Apple responds to 'deceptive ads' claim in Siri lawsuit

By Jos ยท 25 replies
May 18, 2012
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  1. Siri was introduced as one of the standout features of Apple's flagship smartphone las October, but not everyone was impressed with the voice-controlled assistant. A lawsuit filed in March by...

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  2. mattfrompa

    mattfrompa TS Evangelist Posts: 553   +57

    this is the problem with describing products as "magical"
  3. mevans336

    mevans336 TS Enthusiast Posts: 161   +11

    I played with Siri on my daughter's iPhone 4S and was shocked that out of the ten or so things I said, it only understood one or two of them.

    I will say, I don't especially care for voice control anyway. I feel awkward speaking commands in public when I hit a call queue and always take the option of touchtone if I can. So I can't imagine being in public, suddenly being struck by something I need to set a reminder for, and saying, "Siri, remind me to pick up more Preparation H."

    Of course, I may just be old and curmudgeonly. :)
  4. mevans336

    mevans336 TS Enthusiast Posts: 161   +11

    Hello Matt from PA, Matt from NC here!

    I wouldn't say the problem is that they describe products as magical, but rather that the public on the whole is stupid and gullible and rather than return the product as Apple suggest, would rather sue.

    Of course, being a class-action lawsuit, the public as a whole is being stupid and gullible again, as the lawyers will make out with millions of dollars and the class-action members will get a free song download on iTunes ...
  5. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    See heres the giant rub in all this. Apple claims that a customer can return their Iphone withing 30 days no questions asked. However the cellphone carriers only give you 14 days to do any form of return w/o being charged an early termination fee. So Apples statement about getting a different phone IS *****ic. You only get 2 weeks to determine if the phone is a fit for what you need. If you do ANY type of return or swap with a major phone carrier, more times then not their computerized system dings you for the full ETF! So not only do you get screwed by Apple you are getting screwed by the carriers. Its not that the public is stupid as the above poster claims. Its just that they get stuck with a phone they were mislead into buying and cant return due to the limited return policies.
    Now to address Siri. Apple has been blowing smoke up ppls bungholes about Siri with every single commercial they put out. They do show Siri performing actions that most ppl never get to do. They show Siri having a response speed that is unreal. They know that to the general public perception is reality. That being said, Apple is responsible for every commercial they put out because they intentionally mislead the public with false expectations.
  6. This is a problem with greedy and stupid people.
    These people will sue anyone they think wronged them with frivolous lawsuits.
    Apple as a big and wealthy company is definitely a nice target.

    I remember recently about another frivolous lawsuit againts Apple's iPad.
    The *****s sued Apple because they claimed that as an ebook reader, iPad should be readable under bright sunlight.
  7. Siri doesn't work in Australia. So disappointed. Beside I wouldn't use it anyway
  8. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,308   +1,401

    Maybe people should have listened to Siri and bought a windows phone?
  9. all companies are misleading in advertising, some just more then others. people only like to complain when they feel good about it or can sue someone for money. Example: the new honda crv ads says the new crv "its everything you want it to be".... well, what if I want to be a boat? or a plane? Can I sue for them lying to me? People just have to use their heads.
  10. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    Carriers don't charge early termination fee when you return a device within the 30 days. The way it works is: if you don't like the device, you may return it and they charge a restock fee of usually $35. This applies whether you want to exchange it for the same type of device (e.g. different color) or an entirely different one. If it's the latter then whatever the device cost you will be applied to the new device, so if you decided to exchange it for a lower priced device then you are getting the difference (which you could even use to pay the restock fee), and finally end up with a device that fits your needs.

    (Would like to point out, this restocking fee is never charged if the device is defective out of the box, or if it was never even opened.)

    The way I see it, you should walk out of the store knowing that X device will fit your needs. Not 31 days later. But I digress...

    And besides the clearly dramatized response time in the commercials, what exactly does Siri not do in real life? I mean, I believe I've seen them all and Siri does just what it advertises. I've also used it extensibly as my girlfriend owns a 4S, and while it's not "magical" by any means, it's certainly withing the practical boundaries you'd expect from a voice-activated assistant. It also does more than the competition.

    I'm all for the underdog against the big players, but this is clearly nothing but a half-assed attempt at getting easy cash. With Apple being the most valuable tech company, I don't blame them for trying.
  11. is this News? How About Apple advertising Iphone 4g not even has 4g capabilities.
    They have lost the court in AU. They have paid 15 bucks per phone sold. I wonder where is US consumers bought Iphone s thinking its 4g
  12. mevans336

    mevans336 TS Enthusiast Posts: 161   +11

    You are correct, it is 30 days for all (US) carriers. I thought they also charged the pro-rated amount of the 30 days usage? So if you signed up for say, a $79.99 plan, and used 15 days before returning, you paid $40 plus the restocking fee?

    Perhaps that is only if you decide to terminate your entire contract as well?
  13. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    My guess is that if I really thought Siri was a game changer, and bought an iPhone exclusively for Siri, I would probably spend a decent amount of time when I got home asking Siri all sorts of stupid questions to try to see what it can do. And I'm guessing I would find out relatively quickly if its all hype or has some substance to it.

