Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications Iphone The Courts Apple

Apple To Face Lawsuit For iMessage Glitch 238

Posted by Soulskill
from the false-barriers dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We've all heard about iPhone users switching over to Android-powered phones and no longer being able to receive text messages from friends and family still using iPhones. Well, a woman with exactly this issue has filed a lawsuit against Apple, complaining that '[p]eople who replace their Apple devices with non-Apple wireless phones and tablets are "penalized and unable to obtain the full benefits of their wireless-service contracts."' To be specific, '[t]he suit is based on contractual interference and unfair competition laws.' She is seeking class action status and undetermined damages."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple To Face Lawsuit For iMessage Glitch

Comments Filter:
  • Anti-competitive (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Saturday May 17, 2014 @02:32AM (#47023729) Homepage

    This is the kind of anti-competitive behavior that gets companies in trouble and causes regulatory crackdowns. Phone companies that make it hard to switch carriers. domain registrars that make it hard to switch registrars, and banks which make it hard to switch banks have all gotten in trouble for this.

    • by Bob_Who (926234)

      This is the kind of anti-competitive behavior that gets companies in trouble and causes regulatory crackdowns. Phone companies that make it hard to switch carriers. domain registrars that make it hard to switch registrars, and banks which make it hard to switch banks have all gotten in trouble for this.

      Welcome to American Hustle.. Like most sore winners we strut and take too much for granted - particularly our own citizens. Too bad we lost sight of our core values in the process of our financial dominance and success. American values flourish on a level playing field, in an inclusive meritocracy, but now we're back to royal assholes playing king of the hill. Perhaps dominance is more Sisyphus' crushing refrain. Human nature rears its ugly head in any golden age. Lets start with the obvious : Let's

    • At what point does something convenient and free like iMessages become a mandatory expectation across all devices known to man? Why not say Microsoft MUST make it's Office suite run on my PS4 or on my iPad...sue sue sue until they do it because it's their fault. [/sarcasm] Seriously, everyone needs to stop suing for everything.
    • by An dochasac (591582) on Saturday May 17, 2014 @07:22AM (#47024525)

      This is the kind of anti-competitive behavior that gets companies in trouble and causes regulatory crackdowns. Phone companies that make it hard to switch carriers. domain registrars that make it hard to switch registrars, and banks which make it hard to switch banks have all gotten in trouble for this.

      Not really. "Into trouble" usually means a write-off fine and a sullied name for the length of Joe sixpack's attention span (a few weeks or months depending on whether the news oligopolies relationship with their corporate Goliath sponsors.)

      Also, you forgot some, Employers that make it difficult for employees to switch careers and health-care companies who leverage pre-existing conditions to prevent customers from seeking competing alternatives. Political parties who shoehorn 300 million people into two points of view. The fact that Americans have come to accept monopolies in most aspects of their lives means they can't even see them or the problems they cause anymore. Apple isn't seen as a monopoly or even as an anti-competive corporate Goliath. Apple is seen as a "personal choice" or religion.

    • This assumes that Apple engineers are smart enough to do this intentionally. I suspect the problem is more due to incompetence than evil intent.

      Domain registrars are another story. If you've tried lately to renew a domain name registration even with Network Solutions, the original registrar, you'll find it really, really difficult to just renew, without buying some additional service you didn't want. And once you do, good luck trying to get your money back!

  • good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2014 @02:34AM (#47023741)

    Not an Apple hater, but I went through all of the correct steps to disconnect iMessage when switching to Android and had the exact same issues. Text messages wouldn't come through from iPhone users, at all, period. This is completely within Apple's control even if they aren't claiming it- the SMS protocol should always be used as a backup when iMessage transmission doesn't successfully complete. Otherwise, it's purely noncompetitive and is a maneuver to keep you on Apple's platform.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      What a ridiculous statement. In some markets, SMS messages cost for each and every one a non insignificant amount. An iPhone user is notified if the iMessage is not delivered. You can also choose in the message settings on your iPhone to automatically send via sms if iMessage delivery failed. Some people wouldn't want that to happen so it is a user choice. Apple shouldn't be held responsible because some people are incompetent to read that their iMessage was not delivered.

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        You can also choose in the message settings on your iPhone to automatically send via sms if iMessage delivery failed.

        Yeah, that's what I don't understand. So, she's suing because she can't figure out the iOS settings menu?

        • Yeah, that's what I don't understand. So, she's suing because she can't figure out the iOS settings menu?

          She sold her phone, so she hasn't got an iOS settings menu anymore. It's not obvious what things you have to do before you sell a phone. Maybe there should be an app for it - "Selling my phone" which reminds you of all the things you need to do before you sell it, does them for you if possible, and finally wipes the phone so the buyer can use it with their own account.

