Siri Sucks and Apple Has Deceived Us, Claims Lawsuit

    March 13, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

While it’s definitely true that Apple’s voice assistant Siri hasn’t always worked like a charm, one New Yorker thinks that Siri’s shortcomings are enough to warrant legal action.

Frank M. Fazio has filed a class action complaint against Apple for violation of various California consumer protection laws as well as intentional misrepresentation concerning Siri, Apple’s breakthrough voice assistant tool that’s been one of the main selling points of the iPhone 4S.

The main focus of Mr. Fazio’s suit is Apple’s advertising. He says that Apple used Siri to differentiate the iPhone 4S from previous iPhone models (and by doing so were able to charge more for it). But in his mind, Siri hasn’t even come close to living up to how Apple portrayed her.

The iPhone 4S is the latest version of the iPhone and is distinguished by Defendant from its other iPhone devices, including the iPhone 4, predominantly based on the inclusion and touted benefits of a feature styled “Siri.”

Through an extensive and comprehensive nationwide marketing campaign, Defendant has conveyed the misleading and deceptive message that the iPhone 4S’s Siri feature, a so-called voice-activated assistant, performs useful functions and otherwise works as advertised.

But those messages about Siri’s functionality are intentionally deceitful, according to the Plaintiff:

Defendant’s advertisements regarding the Siri feature are fundamentally and designedly false and misleading. Notwithstanding Apple’s extensive multi-million dollar advertising campaign showcasing the Siri feature, and the fact that the iPhone 4S is more expensive than the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S’s Siri feature does not perform as advertised, rendering the iPhone 4S merely a more expensive iPhone.

Defendant’s misrepresentations concerning the Siri feature of the iPhone 4S are misleading, false, and reasonably likely to deceive and have deceived Plaintiff and members of the putative class.

The suit goes on to specifically name recent Apple ads for the iPhone 4S that focus on Siri. If you’ve noticed the recent slew of iPhone 4S ads, you probably already know that most all of do in fact center around Siri’s functionality. Fazio’s attorneys specifically mention this ad that you might recognize:

Apple has said on numerous occasions that Siri is in beta and will be improved as they go. They even say this on the site page for Siri. Given, it is in small print and that’s part of what Mr. Fazio is upset about.

What do you think? Do you think that Apple’s various Siri-oriented advertisements are misleading? Has Apple deceived customers with their marketing campaign? Or is this guy just expecting too much? Let us know in the comments.

Apple iPhone Siri Cpt

  • http://www.mosaictec.com Sarah

    In my own experience, Siri has not been as effective or intuitive as the commercials imply. I also rarely use Siri, so I do not know the ins and outs of the software. It does seem surprising that an individual would sue Apple for this, but I will be interested to see how this case turns out.

    Mosaic Technology

  • Nick

    We have been Apple users from the beginning. However, does it seem that both Apple and Windows occasionally launch a Beta program a tad early in order to let the general public sniff out all the elusive bugs and workarounds for them? Just askin’.

  • Dianne

    I applaud the guy who is suing. I speak American English with no accent and my enunciation and pronunciation and pretty good. Siri’s performance is so abysmal, I’ve given up – for the most part – and just use Google talk. I wish it weren’t so – but I agree that the advertising is optimistic to the point of falsehood.

  • Michael

    This guy is the reason this country is in debt, suing because he has nothing better to do than sue the company that made his smart-phone, which may I add is his world, everything he does is revolved around his phone.

    Of course Siri isn’t going to work as well as its marketed. Society today has lost all common sense and believes that everything told must be true and if it’s not true the only write way to get something done is to sue someone. I really hope this guy doesn’t win the case.

    Siri is something never before been produced and a new product of course their is going to be some sort of malfunctions, and to sue over things like this inhibits are drive and passion to put out new products on the market for fear of being sued by lazy arrogant individuals like Fazio over here. I mean c’mon. Man up and work for your money.

    • TK

      Siri is nothing new or groundbreaking. Dragon dictation has been around for a while, Google’s voice commands for Android have been around for years before Siri was even in conception. Why is it that when Apple finally adds a feature to their products that has been on competing products for a while, it’s considered new and groundbreaking. There is nothing new about it. Apple purchased a company that specialized in voice recognition, made a deal with Wolfram Alpha and there is Siri… Pretty much all Apple does is host the server.

    • bobbintb

      what? youre an idiot. yea, this country is in debt because too many individuals are suing the richest company in the world. how does that even make sense? oh if only people would leave all these multibillon dollar conglomerates alone then we wouldnt be so poor. although i do agree societys common sense is dwindling, but that has little to do with this case. apparently its ok for a company to sell you a product based on misleading information, demonstrations, and deceptive advertising but its not ok for consumers to not be ok with that. as consumers, what are we supposed to do when a company does that? write a letter?

      i do see where he is coming from, even though i wouldnt have taken that route, but then again i wouldnt have bought the phone in the first place. and another thing, im so sick of every little thing apple does as being described as “groundbreaking”. siri is nothing new. android phones have had similar programs years ago, some that work better, some that dont. why are there so many idiots out there that think apple invented the smart phone, or the tablet, or “ipod” like music devices. most of what apple does is just repackage someone else’s idea. not that they arent good at it, because obviously they are. but their contributions to technology are grossly exaggerated.

