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  • Death Grip Lawsuit Coming?


    A law firm that's known for starting or threatening class actions against tech companies now has its sights on Apple. Sacramento, California-based Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff is trying to put together a group of customers who are having reception issues with the iPhone 4 for a potential class-action lawsuit. On top of a lawsuit over the iPad 3G bait-and-switch, Apple's lawyers should have a busy summer.

    Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP is conducting what the law firm calls a "Consumer Investigation" into the reception problems now known as the "iPhone 4 Death Grip." Their website urges people who “recently purchased the new iPhone and have experienced poor reception quality, dropped calls and weak signals” to contact them by phone, live chat, and email. Although they're not talking lawsuit at this time, it's clear that's what the "investigation" is about.

    The firm has initiated a number high-profile class-action lawsuits, and won a $87 million US wage settlement for drivers with the package delivery company UPS. And last year, Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff filed a nationwide class action suit over deceptive “offer” ads in games like Mafia Wars and Farmville. KCR may have some reason to think that Apple is a prime target for a suit given that they had settled a class action for $22.5 million last year to end complaints that the original iPod nano was unusually susceptible to scratching.

    Apple's official response to the Death Grip issue is still to just tell customers not to hold their iPhones in a way that lowers signal. Steve Jobs said explicitly in an email to a customer that "[t]here is no reception issue." Despite rumors of a firmware patch, no further action on the problem has even been hinted at by the manufacturer, which is generally silent about issues (like the 27-inch iMac screen glitches) until they have a fix in place. As Steve Jobs added in his email: "Stay tuned."

    Thanks to all the tipsters who sent this in.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Death Grip Lawsuit Coming? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 103 Comments
    1. DeviantGeek's Avatar
      DeviantGeek -
      Quote Originally Posted by zturn13 View Post
      I think its to early to be sueing apple its been what a week since they released it give them some time to fix it almost any new tech has problems when they come out some minor some major just look at the 360!
      great point.
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by zturn13 View Post
      I think its to early to be sueing apple its been what a week since they released it give them some time to fix it almost any new tech has problems when they come out some minor some major just look at the 360!
      That is definitely true, however, the clock is ticking for the 30 day return period. It is sort of a catch 22, trust apple to fix the phone and wait, or return it now. Or sue the living crap out of them...Hahahahahh!!!!!
    1. zturn13's Avatar
      zturn13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      That is definitely true, however, the clock is ticking for the 30 day return period. It is sort of a catch 22, trust apple to fix the phone and wait, or return it now. Or sue the living crap out of them...Hahahahahh!!!!!
      LOL true well if they don't fix it then on day 29 they will have a ton of returns!
    1. jdad's Avatar
      jdad -
      does the 30 days start from when you pre-ordered the phone (if you did), or when you received the phone on the 24th??
    1. Radex's Avatar
      Radex -
      Quote Originally Posted by lol_release View Post
      What a joke! People can't work for a living they have to sue everyone in the states lol.
      A bit unnecessary and very incompetent and immature.

      If such a problem exists and it becomes widespread, then there may be truth in it. Just because it may not necessarily happen to you (and I'm saying this to anyone in general), doesn't mean it is not happening to anyone else.

      Eh, hopefully my cousin could wait before buying the iPhone 4 until this hysteria is over <_<.
    1. blainesill's Avatar
      blainesill -
      Leaked: Apple’s internal iPhone 4 antenna troubleshooting procedures Boy Genius Report)

      Doesn't look like there's going to be a fix, if this is true.
    1. Dayvidpriddy's Avatar
      Dayvidpriddy -
      It's funny how you all posted on other topics about how Apple needs to do something about the reception issue (you were having problems then) but now that lawyers are threatening to sue (as I said they would on the forums) everyone is now against it and is acting like they have no reception issues. Whatever...talk about being a fanboy!

      Not only do I continue to have reception issues, my damn Wi-Fi won't stay connected either and is getting slower download speeds then 3G is! Nope, it's not my network either, all my other gadgets are working just fine...it's the damn phone people! Stop *** kissing Steve Jobs would ya?

      Sure I could return the phone but I don't want to return it, I want Apple to take responsibility and fix the problems already.
    1. ancient's Avatar
      ancient -
      Well I am getting the reception problem....and the local apple store also has the problem on 2 of their demo phones...!
    1. newhacker00001's Avatar
      newhacker00001 -
      I think the more relevant issue with apple is them taking the liberty of "collecting" our personal information and sending updates to disable the phone if they see seething they do not "approve of"
    1. zYxMa's Avatar
      zYxMa -
      I loose signal as well. If someone says that we are exaggerating, well no comment.

