Regina law firm hopes to launch class action lawsuit over Siri’s “shortcomings”

Daniel Bader

April 6, 2012 8:01 pm

A Regina law firm is hoping to file a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of disgruntled iPhone 4S users who are claiming that the company knowingly took advantage of its customers in promoting the intelligent assistant as fully functional. The one named plaintiff, Catlin Hendriks, asserts that there was “substantial injury” done to all prospective signees, who purchased the iPhone 4S largely on the unfulfilled promise of Siri’s functionality.

A similar lawsuit was issued in the US earlier this year, but the Canadian one goes even further, as we don’t have access to the location database that drives much of Siri’s usefulness. The suit has to be approved by a judge before it comes to fruition but if so the compensation demanded is a full refund “in the difference in purchase price between the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 (without Siri), and damages for ‘loss of use, annoyance and inconvenience.’”

Whether the suit gains any traction will be based largely on whether the law firm can convince a judge that true irrevocable harm was sustained by Siri’s “beta” status, since it’s not realistic to rely completely on the service. Similar information can be obtained on the iPhone by searching for it manually, or by using countless free apps available in the App Store. Nevertheless, since Siri was promoted as a primary reason to purchase the 4S over its predecessor, those that choose to take part in the class action suit may be in for a payout.

Apple is not responding to the proposed suit, and likely won’t issue a statement until it has been approved by a judge.

Source: Canada.com
(Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)

  • Biz

    Even though I am an android fan..these lawsuits are really lame.. the only people who benefit are lawyers…

    • PkaTka1

      My fellow fandroids aka iHaters, let’s thump down any comment that says anything good about Apple. We have to show them how ignorant we are! Let’s go!

    • ExcessDan

      on the other hand, Apple is pushing Siri hard in their marketing. You can’t watch TV shows without an magical Siri commercial and if you ever try any of that stuff from the commercial, it just doesn’t work. Irrevocable harm and sustainable injury is a bit much but it’s cool to see someone is taking them to task for what appears to me as false advertising.

  • Non

    Makes sense to me. If it wasnt fully working in Canada why they were showing commercials where Siri was using location based services?

    • Rio

      Those commercials were in the US, and there wasn’t a single mention of siri on Apple Canada’s website or in store.

  • Negative Ned

    Anyone stupid enough to buy an iPhone deserves nothing. Fools!

  • gjac0m

    Siri is still in beta and Apple already said it. Wtf is complicated to understand?

    • northy

      I just went all through the iphone website, nowhere does it say Siri is Beta,,

      not that Im condoning the lawsuit, but apple did advertise alot on the function of Siri

    • DrewNL

      Northy:

      Where on apple.ca does it refer to Siri at all? Not on the iphone page, not on the store.

    • Rio

      @northy you did a horrible job looking then. It states on the siri page.

      Siri is available in Beta only on iPhone 4S and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply.

    • Rio

      More :

      Language Support and Availability
      Siri works exclusively on iPhone 4S. Siri understands and can speak the following languages:

      English (United States, United Kingdom, Australia)
      French (France)
      German (Germany)
      Japanese (Japan)
      In 2012, Siri will support additional languages, including Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish.

      Can I use Siri in any of these languages in other countries?
      Yes. Siri can be enabled in any country, and you can choose to speak to it in English, French, or German. However, Siri is designed to recognize the specific accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers.

  • DrewNL

    Did they air the same ads in Canada that they did in the US? I know that Apple.ca intentionally omits mention of Siri, where Apple.com refers to it.

    • freestaterocker

      I’ve seen siri ads on Canadian channels… But still this lawsuit is lame.

  • fanboy

    Power of masses!
    4S is not even a year old.

    Telus Motorola Milestone user had to wait more than a year to get fonctionality advertised (Flash in the browser). aka Froyo update.

  • ML

    Actually, this class action can set quite a few precedents, namely if beta statuses/disclaimers are enough to offset advertised claims.

  • NonSense

    Apple.com/ca has NO reference whatsoever to Siri.

    Apple.com references Siri with a big a*s BETA.

    These people should be publicily slapped for being utterly stupid, ignorant and pathetic.

    And fined for wasting the Court’s time and the public money.

    And to end it all, she more likely doesn’t even know how to use the damn thing.

  • George

    Tony Merchant (the lawyer) is an attention-starved hack. That is the only reason why this lawsuit exists.

