Man sues Apple for terminating Apple ID with $24K worth of content

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that its media services terms and conditions, which permit the company to terminate an Apple ID, are "unlawful" and "unconscionable."

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The complaint, filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, goes after an Apple services clause that states a user with a terminated Apple ID cannot access media content that they've purchased.

Through its terms and conditions, Apple retains the right to terminate an Apple ID. More than that, the lawsuit claims that Apple can terminate an account based on mere suspicion.

"Apple's unlawful and unconscionable clause as a prohibited de facto liquidated damages provision which is triggered when Apple suspects its customers have breached its Terms and Conditions," the lawsuit reads.

Additionally, the complaint claims that users with Apple devices will find their products "substantially diminished in value" if their Apple IDs are terminated, since they won't be able to access Apple services or purchased content.

The plaintiff in the case, Matthew Price, reportedly spent nearly $25,000 on content attached to an Apple ID. When Apple terminated Price's Apple ID for an alleged violation of its terms and conditions, Price lost access to all of that content.

According to the complaint, the $25,000 worth of media included apps, in-app purchases, programs and platform extensions, and related services. The plaintiff also alleges that Apple prevents users from accessing unused funds attached to an Apple account. Price, for example, had about $7 in iTunes credit.

The lawsuit doesn't specify why Price's account was terminated. However, it does claim that Apple shut down the Apple ID "without notice, explanation, policy or process."

It goes on to claim that Apple's conduct -- specifically, the clause and resulting terminations -- are "unfair, unlawful, fraudulent, and illegal," and alleges that Apple is in violation of several consumer regulations in California.

The lawsuit is seeking class action status, with a Nationwide Class consisting of people in the U.S. who have had their Apple IDs terminated.

It asks for a jury trial seeking a permanent injunction barring Apple from engaging in the allegedly unlawful behavior; restitution of funds lost during account termination; damages; and attorneys' fees.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 782member
    Class Action is quite premature. 

    Of course, the plaintiff doesn't have to plead Apple's defense, so we will need to wait for the 20 days to see Apple's response. 
    edited April 20 repressthis
  • Reply 2 of 61
    XedXed Posts: 890member
    If the plaintiff has indeed egregiously violated Apple's terms and conditions to the point that warranted having his account terminated that would be acceptable, but I do think that unused funds in his account should be sent back to him as a gift card since he would then have the option or gifting it to someone else or signing up for a new iTunes account.

    At first I was going to suggest that it be refunded as a cash in the form of a check, but I can see how that could be abused. For example, someone finds a great deal on iTunes Gift Cards at 20% off, as is often the case. Let's say they buy $80,000 for a value of $100,000. They add those to a new iTunes account which they work to violate using only free apps which would then close out the account and refund them the amount of the gift cards now at $100,000 in cash. That's a problem, and making an upper limit on the cash payout isn't a great solution.
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 61
    I hope he wins regardless of the reason his account was terminated and they are forced to write consumer friendly rules.   We are encouraged to buy digital but in reality, we are really renting content that they (Apple, Amazon, Google,  all digital movie publishers, etc.) can take away at any time.  Amazon can pull a book right out of your account after all.  We need some rules around content that make our content ours.  He definitely should have downloaded his content.  But I have tried that and I don’t have enough hard disk space for all those movies!!!!
    cy_starkmanlam92103docno42lordjohnwhorfintwokatmew80s_Apple_Guyrepressthisparaeekerjdb8167sedicivalvole
  • Reply 4 of 61
    Hope he wins
    docno429secondkox2paraeeker
  • Reply 5 of 61
    there are so many reasons Apple could choose to terminate your ID. Things you do, things others do to you.

    people talking about download your things, download all the apps for my phone?

    and here is the clincher - my laptop and phone and tablet require my Apple ID to function, next minute you can’t even get security updates, you can’t even wipe them because that requires your Apple ID.

    Sorry Apple, please don’t send your goons round to smash into my home and take everything that i have paid for outright, i own that book, i paid for those movies, no i use those tools for work, what you are taking the very phone out of my hand so i can’t call my lawyer

    there are no analogies required. it is criminal

    by the way, has anyone read the terms and conditions of iTunes and what happens to all your purchased music if you subscribe to Apple Music? i bet you haven’t. so sad too bad.
    docno42paraeekerredpolamrmeelijahg
  • Reply 6 of 61
    The way I see it, if you do something against the agreement then you actually reach the agreement then Apple have the right to take away anything you purchase. That’s why you don’t do anything to bridge the agreement. So now we have to find out if the guy did anything and why you Gotta be a reason. So if the true is it turn out is he fault then he deserve it. You have to pay the price for what you did.  You can’t do anything against the agreement and still get to keep everything. So yes I both agree and disagree with Apple but I still have to see more proof or evidence that if he did anything wrong or not if he did then I agree 100% that everything he did everything he owns should be returned to the original. Even if he purchased all those media but if he did something wrong then yes he don’t deserve to keep it. That is just the price that he had to pay and if you want to do something you have to think twice before you do it.
    fahlmantommikelewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 61
    Why I still buy and rip CD to lossless and am exploring open source software.   Has anyone else experienced the app store in High Sierra losing it's GUI...? Is Apple working hard to get customers on to a very short leash...? 
    llama
  • Reply 8 of 61
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,883member
    Sounds like Apple need to work out another account status, where users are blocked from doing anything new, but they still have access to stuff they already purchased, and for basic functionality.  It can't be considered reasonable to have a large library of paid media content taken away on Apple's whim.
    muthuk_vanalingamCloudTalkinkingofsomewherehotapplguyglennhelijahg
  • Reply 9 of 61
    davendaven Posts: 620member
    Why didn't he just download the movies and music? You don't have to be connected to the internet to access your purchased movies and music. I do that all the time when I'm on vacation. I watch the movies that I purchased and downloaded (or rented and downloaded and view within the allotted time). Not so sure what happens with apps though if your account is terminated. If the guy was honest, he would say why Apple terminated his account.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 61
    XedXed Posts: 890member
    Why I still buy and rip CD to lossless and am exploring open source software.   Has anyone else experienced the app store in High Sierra losing it's GUI...? Is Apple working hard to get customers on to a very short leash…? 
    Not only have I not experienced that the App Store in High Sierra losing its GUI, I haven't experience High Sierra in years. I had to look up to see how many versions of macOS have sense come out since that was the latest version.

