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The new web tool isn't enough to stop a class-action lawsuit from proceeding

Apple on Monday released a new web tool that completely solves a three-year-old problem relating to a bug in its iMessage service. In a nutshell, users who left their iPhones behind to move to a competing platform such as Android or Windows Phone found that iMessages sent from iPhone users to their phone number were no longer being delivered.
 
Even when the user did everything right (i.e. turning off iMessage before switching phones), it didn’t always resolve the issue.
 
Well it appears that the release of the web tool isn’t enough to stop a lawsuit from going forward. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who you may remember from the Samsung/Apple patent spat, is allowing a class-action lawsuit brought forth by Adrienne Moore to proceed. In the lawsuit, Moore claims that Apple didn’t properly disclose the fact that iOS would block the delivery of “countless” text messages from iPhone users to newly “iPhone free” users who decided to make a switch.
 
Moore made the switch from an iPhone 4 to a Galaxy S5 (while staying with Verizon Wireless), and that’s when her problems started.
 
In the lawsuit, Moore alleges that:
 
Apple failed to disclose that use of iMessage and Messages would result in undelivered messages if an iPhone user switched to a non-Apple device. More specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Apple knowingly omitted material information about the Messages application’s inability to detect when a former Messages user switches to a non-Apple device, resulting in undelivered text messages. Apple’s actions tortuously interfered with Plaintiff’s contract with Verizon Wireless because Plaintiff was entitled to send and receive text messages under her wireless service contract and Apple’s actions deprived her of the benefit of receiving text messages from Apple device users.
 
Judge Koh agreed, indicating that the "plaintiff does not have to allege an absolute right to receive every text message in order to allege that Apple's intentional acts have caused an actual breach or disruption of the contractual relationship."
 
Apple had previously argued that it’s under no obligation to detect through software when a user switches from an iOS device to another platform, and that it never expressly told its customers that its software would recognize when the switch occurred.
 
"Apple takes customer satisfaction extremely seriously, but the law does not provide a remedy when, as here, technology simply does not function as plaintiff subjectively believes it should,” stated Apple.
 
While the class-action lawsuit will definitely go forward, those that wish to have a quick resolution to iMessage hell can simply use the web tool here.

Sources: Reuters, U.S. District Court [PDF]





“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls













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