Apple Targeted In Another Lawsuit Over Siri

    March 30, 2012
    Shaylin Clark
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Another suit has been filed against Apple over Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant software that was one of the key selling points of the iPhone 4S. The suit accuses Apple of falsely advertising Siri’s capabilities and functionality.

The class action suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by David Jones, according to the L.A. Times. The complaint alleges that Apple’s marketing of Siri is “deceptive.” Apple’s commercials show Siri responding quickly and flawlessly to a wide variety of user requests. Jones, however, found that Siri often took too long to return inaccurate responses, and often didn’t respond at all. Jones is asking for unspecified “relief and damages.” The suit seeks class-action status, which means that other disgruntled iPhone 4S users could try for a piece of the pie as well.

This is the second lawsuit concerning Siri to be filed this month. Two weeks ago another annoyed iPhone user filed suit against Apple in U.S. District Court in New York. Like Jones’s suit, that suit sought class-action status and accuses Apple of misrepresenting Siri’s actual performance and capabilities in its advertising.

For reference, here are a couple of the commercials:

Though not perfect, Siri is actually pretty popular with users. A recent study found that most iPhone users like Siri, though they use it for a fairly limited number of things.

The problem with suits like this, though, is that Siri isn’t meant to be perfect, at least not yet. Apple has clearly stated on a number of occasions – including on their website – that Siri is still in beta. Yes, Apple’s commercials show Siri working without the flaws that some users have experienced, but the truth is that when Siri works, it works pretty much how Apple says it will, which isn’t bad for a feature that’s still in beta.

Siri is still in Beta

Siri is still in Beta

What do you think? Should Apple have to pay people who are upset about Siri? Is Apple’s advertising “deceptive”? What do you think of Siri? Does it work like you think it should, or do you have problems (or both)? Let us know in the comments.

  • mattie

    Siri Misleading Adds take Apple to Court

    “Misleading messages” about Apple’s well known product Siri are the reason for the latest lawsuit against the big communications company. The suit, filed in Regina by Merchant Law Group, notes a press release introducing Siri lauded it as “an intelligent assistant,” the article adds. After buying an iPhone 4S, Regina resident Catlin Hendriks — – the only named plaintiff at this point — claims Siri didn’t work as advertised.
    The statement of claim notes Apple’s video advertisements showed individuals using Siri, which became available with the iPhone 4S in October, to “make appointments, find restaurants, and even learn guitar chords to classic rock songs or how to tie a tie.”
    “Siri either did not understand what the plaintiff was asking or, after a very long wait time, responded with the wrong answer. The plaintiff quickly recognized the futility of using Siri,” contends the suit.
    A statement of claim contains allegations not yet proven in court. The proposed class is all persons in Canada who bought an Apple iPhone 4S. The suit cannot proceed as a class action until it receives approval by a judge.
    A spokesperson with Apple Canada’s corporate office said its company policy is not to comment on litigation. A statement of defence has not yet been filed.

    This is the third such lawsuit; the two others are based in the U.S. Earlier this week a new suit was filed in a U.S. District Court by a California resident named David Jones, who argues that Apple oversells Siri’s abilities in advertising and TV commercials, reports the “L.A. Times”.
    “It contends Apple took advantage of consumers, violated consumer protection legislation and caused “substantial injury” to the plaintiff and other members of the proposed class, who have lost money.
    Among the compensation sought, the suit seeks a 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.”
    Among the compensation sought, the suit seeks a refund in the difference in purchase price between the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 (without Siri).

    The Regina suit claims Apple knew of the Siri’s “shortcomings” before its distribution. “Indeed, buried in Apple’s website is the amorphous sentence: ‘Siri is currently in beta and we’ll continue to improve it over time,'” it says. The suit claims Apple didn’t disclose that the Siri transactions in its commercials are fictitious and real consumers can’t expect it to perform such tasks.

    E.F. Anthony “Tony” Merchant, Q.C. (born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan) is a lawyer and former politician. He is senior counsel at Merchant Law Group LLP, which has offices across Canada including in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. Several of the largest lawsuits in Canadian history have originated from Merchant Law Group LLP’s offices, multi-Billion dollar class-action lawsuits concerning Celebrex/Bextra, Vioxx, 911 Fees, defective automobiles, Facebook user security problems and shareholder class actions. Merchant Law Group has major involvement in the residential school lawsuits in Canada.