    Is it not possible for you to update your OS? I do see that it's now unsupported by Apple since it's so old so I doubt any problems you're experiencing are going to be resolved unless you can resolve them yourself.
  • Reply 11 of 61
    M68000M68000 Posts: 334member
    Why I still buy and rip CD to lossless and am exploring open source software.   Has anyone else experienced the app store in High Sierra losing it's GUI...? Is Apple working hard to get customers on to a very short leash...? 
    Yes,  I have a treasured Mac Air 11 inch from 2011 with High Sierra and have seen that the App Store no longer renders correctly on it,  very odd of course.  My 2018 Mac Air with Big Sur renders the App Store fine.
    edited April 20 llama
  • Reply 12 of 61
    M68000M68000 Posts: 334member
    I hope he wins regardless of the reason his account was terminated and they are forced to write consumer friendly rules.   We are encouraged to buy digital but in reality, we are really renting content that they (Apple, Amazon, Google,  all digital movie publishers, etc.) can take away at any time.  Amazon can pull a book right out of your account after all.  We need some rules around content that make our content ours.  He definitely should have downloaded his content.  But I have tried that and I don’t have enough hard disk space for all those movies!!!!
    Maybe get Blu rays for the movies you really care about?
    n2itivguy
  • Reply 13 of 61
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,540member
    earthkid said:
    The way I see it, if you do something against the agreement then you actually reach the agreement then Apple have the right to take away anything you purchase.
    Fine - then refund all the money I have spent on content I no longer have access to.  Let Apple do that then there isn't an issue.  
  • Reply 14 of 61
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,540member
    daven said:
    I watch the movies that I purchased and downloaded (or rented and downloaded and view within the allotted time). 
    Leave your device disconnected for a few months then try to watch that content.  It won't work.  Your devices have to phone back to the mothership routinely or the content locks.

    Good luck!
    mrme
  • Reply 15 of 61
    there are so many reasons Apple could choose to terminate your ID. Things you do, things others do to you.

    people talking about download your things, download all the apps for my phone?

    and here is the clincher - my laptop and phone and tablet require my Apple ID to function, next minute you can’t even get security updates, you can’t even wipe them because that requires your Apple ID.

    Sorry Apple, please don’t send your goons round to smash into my home and take everything that i have paid for outright, i own that book, i paid for those movies, no i use those tools for work, what you are taking the very phone out of my hand so i can’t call my lawyer

    there are no analogies required. it is criminal

    by the way, has anyone read the terms and conditions of iTunes and what happens to all your purchased music if you subscribe to Apple Music? i bet you haven’t. so sad too bad.


    You give the impression you have crossed Apple and been punished. You break the rules, you pay the price.

    Although it has happened, it is pretty rare such punishment is unjustified.
    n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 61
    What did he spend 24k on? Smurf berries? That’s quite a lot of scratch. But yes it outlines how you’re being told you’re “buying” digital goods when in reality you’re licensing rights that are quite restrictive.
    if you were buying books or CDs, you’d have shelves full of crap for your heirs to fight over (or haul off to landfill). With digital media, all that stuff just evaporates. It’s kinda funny they charge as much for it as a DVD or BluRay used to cost.
    llamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 61

    docno42 said:
    earthkid said:
    The way I see it, if you do something against the agreement then you actually reach the agreement then Apple have the right to take away anything you purchase.
    Fine - then refund all the money I have spent on content I no longer have access to.  Let Apple do that then there isn't an issue.  
    Nope. You screwed up and want your money back? You must be a comedian. 


    n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 61
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,883member
    tommikele said:
    there are so many reasons Apple could choose to terminate your ID. Things you do, things others do to you.

    people talking about download your things, download all the apps for my phone?

    and here is the clincher - my laptop and phone and tablet require my Apple ID to function, next minute you can’t even get security updates, you can’t even wipe them because that requires your Apple ID.

    Sorry Apple, please don’t send your goons round to smash into my home and take everything that i have paid for outright, i own that book, i paid for those movies, no i use those tools for work, what you are taking the very phone out of my hand so i can’t call my lawyer

    there are no analogies required. it is criminal

    by the way, has anyone read the terms and conditions of iTunes and what happens to all your purchased music if you subscribe to Apple Music? i bet you haven’t. so sad too bad.
    You give the impression you have crossed Apple and been punished. You break the rules, you pay the price.

    Although it has happened, it is pretty rare such punishment is unjustified.
    How on earth can you claim to know enough about when it has happened and whether it has been justified?
    muthuk_vanalingamCloudTalkinmrmeelijahgMplsP
  • Reply 19 of 61

    larryjw said:
    Class Action is quite premature. 

    Of course, the plaintiff doesn't have to plead Apple's defense, so we will need to wait for the 20 days to see Apple's response. 
    It's not premature for a douchebag class action lawyer.
    lkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 61
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,825member
    $24K is a lot of content! I wonder if he was “sharing” it.
    baconstangjony0watto_cobra
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