          Next thing would be to go to some Apple support site. Which should be easy, but may be difficult for some. Especially if you use the old a

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        The way I understand it is that an iMessage can still be delivered to another device. I.e. if the user has an iPad or their computer set up. So when you send a message expecting it to end up on someone's phone they don't get it because they still have their computer setup, but if they never check their computer because they typically only look on their phone, .... how is iMessage supposed to know the message was not delivered?

        By all accounts it's a common enough problem that other vendors offer guidance on

  • I think this is insanely cool!

  • The people sending you messages are not sending you SMS, they are sending you iMessages. They are sending to your contact phone number, and they have iMessage turned on to save them $$$ when sending texts to other people registered with iMessage.

    Because you used to have an iPhone, and had also turned iMessage on, your phone number is in their database, and so when it's deciding what data channel to use, it looks up the phone number it's about to send to, and if it's listed in the iMessage database, it sends

    • Why don't you reply to this post [slashdot.org] because that person seems to have tried to unsubscribe from iMessage.

      • by tlambert (566799)

        Why don't you reply to this post [slashdot.org] because that person seems to have tried to unsubscribe from iMessage.

        Not really my job to give them a personally clue, above and beyond the above posting, especially since they are posting AC, and I therefore can't contact them to help them directly work around whatever it is they are functionally failing to do. As an AC, there's really no way to have a conversation person to person about it.

      • by jbolden (176878)

        That person is an AC and claims from ACs about stuff with no explanation at all aren't worth responding to.

        The fact is iMessage isn't magic. The way it works is rather clear. There are obvious visual signals for the sender about what's happening. There are no magic settings in it. Associating and disassociating devices can at a minimum be done via:
        a) The device
        b) findmyphone
        c) support.apple.com
        d) or via. Apple's phone support

        This whole controversy is BS.

    • by Jason Whitehurst (3642727) on Saturday May 17, 2014 @03:51AM (#47024015)
      As an IT Architect, who daily works with and for those with varying degrees of technical skills, I would disagree that the user is "an idiot". The steps you mention will certainly address the issue no doubt. What is in question is if the layperson should be aware of these steps and be capable of undertaking them "if" they forget to disable iMessage. What a class action lawsuit will do is force Apple to put in checks that look at the IMEI of the phone each time an iMessage is sent and the ack isn't received by the server from the phone in x amount of time. There is a different error message for an IMEI either offline or registered to a new user than one where the phone is simply unavailable. I can think of 5 different ways Apple can identify the device changed to a non Apple device. They haven't fixed this issue on purpose. Creating an issue like this undoubtedly ensures a percentage of users return their Android phones and get another Apple device to fix the texting issue thereby ensuring Apple revenue. You can bet Apple will weigh the cost of the suit versus the customer retention revenue and either pay out and leave it the way it is or fix the problem. There's no doubt it is a problem because it's not automated and the courts will rule in favor of the user because the process is not automated.
      • by tlambert (566799)

        As an IT Architect, who daily works with and for those with varying degrees of technical skills, I would disagree that the user is "an idiot". The steps you mention will certainly address the issue no doubt. What is in question is if the layperson should be aware of these steps and be capable of undertaking them "if" they forget to disable iMessage. What a class action lawsuit will do is force Apple to put in checks that look at the IMEI of the phone each time an iMessage is sent and the ack isn't received by the server from the phone in x amount of time. There is a different error message for an IMEI either offline or registered to a new user than one where the phone is simply unavailable. I can think of 5 different ways Apple can identify the device changed to a non Apple device. They haven't fixed this issue on purpose.

        Messages sent via iMessage are not sent that way on the carrier back end, they are sent on the phone, via the data connection, and the IMEI or ESN/MEID is not generally sent, as it would have to be pulled out and sent in-band as part of the message in a framed header for the message on the iPhone. This would require both a software update on the iPhone, and a software update on the back end iMessage service.

        Given that the iMessage service predates the current generation of iPhones, and therefore the older

        • They could change the timeouts. If an iMessage is sent to a destination that's a phone number (instead of an email address), and a device configured to receive messages for that phone number has not checked in within the past 5-7 days, deactivate iMessage for that phone number until a configured device checks in again.

          I agree this is mostly user error and haven't had any problems resolving it for people who've asked me about it, but people don't typically anticipate this result when switching phones, so co

    • by sjwt (161428)

      RTFA, unsubscribing does not always work, thats the bug that Apple has been unable to fix for a year.