    I agree with Apple in this case, they should have returned the phones relatively quickly.

    Two weeks would be enough time to find out if something is useful or lame.
  14. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Guru Posts: 355   +72

    I am surprised that the ASA side with Apple on Siri in the UK the adverts I have seen look like BS to me
  15. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,223

    Best Siri moment for me.... listening to the radio the day burger king came out with new fries and the guy on the radio is showing off Siri and says to it, 'Siri, remind to get fries today at burger king' and he holds up the phone to the microphone and Siri says 'Uh, it looks like George Burger doesn't have an address listed.'

    Lawfer, we know the response time is shortened on the commercials. It says 'sequences shortened' right on the commercial. And this may be an attempt at suing Apple, but does anyone care? They've got the HTC One X held up till maybe august. That is crushing HTC, who already has a market share under 2%. It's the cruelest, move evil thing I've seen a company do to a competitor in a long time. At least Samsung can afford lawyers to fight back.
  16. ElShotte

    ElShotte TS Booster Posts: 163

    I don't really care much for this article, but I always read the title and front page description of almost everything, because that's how I decide whether it's worth the read. Something struck my attention automatically, the typo in the first sentence - "Siri was introduced as one of the standout features of Apple?s flagship smartphone las October", I think you guys meant 'last'. That really bugs me, because even the spell checking in Google Chrome underlines "las" because it doesn't recognize it as a word. Do you guys not even bother to use spell check? Very disturbing to see my favorite technology news site be so sloppy.
  17. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    Well, prorated charges don't apply to everyone, as they only charge you if you acquire new service before or after the regular bill cycle starts. So if you go into a AT&T store today, May 19, to open up a contract, they will charge you prorated charges because, say, the bill cycle started the 1st of May. This would not apply to someone who went the 1st of May to open up a contract.

    Even then, however, they always tell you that the first bill is always higher. It's kind of general knowledge.

    Also keep in mind that returning a device is not the same as cancelling service. In fact, you could have a contract open, and not even have a device active on your account. Obviously no one would do that, but the point is both are not related. So you could return a device within the 30 days, and technically, only be charged $35 for a similarly priced (but different) device, or get your money back minus the restock fee, of course.

    A lot of people complain about the restock fee, but they should keep in mind that shipping and logistics costs money. Someone has to be paid to send/ship that little box. You also have to take into account that once you return a phone, it can't be sold as new; it has to be restocked as a refurbished phone.

    Lastly, the way I see it is, you should walk out of the store knowing a particular device will fit your needs. That's why store reps build rapport and offer solutions. But when that's not enough, like gwailo said, you have an entire month to try out your new device and you wait all this time to then figure out X feature doesn't live up to your expectations? Considering Siri can only do so much, if it was me, I would have found out that same day whether it does what it advertises or not. I think stretching it to a week or two to a regular person is not unreasonable, don't you agree?

    You think that's cruel? Look at what Microsoft is doing.

    Truth is, everyone is using patents to screw over competition. And while I might not like it, I can't say they are not in the right to use whatever they have against the competition, they are a business after all. And trust me, Apple is not afraid of HTC taking over or anything; this is just another chess move to keep a tight grip of the market share before the SIII comes out and hurts them even more. Apple is more afraid of Samsung than HTC.

    In fact, it's even being reported that, not counting devices sold up until the release of the One X, more Lumia 900s were sold than the One X in the period it was available; HTC's fanbase seems to be dwindling at a quick rate, and while I know this temporary ban does not help one bit, not having it wouldn't have done much either. Your own percentage attests to that.
    gwailo247 likes this.
  18. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Lawfer I work for a company that sells cellphones. Do you? Ive been dealing with cellphones for over 3 yrs and I manage a retail store. A lot of what your saying is general BS.
  19. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    Got to love how you say what I said is "general BS", without specifically pointing out what it is that I said you disagree with.

    And no, I do not work for a telecom company. But my girlfriend does. That's where I got this information from; she works for AT&T as an assistant store manager.

    Try again.
  20. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    As you wish Lawfer.
    1. Its 14 days for any return through any major carrier. After the 14th day and you return a phone you are charged the full Early Termination Fee. Normally $350.

    2. All contracts are prorated for the amount of time the phone was used. If you return a phone on day 15, you are only charged the 15 days you used the phone.

    3. There is never a restock fee of $35.00. That is the activation fee that all carriers charge. This can sometimes be waived if you have been with a carrier for more then 5yrs.

    4. With some VERY rare exceptions most customers have no idea what phone they want. They just want a "free" phone. We have to spend a lot of time explaining the benifits of the different handsets to the customer till they decide which they want.

    5. As I pointed out in my first post, more often then not after returning a device, and let preface this again, the major carriers COMPUTERIZED system dings you for the full ETF.