  • jimmy s

    I waited so long to upgrade to AT&T to get a iPhone 4S and it’s nothing more than a little faster iPhone 4 and even iPhone 3g. The people who spent $300 for the 4S should get what they pay for. With such little difference, SIRI was the main sales pitch in which I try to use SIRI… it messes up every time, calls wrong people, does things without me even saying yes or no and is so frustrating that I end up having to take the iPhone out and do everything the old fashion way.

    Going back to AT&T and demanding a new phone for false advertising and I am done with anything apple related. I knew I stayed away from Mac PC’s for a reason, now I remember why,

  • Antonio

    What a waist of my hard earned money. Siri, plain and simple has sucked at least on my iPhone. Siri was the main reason why I purchased the phone but all I’ve gotten is frustration. I always have to repeat things more than twice and when she finally understands its always off. I applaud Frank for going after Apple. They’ve gotten greedy and ugly by false advertising. I hope this is not the beginning of what’s to be expected from apple.

    Disappointed apple enthusiast!!

  • Radar O’Riley

    I started using Apple products in 1983 and have been a fanatic ever since. Siri is the biggest let-down and yes, the ads are very misleading. I spent 20 years in broadcast television news and I have clear diction, yet Siri understands NOTHING I ask of it. Even simple requests are NEVER understood. This product was one of the main reasons I went from my iPhone 4 to the 4s and it was all because of the lies perpetrated in DECEPTION ADVERTISING.

  • Unhappy

    I am very unhappy I switched to apple iPhone just for Siri and it understands nothing. When I first got it it wasn’t to bad but now it’s got worse

  • Veritas

    I’m not so sure that a lawsuit is in order – our society is overly litigious IMHO – but I agree that Siri is basically useless. Sending an email or text is more hassle than it’s worth by the time I get through manually correcting all of the improper words, add the correct punctuation, and format it properly. Even simple words are interpreted incorrectly. At best, I can ask Siri some very basic web searches and she is correct about half the time. I was pretty bummed considering this was my first iPhone and I partially got it for the Siri feature.

  • apple stock holder

    I love Apple…but!!!
    The company’s Siri ad campaign is blatantly a dream for the future. As of now, the Siri feature is more of a hindrance than a help. If you call for help, and did not by extended help coverage, the company has the gall to ask for $29.95 for one call to attempt to find out if it is your phone or Siri that is at fault. Sorry Apple! It’s time to come clean and tell the public about your wishful thinking regarding Siri.

  • Mike Dolan

    Siri sucks. It is not working. It wastes people ‘s time. No one uses it or talk about it today. We wasted our hard earn money.

  • Kevin Allen

    Just received my new iPhone 4s as a gift.I owned the original iPhone back in 2007 and have been using other handsets eversince. I enjoy the smoothness and functionality of the overall phone, but Siri seems to have been added onto the operating system like an after thought. Either that, or I need to practice using it more.

  • Mike

    I get so frustrated with Siri just trying to call a contact that I keep it turned off. Over the past month or so, it fails 85% of the time, coming back with unable to contact the servers. It the WORST iPhone app ever conceived – well, apparently it worked very well until Apple bought it and tied it to their servers. Why in the hell does it need to contact a server just to dial a local number? If it fails to dial, THEN you have to unlock your phone, go into the phone app, find the contact, press the correct number – a dangerous task while driving – If they would just put the Raise to talk feature on the built-in voice recognition software I would be be happy.

    • bobbintb

      it doesnt need a server to dial the number. but it needs it to process the voice sample. the server if what actually processes the voice commands. it would be too slow for the phone to do it, if it even could, and the program would be much larger to store on your phone. its a trade off really.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/renegaderevival Eli

    Siri has been the most frustrating and useless piece of “doodoo” on which I have wasted money.

    The guy whining about someone suing over buying something that has been thoroughly falsely advertised needs an lesson in economics or perhaps he should pay extra for automatic windows on his next car, find that they dont work and no one will fix them and then not sue since it may hurt the economy.

    Frivolous suing is one thing, paying more money for something that in no way does what it is advertised to do and cannot be returned or exchanged, sounds pretty reasonable for me.

    Every time I see Samuel Jackson have that amusing reparte’ with Siri… I want to chuck my tv out the window. Siri can barely call the right person when I request such and constantly tells me she cannot “attend cheese” when I ask her to add attendees and I speak with no accent and with much alacrity.

    It took me 27 minutes to get her to make an appointment for me this morning… obviously booking it manually myself would have saved much time but I just wanted her to work and do something very basic ONCE… just ONCE!!!

  • Wes

    I want Siri on my iPhone 4 I just bought 1 month ago. The guy at the cell phone store said that after Siri came out of bête testing it would be available on iPhone 4 and iPad 2 which turned out to be false. So my new phone is already out dated.