Apple Slapped With Lawsuit Over Wi-Fi Assist’s Cellular Data Usage
We should have all seen this one coming… A class-action lawsuit was filed against Apple on Friday, claiming that the company didn’t properly warn users that the new Wi-Fi Assist feature that debuted in iOS 9 would use data from their cellular plan.
In the complaint, plaintiffs William Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt Phillips allege that because of costs related to Wi-Fi Assist, the “overall amount in controversy exceeds” $5 million. Filed in a U.S. District Court in San Jose on Friday, the suit was first discovered by AppleInsider.
The complaint accuses Apple of violating California’s Unfair Competition Law, its False Advertising Law, and of negligent misrepresentation.
Wi-Fi Assist is turned on by default once iOS 9 is installed on an iPhone. The feature is intended to assist a user’s internet connection by using cellular data if the Wi-Fi signal being used is weak.
Users have alleged that the new feature has caused them to use more cellular data than they anticipated. The new lawsuit seeks to force Apple to reimburse customers for any data overages they were required to pay for.
The lawsuit claims Apple did not properly explain the feature to consumers until a “flood of articles” was written about the feature and its usage of cellular data. “Defendant’s above corrective action, however, still downplays the possible data overcharges a user could incur,” the suit reads. “Reasonable and average consumers use their iPhones for streaming of music, videos, and running various applications — all of which can use significant data. Defendant’s corrective statement does not disclose any basis for its conclusion that an average consumer would not see much increase in cellular usage.”
The suit claims both plaintiffs were charged with overage fees on the cellular data usage of their iPhone 5s handsets, after upgrading to iOS 9. The suit does not exactly state the amount of the charges, merely that the plaintiffs – and the possible class-action members- were mislead about how the feature works.