  • delaney

    im canadian and own an iphone 4s and even though i love my phone but at the end of the day i dont see any issue with this law suit.. its just as retarded as all the lawsuits apple starts for the tiniest little reason themselves.. suddenly they are on the other end of a similar nit picking lawsuit so be it.. what goes around comes around.

  • W

    Regina has lawyers?

  • Big Ang

    Simple solution – offer the refund of the price difference between the iPhone 4 and 4S ONLY if the disgruntled owners hand over their 4S in exchange for a refurbished 4.

    Then you’ll find a lot of them hemming and hawing, and finally deciding that the iPhone 4S is worth the extra $100.

  • boojay

    Yay!! Sue Apple! Payback’s a b***h.

  • Jorge

    Completely frivolous. Apple doesn’t do any advertising for Siri in Canada on tv, their website or even in stores. It’s technically not available in Canada yet. I have a 4s and love using Siri. I knew there were limitations when I got it but still sooo worth it.

  • Deep

    Good luck suing, Siri is still technically in beta, aka an unfinished product.

  • alex

    Siri opens up so many opportunities to the blind… stupid people. It DOES a lot MORE than any other apps did to the mass. public.

    READ into the product description prior to buying it on whether or not it is suited to your needs.

    It is just a tool. USE IT.

    I won’t even mention the significant improvement in the camera sensor…

    I think 4S is definitely WORTH the money for those who wanted such a tool. Meanwhile, those who are complaining about 4 vs 4S should read product description before pulling out their cash or the visa card.

  • alex

    Advertising is advertising.

    Use your brain.

  • GT

    Quote from the Canadian iphone page “Some features, applications, and services are not available in all areas. See your carrier for details. Application availability and pricing are subject to change.”

  • Jed

    Can’t believe I live in the same city as scum like this.

  • Mark

    Well Apple, you go around suing Samsung, RIM and countless other companies for the most pathetic of reasons. Karma’s a b***h eh, wouldn’t you say so?

  • Peter

    majority of these types of lawyers = losers…pretty simple.

  • Joe

    Tony Merchant. I don’t even have to go read the source article to find out this is his law firm. He is the biggest “ambulance chaser” there is. THis guy would file a class action lawsuit against God himself if he knew where to deliver the paperwork. Total scumbag!!!!!

  • MB

    Same story with Jonathan Nova in Montreal…

  • badmojo

    Apple needs to be sued. Releasing a phone a year later thats essentually the same as the one before it with a feature that doesn’t do what is advertised and NOT releasing it (siri) on previous models is grounds to be sued. Apple pray on its consumer base and it has finally caught up to them.

    If siri is beta then why do you all feel its acceptable to have people buy a product to be a beta tester? That is acceptable to you? What’s next? Oh your breaks don’t work as they should on your brand new car that was advertised as having the safest breaking for you and your family? That’s because the breaking feature is in beta. Well be sure to sell you the real working system next year but you’ll have to rebuy next years model.

    I will not stand to be sold a product that turns out to be in beta and glad these people aren’t either. Hope they win.

    Anyone who thinks this lawsuit is stupid clearly are blinded by the tears from choking on apples proverbial d*ick.

  • Hardened

    Badmojo is comparing Siri to car breaks lmao! Siri in no way working or not affects the primary uses of a phone. Small feature updates for phones is nothing new to the industry – Nokia, samsung & Lg gave been doing it for years, and even currently!!

    Apple warned about protecting over 200 patents when they debuted the iPhone back in 2007 – considering touch screens didn’t even compare back then they have a right to do so.

    Lawsuit in Canada is frivolous, but may have some merit about disclaimers or Beta feature advertising; this will be interesting considering how powerful Siri is.

    • Steve mcqueen

      I agree with badmojo. In the real world I’m paid to test new products in beta stage or I’m offered it for free until the final version is released.

      Apple charged consumers $100 to test out a beta feature.

      What a joke. Sure consumers are stupid for buying a new iPhone because of Siri but it doesn’t excuse the tactics used to by Apple to sell the 4s.

      ‘Hardened’, you sound like you’re a moron. No offense.

  • Henry McDonald

    I fully agree with this law-suit as many bought the phone under the assumption Siri would work, since it doesn’t Apple is liable and should not profit from this lie. In the same way other companies should also be sued for misleading the public or false advertising, a good example is Mobilicity who claim to have service in certain areas of the GTA on coverage maps and don’t.