      How do you think it was noticed at the first time? Yeah, just got a phone delivered. Let's hold it in a left hand and watch the bars. Ohh look! They dropped!

      It is obviously noticeable. I can't stop thinking about it because I loose signal all the time! When texting, browsing etc... We're not doing it purposely!

      I almost forgot - it is called jealousy syndrome :]
    1. dhamien's Avatar
      dhamien -
      This is why some people around the world dislike Americans. Some of you have a habit of suing over the most pointless things.

      If you aren't happy with the way the phone works, just return it. It's that simple. There is no fix on the way, nothing about the phone will change. Steve Jobs already said so. So if you're not satisfied, return it. Maybe the rest of us will then get a chance to get the phone sooner.
    1. mlauth's Avatar
      mlauth -
      If i have low signal say one bar and cover the black strip it drops all connection. If i have more than one bar I don't have a problem. Over dropped calls, i have not dropped a call yet. I keep waiting for the call to drop one day, but nothing to date.
    1. mvangogh's Avatar
      mvangogh -
      i travel for business and have tried the "death grip" in multiple cities. in some it has no affect and in others it does. very weird.
    1. mtb29er's Avatar
      mtb29er -
      Well I have a little bit to share. First i sent a email to the Law Firm That is suen' apple to put my 2 cents in about this ridicules law suit thinking I would never get a reply but guess what I did. I also went to apple store today to get this "Cure all bumper" and i did get it free even after I told them I dont mind paying for it. Im not one to try and get something for nothing.if I do the "death Grip" with it on the signal does not go down.So im ok with that until they find a permanent fix.
    1. nicksti's Avatar
      nicksti -
      Quote Originally Posted by wvcachi View Post
      If you have a reception problem, and it's a deal-breaker, all you have to so is return it for a full refund. Even if, in worst-case scenario, it was a bait & switch, everyone has the right to get your money back and buy a different phone.

      If I buy a coffee-maker, and I don't like how the coffee tastes, I don't need to sue Mr. Coffee, I just get my money back.

      I'm all for lawyers when they're really needed, but this reeks of being conjured by lawyers for lawyers.
      That is not analogous to the issue at hand. Imagine if you bought a Coffee Maker to brew coffee (bought a cell phone to make calls) and the Coffee Maker would lose 50% of the coffee in it when you held the handle in a natural grip then what would you do?

      The consumer does not profit monetarily from these kinds of class action lawsuits so there is no greed factor involved. This kind of action helps to raise awareness. Imagine if you were having this problem and did not know why because companies do not readily admit wrong-doing, then a public notice would go around that would enlighten you these issues.

      It is not about people being silly or petty. If you were wrongfully dismissed from your job I doubt you would accept someone saying just get another job.
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by mtb29er View Post
      Well I have a little bit to share. First i sent a email to the Law Firm That is suen' apple to put my 2 cents in about this ridicules law suit thinking I would never get a reply but guess what I did. I also went to apple store today to get this "Cure all bumper" and i did get it free even after I told them I dont mind paying for it. Im not one to try and get something for nothing.if I do the "death Grip" with it on the signal does not go down.So im ok with that until they find a permanent fix.
      What if they don't find a permanent fix?
    1. dhamien's Avatar
      dhamien -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksti View Post
      That is not analogous to the issue at hand. Imagine if you bought a Coffee Maker to brew coffee (bought a cell phone to make calls) and the Coffee Maker would lose 50% of the coffee in it when you held the handle in a natural grip then what would you do?

      The consumer does not profit monetarily from these kinds of class action lawsuits so there is no greed factor involved. This kind of action helps to raise awareness. Imagine if you were having this problem and did not know why because companies do not readily admit wrong-doing, then a public notice would go around that would enlighten you these issues.

      It is not about people being silly or petty. If you were wrongfully dismissed from your job I doubt you would accept someone saying just get another job.
      That's also a bad analogy. If you lose half your cup of coffee, you've lost something. If you talk to someone on the phone, you won't feel a difference if it's 100% reception or 50%. The talk is what is valuable, not the "cleanness" of the sound. If half the words were cut from the conversation, then the analogy would work, but that's not the case here.

