Apple faces new class-action suit over locked iPhones

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 76
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    Yet another stupid customer who is trying to 'pass the buck', why can't these people do some homework!!



    Ian
  • Reply 2 of 76
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 76
    tectontecton Posts: 31member
    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?
  • Reply 4 of 76
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 76
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 76
    Great news, I'd love to see it unlocked--it would suck for AT&T but wouldn't be bad for Apple at all.
  • Reply 7 of 76
    "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.
  • Reply 8 of 76
    jasongjasong Posts: 31member
    "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?
  • Reply 9 of 76
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    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!
  • Reply 10 of 76
    timontimon Posts: 152member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 76
    ...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
  • Reply 12 of 76
    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!
  • Reply 13 of 76
    yamayama Posts: 427member
    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
  • Reply 14 of 76
    retroneoretroneo Posts: 240member
    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!
  • Reply 15 of 76
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 76
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 76
    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....
  • Reply 18 of 76
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 649member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 76
    retroneoretroneo Posts: 240member
    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??
  • Reply 20 of 76
    os11os11 Posts: 30member
    for future reference if you travel outside the states ----->



    For various reasons, you may want to disable the iPhone?s 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 don?t 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...
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