  • DrewNL

    I should sue Mazda! My car (bought in Pennsylvania) doesn’t have daytime running lights, but the Canadian version does! How dare they!?

    • Steve mcqueen

      Were you falsely told that the daytime running lights would make you a better driver and enhance your driving experience? If so, then yes you should sue Mazda for false claims. If you bought your car under the impression you were getting daytime running lights like you seen on advertisements only to realize your cars daytime running lights don’t work during the day only at night then yes, you should sue.

      If you enjoy being told a product does something only to realize it doesn’t and you can’t return the product… Then no don’t sue. However Most consumers don’t enjoy paying for something that doesn’t work based on false advertising so they… You guessed it rightfully sue.

      A company with 100 billion in the bank charged consumers to be a beta tester and used that beta feature as the distinctive selling point to push the product.

      Moron.

    • Rio

      There was not a single mention of Siri on Canadian phones. Apple specifically said it is only available in certain countries.

      If anything it is all these news sites fault. They said the new iPhone is going to have siri but did not specify which countries. Or it is the readers fault for not reading the news properly.

      People are just stupid

  • Brandon

    Yes, Apple did advertise Siri on TV as being functional for location based services. No, Siri does not appear on Apple.ca. But you guys gotta think of the networks Apple advertised Siri on. U.S networks. not canadian networks. U.s to target U.S consumers. Should apple have told Canadians that Siri won’t be as functional? That’s for the judge to decide.

  • tiesto89

    There’s a lot more (other than Siri) in the 4S vs. the 4: dual-core processor, enhanced camera on the back, more storage, shoots 1080p… Offering a “full refund” for the difference of price between a 4 and 4S would be unreasonable, as it’s price is higher because, in most part, of the other hardware differences.

  • Amanda

    If you’re so unhappy with the iphone, why don’t they return it and by another phone instead of suing the company? It might just be a crazy thought of mine.

  • J

    If people are so upset about beta performance of a beta product they should quit being mindless i****s that go out and purchase anything with the words “latest” and “Apple” in it without questioning it, Apple may actually take notice then. Instead these people will probably buy an iPhone 5 because Siri will now be “working”.

  • ant6n

    “it’s not realistic to rely completely on the service”

    Well it’s good for you tech savvy blog writer person to know this; but based on Apple marketing exactly this can be assumed. That’s sorta the point.

  • Otter

    J hit the nail on the head.
    Every day, I deal with customers who are pissed off with their carrier, say they are being screwed and want to leave…

    They are paying $120-150 a month…

    But they wont give up their iphone.

    The only way for companies to get a message, is to vote with your dollars. Maybe not everyone will do it, but its like voting in elections. If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain. If you keep paying for things you hate, you have no right to complain.

  • LTD.Edition

    I guess no one knows what beta means.

  • Galaxy. Note

    I have tons of friends who bought iphone 4S and I never saw any of them using Siri.

    I am android fan. Love my Note.

  • Domingo

    I HATE APPLE AND THEIR FASCIST CRAP *but* this is just plain stupid. Who the heck uses Siri anyway. It looked like a silly marketing gimick from the start and turns out it was. Only IDIOTS fell for “apple marketing machine”. but again. The only thing more stupid than siri is claiming damages from it not working well. You had to be a moron to think it would.

  • commonsense

    Why can’t we all just get along? Ever heard the term buyer beware? Can we sue toy manufactures for toys that don’t work like they should, or tim hortons for coffee that doesn’t make us perky in the mornining?

  • Robert

    Apple runs around suing everyone for everything, so now anyone should sue Apple for anything. It’s called “iKarma.”

  • the

    I agree with this law suit. Coz ppl in Canada NOT using the siri to find locations. I don’t see any difference between 4 and 4S other than hardware. iPh just marketing that way so that they can sell more. Really stupid apple. They are just cheating ppl who doesn’t know anything about specifications.

  • Dukey

    and you’re on the American site…

  • Amanda

    I see a lot of pragmatic comments being voted down. People who think apple should be sued for Siri don’t understand the free market. You vote for certain trends buy your purchases. If you’re really upset about Siri never ever buy an Apple product again and tell your friends to the same. Apple will make less sales and won’t try another gimmick like Sir again. Apple is pretty much a marketing machine were they hire way more sales people than actual engineers. If you want a future where market gimmicks are valued over actual technological breakthroughs, just keep buying Apple products.