      In any case, the guy you quoted is still right. If you bought a coffee maker where half the coffee was lost just by holding the cup, then you'd return it and get your money back. You wouldn't sue anyone.
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by dhamien View Post
      In any case, the guy you quoted is still right. If you bought a coffee maker where half the coffee was lost just by holding the cup, then you'd return it and get your money back. You wouldn't sue anyone.
      Well thats not quite right. If you really loved the coffee the maker made, and you were told, gee just wait a little while and we will have a fix that makes it work correctly, so you held onto that coffee maker, because you trusted that the company would make it work the way it should in a little while, and boy that coffee sure is good, I'm sure they will do the right thing and fix it, while your warranty ran out. Then you figured out, the only thing the company was going to do was make you spend $35 to buy a smaller coffee cup and tell you there problem is all fixed.

      Then you sue them.

      Hows that for an analogy?
    1. ClerkDante's Avatar
      ClerkDante -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      If you really loved the coffee the maker made, and you were told, gee just wait a little while and we will have a fix that makes it work correctly, so you held onto that coffee maker, because you trusted that the company would make it work the way it should in a little while, and boy that coffee sure is good, I'm sure they will do the right thing and fix it, while your warranty ran out.
      Apple has made no statement even remotely like that. They aren't promising anything at this point, let alone the implied sneaky act of intentionally dragging it out until your warranty expires. Let's remember this IS a company who routinely covers products well beyond warranty time as a service to it's customers.
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      Then you figured out, the only thing the company was going to do was make you spend $35 to buy a smaller coffee cup and tell you there problem is all fixed.

      Then you sue them.

      Hows that for an analogy?
      It's frankly a rather terrible one. The damn things been out a week for god's sake. Try owning an Xbox 360. My launch unit has been swapped/repaired 4 different times, and every one took massive escalation on my part to get it covered by the company.

      Is there a problem? Appears to be (though likely affecting a much smaller percentage than all the complaining would seemingly imply), but for god's sake people, give a company who has a very strong track record of doing the right thing some time to, in fact, do the right thing.

      And again, if you're still unhappy, just return the damn thing, or better yet, sell it on the net for a profit ($700 is a helluva lot more than the $1.09 you'll get from the lawsuit) and go back to your 3GS and get on with your life.

      It's just a cell phone people. Suing because of signal issues a week after launch, when returning/selling is a very viable option, is among the most absurd things I've heard in ages.

      At least the original whiney hippies had real things to rally around.
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by ClerkDante View Post
      Apple has made no statement even remotely like that. They aren't promising anything at this point, let alone the implied sneaky act of intentionally dragging it out until your warranty expires. Let's remember this IS a company who routinely covers products well beyond warranty time as a service to it's customers.
      It's frankly a rather terrible one. The damn things been out a week for god's sake. Try owning an Xbox 360. My launch unit has been swapped/repaired 4 different times, and every one took massive escalation on my part to get it covered by the company.

      Is there a problem? Appears to be (though likely affecting a much smaller percentage than all the complaining would seemingly imply), but for god's sake people, give a company who has a very strong track record of doing the right thing some time to, in fact, do the right thing.

      And again, if you're still unhappy, just return the damn thing, or better yet, sell it on the net for a profit and go back to your 3GS and get on with your life.

      It's just a cell phone people. Suing because of signal issues a week after launch, when returning/selling is a very viable option, is among the most absurd things I've heard in ages.
      People like you don't get it. We have either 14 or 30 days to make a decision on the damn phone. Apple hasn't even made an official statement whether or not there is a problem, so know some of us are down to 7 or 8 days.

      So we have to make a decision based on our hope that apple does the right thing, which, contrary to what you are saying, hasn't always been the way they handle things.

      Add to that the fact that some of us have a relationship with at&t that, to some extent at least forces us to not only decide about keeping this phone but potentially changing, in my case anyways, a dozen phones and lines from one carrier to another. Its not the same as some 16 year old kid or a housewife who's contract is up and can go anywhere she wants.

      To complicate things even more, at&t has no truly similar phones right now, unless you count blackberries which I don't.

      It's also not really just a cell phone, it is a tool that I use for business every day. A tool that I am entering into a contract with a company for two years, which will, for all intents lock me into the use of that phone for those two years, at a cost of over $1200 for that time frame.