    • SMTP has a method for returning undeliverable messages. It would be nice for iMessage to have this. I agree though. The litigation is absurd. You will still get billed if you move without cancelling your cable service. This same thing is happening here.
    • by GryMor (88799)

      There is no opt in for iMessage subverting SMS, there may be an opt out, but that doesn't seem to work reliably.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I ran into the same problem when i switched from apple to Android. Boss sent me a message i never got "hey, i was trying to get a hold of you earlier, what happened " This was in the early days of iMessage, before everyone really knew what was going on.

      Even then, it wasn't that *hard* to figure out what was going on, and how to fix it. ( in my case i just put he sim back in and did it on the phone ) I dont think shes an idiot as much as she is a gold digger. Seems like that is the American way these days

  • Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.

    A lot of people are posting that Apple had some sort of malicious intent (lock people in) when really it's more likely they just didn't think it through properly. The whole thing can easily be solved just by making a simple, easy to find webpage to turn iMessage off. Even customers who aren't switching may find it useful (abroad with your iPhone with data turned off because it's ridiculously expensive, but left the iPad at home a

  • This is a very real problem. My wife had her iphone 4s stolen and activated my daughter's old iphone 4s on her verizon line. About a week later she tells me that many of her friends are saying that she isn't responding to txt messages and she says she isn't getting them. This goes on for weeks. It turns out that she didn't turn on icloud on the new (old) iphone so all of the imessages were going to never never land. It's not obvious at all what is happening.

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      It turns out that she didn't turn on icloud on the new (old) iphone so all of the imessages were going to never never land. It's not obvious at all what is happening.

      The first thing I would do after activating an iPhone on a plan to replace another one is sign into my iCloud account to sync all my contacts back. Not to mention remove the old iPhone from my iCloud account so my iCloud email, Safari bookmarks (and possibly saved passwords) are no longer in the thief's hands.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Its still a user issue and not an apple issue.

      As a disclaimer i no longer use iOS products. There is plenty of 'bad' with iOS, but this isn't one of those times. iMessage was actually pretty cool, as like BBM it saved you from hitting your SMS limits ( if you have one.. ) and i think they were encrypted in transit.

  • PEBKAC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SJ (13711) on Saturday May 17, 2014 @04:39AM (#47024149)

    In other news, a friend of mine recently switched to Google Chat. Why hasn't he responded to all my Skype messages? Is he not getting them?

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Maybe because she switch from one chat messaging system to another. Quite a bit different than going from SMS to SMS. Now you can argue that that SMS and iMessage are two different systems. Well... they are in the same app, and it's confusing the hell out of users.

      Regardless of the actual mechanics involved when one user experiences a problem it's PEBKAC. When multiple users experience multiple problems in similar ways all not expecting the outcome in question and vendors need to host webpages with dedicate

  • For fucks sake, it's not like Apple have a hard thing to do here... if ( recipientLastUsed() > days(1) ) { removeFromiMessage(); } icloud/imessage "logs in" right, not hard..
    • by clifyt (11768)

      Right now, it is this but 45 days.

      When I travel, I generally take a burner phone with me so I don't get overseas charges and otherwise. I still take my iPhone, but leave it on Wifi only. And a lot of times, Wifi is still hard to come by. I can get to internet cafes where I can log in to someone else's computer, but I can't get to my own computers. And when I do get wifi? I get all my messages, sometimes a week later.

      The point? For a lot of us 1 day is way too short. Maybe 45 days is too long. What

      • by kthreadd (1558445)

        A user preference would be appropriate.

        • by clifyt (11768)

          Do you not understand the Apple way of thinking? There are few user preferences.

          It may piss off the nerd aspects of me, but it also simplifies life when I'm not. Why? Because user pref here, user pref there, user pref everywhere and it never stops.

          I use to design sounds for synths. A few hundred preferences to get a particular sound. I could almost deal with this because it was an art. And then I realized everyone else had this same preference at their fingertips but would rather buy the sounds and ne

      • by ganjadude (952775)
        Id say a week by default, but id also have a setting so the user can decide how long or short as well. but thats me
  • It boils down to people not reading what they agreed to. That and its brain-dead easy to undo the 'hook', and is not a process that Apple is hiding.

    Switching services in many 'areas' involve some work on your part. Suck it up and follow the directions.

  • Make sure that the person sending the message doesn't have your iCloud e-mail in your contact information. This would be another, and completely understandable problem.

    Or install Hangouts for iOS as a much broader platform with cross platform everything.

  • Um, no apple did not prevent this. They prevented her from getting iMessages, which is proprietary. They have no obligation to figure out that you dropped apple, then magically forward them on via SMS when you ditch their 'services', and cant follow directions.

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.

Working...