    Does that help? Does that clear it up for you?
  21. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91


    1. Point for AT&T I guess. I did a little digging, and it seems AT&T is the only carrier that offers 30 days for customers to return their device. Sprint offers 14 days only; Verizon 14 days; and T-Mobile 20 days (but 30 in California). Like I said, I based my information almost entirely on AT&T, as not only I got this info from someone who works for them, but I also assumed that, out of all carriers, they would be the ones to offer the shadiest deal. It seems I set the bar too low for AT&T, and I've been nicely surprised.

    2. I am sorry, but I think you didn't really read what I wrote. Cancelling service is NOT the same as returning or exchanging your device. You can return your device, and as long as the new device stays within the same device tier (e.g. smartphone), your plan and features will NOT change. In other words, if you return an iPhone 4S for a 3GS, since to the system sees both as smartphones, you will not have to make any feature changes (such as changing texting or data plans); all that will need to be done is pay/receive the difference (including the restock fee), and change the IMEI that shows up on your account, which is what you go to a retail store for. The system will not tell the difference.

    Changing the type of device on your account in no way negatively impacts your plan feature-set, so long that new device is within the same tier (again: if you exchange an smartphone for another smartphone or if you exchange a basic phone for a basic phone). The prorated charges you suggest will only happen if you exchange your smartphone for a basic phone--or vice-versa--in which case you'll then have to change the features on your plan (you will no longer require a data plan if you switch to a basic phone, for instance).

    As for prorated charges, to make it even easier for you:

    Let's say you choose an "unlimited" $79.99 plan. This, divided by 31 days, amounts to about $2.58 a day. The carrier's bill cycle starts the 1st of May, but you got into a contract on May 20. That's 19 days after the bill cycle started and only 11 days before it ends. The way prorated charges work is that the billing system automatically bills you those 11 days left of its cycle on top of your actual bill cycle. Your bill cycle would be, of course, every 20th of every month. But you will have prorated charges from the previous bill cycle, which we get by multiplying 2.58 x 11 = 28.38.

    When you get your bill next month, you are going to be charged your regular $79.99 for the month, PLUS the $28.38 of prorated charges for the last 11 days of the system's bill cycle. This, needless to say, is not counting any additional fees, such as activation fee or upgrade fee (which are usually $35+) as that's not relevant. The point is, prorated charges can be avoided if choosing service activation carefully, and consulting with the store rep as to when it is the best time to activate service. Obviously, in this (and virtually every) scenario, the person would not have waited 11 days for the bill cycle to start so they could save $28; most people need their phones now!

    Even then, however, that would still not save you from carrier-specific fees, taxes and other rarities.

    3. Every major carrier has a restocking fee. I'm actually appalled you say there's not such a thing. I truly hope you work for MetroPCS or Boost Mobile or something (where rules can be different), because if you work for any of these major carriers, then someone clearly wasted their money on "training" you:

    Sprint has a restocking fee of $35. Verizon is the same. AT&T is the same. While T-Mobile's is even higher: $50.

    4. I don't know who you are referring to, but in the context in which we were talking, we were clearly referring to those who went to a retail stores specifically looking for the iPhone 4S. Either way, what you say still doesn't mean anything, as what I said holds true anyway: whether you go to a store knowing you want to get the 4S "with Siri", or have no clue what kind of phone you want, you should most definitely walk out of the store with a device that fits your needs. Period. Whether it's free or not is irrelevant.

    5. And for the love of god, returning a DEVICE is NOT the same as CANCELLING your service. Early Termination Fee, only applies to when you want to, wait for it... terminate your contract early. That is it. As long as you are within each carrier's respective grace period, you will not be charged more than the restocking fee to exchange/return the device.
  22. 14 days for providers and 30 days for Apple. Question you said apple is *****ic on this but so are you. How is it apples fault that service providers only give you 14 days. And still apple is stating truth here. They do have 30 days. On the other hand like 14 days is not enough for you to return it after testing. Also do you need to buy a girlfriend you lonely techie or do you need a phone that can brows with the swing of a finger. I just don't see why would anyone expect much from a stupid voice control. Now that is *****ic. Its just a gimmick. I still love apple. And last time I checked ms dragon speak is not so hot either. None of the voice controls are.
  23. Gars

    Gars TS Booster Posts: 232

    im wandering how Siri is doing in Scotland?
  24. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    If that is the "Burnistoun elevator sketch" then it's probably doing about as well as that lift does in the sketch. Haven't tried it myself but I don't have a particularly broad Scottish accent ::)
  25. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,223

    Lawfer -
    Very different, for these reasons. 1) Motorola is the only android phone maker who has not licesned the patents in question from MS. While HTC has already fixed their 'offending' software, but they're still being held up. Samsung is just as guilty, but gets away with it because they can afford lawyers.
    2) The MS patents are about 'calendar and appt making' functions, which are very widely used on smartphones. The thing HTC has violated is clicking on a phone number in an email to call the person, which far fewer people even care about.
    3) MS is not dominating the smartphone market in the way Apple is dominating HTC. I'd bet Motorola sells more phones than MS. So the impression I get is MS grapsing at straws to save their tiny market, compared to Apple squashing the little bug on the windshield that is HTC.

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