Moto and Nokia would have threatened??? If any carrier HAD picked it up, it would have been so crippled so as not to compete with the big boys.

I would love to see the phone unlocked for use outside ATT's area but I am happy to support ATT for their considerable investment in this project. Punishing them right off the bat is not fair to them. Could they still be nicer to the customer? Yes!
post #14 of 77
Didn't he see any of the iPhone ads? Which part of "Only on the new AT&T" didn't he understand?

Also:
Quote:
members of the Class have been injured

"Injured"? What, like physically? Mentally? Financially? Don't you just love it when lawyers use dramatic language like this to stir up a fuss
post #15 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post

Great news, I'd love to see it unlocked--it would suck for AT&T but wouldn't be bad for Apple at all.

I'd love to see it unlocked too. It isn't subsidized, so it shouldn't be locked.

Imagine if Macs were locked to one ISP!
post #16 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post

Great news, I'd love to see it unlocked--it would suck for AT&T but wouldn't be bad for Apple at all.

Sure this is bad for Apple. They are getting revenue from AT&T for iPHone customers. They moved to a 24 month accounting model, which I believe is a direct result of this new new deal with AT&T.

I also don't think the full retail price of the the iPhone is $500/$600. If the phone becomes unlocked the Apple and AT&T will lose significant funds.

The only solution I can see is that Apple unlocks the iPhones, maintains it's carrier partners but charges several hundred dollars more for the iPhone with a subsidized rebate being offered to those who sign up with Apple's "preferred" networks.

This essentially brings everything back in balance except that now the iPhone appears to be more expensive than before even tough the overall charges are still the same.
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post #17 of 77
If you don't like the rules then don't play the game. It is that simple. You have a problem with AT&T, well I guess the Iphone wont be for you. Do not like a locked Iphone...well I guess the Iphone won't be for you either. You travel out of the country? Well, guess what, we have all been hit with roaming charges. Better check with your phone company before you start using the services.

You know darn well that the Iphone is locked into AT&T. Stop trying to beat the system and make things the way you would like them to be.

Take some responsibility and blame in your life instead of calling the law firm of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.
post #18 of 77
Here is another case for having some type of test before allowing people to breed.

All he had to do was read his agreement and he would see there are roaming charges.
Every piece of news on the iphone said ATT only.

If he just wanted to use it for data he could have pulled out the SIM card and used it on Wifi.
No wifi available... Too bad So Sad.

When he was born the doctor probably slapped his mama....
post #19 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tecton View Post

Yes he is an idiot, but his lawyers obvoiusly think theres a chance to win.

And if he does you wont be chained to at and t anymore.

When you buy a car you have many places to fill up the gas tank, not just one, shouldnt it be the same with a cell phone?

Your analogy is better if you relate gas to electricity. And yes you can charge the phone anywhere you want. The carrier is better compared to roads. And there are toll roads and bridges and ferries.
post #20 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardseeker View Post

Take some responsibility and blame in your life instead of calling the law firm of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.

= Accept the world sucks and don't try to change it??
post #21 of 77
for future reference if you travel outside the states ----->

For various reasons, you may want to disable the iPhones EDGE/GPRS data network access on a temporary basis. For instance, if you have an international data plan and are traveling overseas but only want to use WiFi instead of paying international data charges, or if you are on a prepaid plan and dont want to incur data charges.

An iPhone Atlas reader with the username amztselos found out exactly how to do this, and here are his steps, slightly modified:

1. Call the International Group at ATT (800) 335-4685: amztselos says They may tell you that it is impossible to turn off the data plan for the IPhone but that is incorrect. You can.

2. Ask the representative enter a SOC code called NWIX and then have them go into Snooper and remove all GPRS functionality for your device.

http://www.iphoneatlas.com/2007/08/1...nes-data-plan/

pass it on...
post #22 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

AT&T has aways give customers an unlock code for traveling outside the US and everyone know it. Although we all suppected that they might not do this with the iPhone until they started selling them no one knew for sure.

...

Personally I sick and tird of the carriers locking you in to their phones and not letting you use any sim with a phone you purchased. I for one hope that this suit has legs and that they win their case. It's about time for a "Carter phone" like decission to happen to the wireless carriers.

And why did he get three, maybe the other two are for his wife and child.

I think there is a difference between not advertising how to unlock the phone and coming after those people who do. ie. It should not be illegal (nor impossible) to unlock you phone.

