Complaint About Siri In Britain Rejected

Siri is great for finding local businesses. If you live in the U.S.

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Complaint About Siri In Britain Rejected
[ Technology]

Britain’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has struck down a complaint about Siri, the personal assistant software on the iPhone 4S. The frustrated iPhone owner complained that Siri was not able to direct him to businesses in his area, despite advertising that, he said, suggested it would.

The ad in question was for Britain’s Vodafone mobile carrier, and focused on some of Siri’s unique capabilities. Here’s the text of the ad:

Simply ask Siri to help you send messages, set reminders or search for information. It understands not only what you say but also what you mean, so you can speak naturally. It can even use information from your iPhone – such as your location, contacts, and contact relationships – to provide intelligent, personal assistance.

A disclaimer on the ad emphasized that “Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area.”

The complainant felt that this ad was misleading, as it failed to make Siri’s limitations in the UK sufficiently clear. Since the actual ad copy came from Apple, not Vodafone, the carrier deferred their defense to Apple. Apple insisted that the ad was not misleading and that Siri does use certain location services in Britain, but that the ad does not say or imply that users in the UK can use Siri to look up business. Apple also said that they had carefully avoided using map images in their British advertising for Siri, in light of the fact that Siri does not have access to map data in the UK.

The ASA agreed with Apple that the ad did not suggest that Siri could do things it couldn’t in the UK. The ASA ruled that it was neither Apple’s nor Vodafone’s fault if British iPhone users construed advertising in the UK based on their knowledge of what Siri can do in the U.S.

Siri’s capabilities – or lack thereof – has caused frustration for iPhone users. While the implementation of Siri on U.S. iPhones is generally quite good, the personal assistant software is notoriously bad with accents. Speaking U.S. English with a foreign accent (or U.K English with a Scottish accent) causes all sorts of problems ranging from the hilarious to the infuriating.

Is the ad misleading? Is Apple (or the carrier) responsible for making it clear just what Siri can and can’t do in a given country? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Complaint About Siri In Britain Rejected
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  • Susan Fraser

    Ads are very misleading
    I bought my phone a month ago and returned to
    Apple to ask how to get Siri to understand me as I am Scottish
    They told me the more I use it the more it will understand me!!’!!!
    I wish I had just bought the I phone 3
    I feel I have been ripped off
    Siri is totally useless

    • Sheila Gladwell

      Apple store told me the same thing last week when I bought my phone – the more you use Siri the more it will understand. I do not have a strong Scottish accent – having left my beloved home country too many years ago now. So “standard” speil it would seem from the staff of Apple. Also totally po’d in asking Siri for an addy as in restaurant/museum etc local to where I live – no go in the UK – gobsmacked to find that out and not what I expected. In fact am having thoughts about returning this phone and reviving my beloved and very easy to use Nokia touch phone!

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