DMCA kinda has this, but as phones get more and more complex, the software to unlock (and re-hookup to other visual voicemails, youtube etc.) may necessitate commerical software that can unlock phones.

In the UK there is a great business of side street phone shops who unlock phones. I can see why att store wouldn't want to do it for you, but they should allow others (businesses) to. Not to mention a GPL iPhone unlocker - that might(?) fight within the confines of the DMCA?
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post #23 of 77
It does kind of suck that you can't turn off Edge and still use WiFi. I don't think that detail was well disclosed.

As far as it being tied to AT&T, well what part of "It requires a 2 year contract with AT&T" don't you understand?

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post #24 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post


Gas Stations don't pay the car manufacturers to get their cars into specific gas stations.
AT&T are paying Apple part of the revenue, how does this work if it is unlocked?

Don't be so sure about that. When I open my gas door on my Ford Fusion, it says right there on the cap "We recommend BP" granted It'll work on other gas, but someone is paying Ford to put that on the gas caps.

Another thing people are forgetting about the partnership Apple and AT&T have, if you unlock the phone and use it on another network, Visual Voicemail ceases to work properly, there was a change that AT&T had to make to their network in order to accommodate some of the new breakthrough features of the iPhone.
post #25 of 77
What are people such idiots? Do they really think they can sue Apple for charges billed by phone providers, much less phone providers OTHER than ATT? Morons!
post #26 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tecton View Post


When you buy a car you have many places to fill up the gas tank, not just one, shouldnt it be the same with a cell phone?

Poor analogy - Yeah, and at some filling stations you pay $6.50 per gallon!! In other words, vacation where the gas is cheap!!

Sure it would be great for the damn thing to be unlocked, but this guy is a dumb ass - and so is his slavering lawyer.


Actually, this guy is probably the kind of dumb ass Apple was considering when they negotiated a piece of the revenue from AT&T
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post #27 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Visual Voicemail ceases to work properly, there was a change that AT&T had to make to their network in order to accommodate some of the new breakthrough features of the iPhone.

Who cares about visual voicemail? It's hardly that exciting. Regular voicemail will work fine.

And plenty of telcos let you access your voicemail via IMAP or POP too. That's almost the same.
post #28 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by theveeb View Post

Service Plans brochure available in Apple stores the first day of sales said:

"International Roaming: Substantial charges may be incurred if phone is taken out of the U.S. even if no services are intentionally used."

I assume there is similar wording in the activation/contract agreement.

It may suck that you can't unlock the phone, but I don't think Apple or AT&T were being misleading or deceptive.

I agree, everybody knows that if you leave your country or provider there will be roaming charges to pay.\I wish the iphone could be unlocked, especially when I travel to France, 20min away or when I go with my family on holiday to Spain, Italy or the UK. It is much cheaper to call if I am able to place a SIM card from the other country.

The EU has helped lately by forcing the mobile phone companies to reduce their rates to their roaming clients.
post #29 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

As far as it being tied to AT&T, well what part of "It requires a 2 year contract with AT&T" don't you understand?

Being on a contract is one thing. Blocking the use of another SIM card while under that contract is another.
post #30 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroneo View Post

= Accept the world sucks and don't try to change it??

The best way a consumer can change anything is with their pocketbooks, not by being sue happy. Hate that the iPhone is locked, hate AT&T - DON'T BUY THE IPHONE!. You will still live without it.
Don't want to be locked into a contract, buy a phone at FULL PRICE. Stop taking free phones.

But this lawsuit stinks like the McDonalds coffee is hot lawsuit - DUH!
post #31 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by OS11 View Post

for future reference if you travel outside the states ----->

For various reasons, you may want to disable the iPhones EDGE/GPRS data network access on a temporary basis. For instance, if you have an international data plan and are traveling overseas but only want to use WiFi instead of paying international data charges, or if you are on a prepaid plan and dont want to incur data charges.

An iPhone Atlas reader with the username amztselos found out exactly how to do this, and here are his steps, slightly modified:

1. Call the International Group at ATT (800) 335-4685: amztselos says They may tell you that it is impossible to turn off the data plan for the IPhone but that is incorrect. You can.

2. Ask the representative enter a SOC code called NWIX and then have them go into Snooper and remove all GPRS functionality for your device.

http://www.iphoneatlas.com/2007/08/1...nes-data-plan/

pass it on...

The quick solution is to take out the SIM card.
post #32 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroneo View Post

Who cares about visual voicemail? It's hardly that exciting. Regular voicemail will work fine.

And plenty of telcos let you access your voicemail via IMAP or POP too. That's almost the same.


So when I'm in a meeting, as I am often, and receive 10 voicemail messages, (not uncommon) and I have a five minute break to check those messages, I have to listen to them first one in, first one out? Sorry, but there are a lot of people that do care about visual voicemail. It allows you to see the messages without first dialing into the system. Without activating and waiting for your email to sync. It is a feature that is breakthrough, and there are people that care. I am only pointing out that AT&T made the necessary changes on their end to make some of those features really work, no other carrier was willing to do that. Visual Voicemail is NOT the only feature that is made possible by this close collaboration. Remember, the iPhone runs on Mac OS X and could very easily have features added to it with simple software updates, having one carrier will make more innovation easier at this stage of the game.
post #33 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tecton View Post

Yes he is an idiot, but his lawyers obvoiusly think theres a chance to win.

And if he does you wont be chained to at and t anymore.

When you buy a car you have many places to fill up the gas tank, not just one, shouldnt it be the same with a cell phone?

If someone made a special car that required substantial reworking of highways for best results, I don't see why those companies who paid for the road shouldn't be rewarded exclusive rights to selling the car in order to recoup their expenses. Why should other companies benefit from AT&T's work?
post #34 of 77
Come on!
Everyone knows that it's locked, it sux and annoys the hell out of everyone, but I don't know how anyone can complain that they did not know they were locked into a plan with AT&T!

Sorry, as much as I want someone to stop AT&T/Apple from locking the iPhone, they signed a contract stating that they did know they were locked into a plan and were fully aware of AT&T's call rates!
post #35 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by retroneo View Post

Who cares about visual voicemail? It's hardly that exciting. Regular voicemail will work fine.

And plenty of telcos let you access your voicemail via IMAP or POP too. That's almost the same.


Visual voicemail hardly exciting? Obviously you don't get that many voicemails. What an awesome feature it is.
post #36 of 77
in america, to be rich, all you have to be is DUMB AS A POST. what a country!
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post #37 of 77
While I think it was widely known that the iPhone was locked to AT&T and that there is no chance in hell that he thought it wasn't locked to only AT&T, I do feel there might be a case for roaming charges. Apple / AT&T were misleading and didn't subnote being out of the country very well. This is happening to a lot of people... these $2k bills. I do think it's screwed up that you can't unlock your iPhone for travel without getting reamed in the ass. Apple DOES need to do something about that otherwise the iPhone is worthless and will be worthless to a lot of people who travel.

 

 

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post #38 of 77
Also on another note, with the whole sim unlocking thing going on right now and AT&T trying to sue the company, I dont' feel it's going to hold up for AT&T. The DMCA has an exception that carriers must provide unlock codes for these specific reasons, so if that goes through and AT&T has to start providing that this lawsuit may have backing

 

 

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post #39 of 77
Not being able to avoid roaming charges is a serious issue. This guy does have a valid case.

Sticking with the car analogy, imagine this: You buy a tank of gas in the US, then drive into Mexico. When you get home, you receive a retroactive bill from the US gas station that charges you for using that American gas while out of the country. Without question, if Apple/ATT allow no possible way for people to use another country's network directly while travelling (while still maintaining the contract they signed for US service), they deserve to be sued.
post #40 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

AT&T has aways give customers an unlock code for traveling outside the US and everyone know it. Although we all suppected that they might not do this with the iPhone until they started selling them no one knew for sure.

Always? Now, ATT has also said that the iPhone is excepted from that rule. I don't like it that certain information was only given after the initial release, such as the terms of the battery fix, the terms of the unlock policy. If people chose to be early adopters, then that's not anyone's problem but those that rushed to buy without asking questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by retroneo View Post

= Accept the world sucks and don't try to change it??

If you want to change the world in a negative way, a lawsuit is the easiest way to do that. I think it's far better to teach people to look before they leap rather than blame someone else when it turns out, after the fact, that the pool is empty. Even when a given lawsuit has a given net positive effect, it's usually taken years to get there because lawsuits are probably the slowest legitimate way to resolve a dispute.
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