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  • Siri at The Heart of New Class Action Lawsuit

    If a teenager texts his mom via iMessage and autocorrect somehow changes the context into an inappropriate message (thereby causing the teen to get grounded by his mom), can this teenager then turn around to sue Apple for damages? Sounds pretty ridiculous, huh? Fortunately, that's just a silly example I made up. Unfortunately, this next example isn't.

    On Monday, New Yorker Frank M. Fazio filed suit against Apple claiming false advertising. His argument? Siri doesn't work as well as the commercials suggest it does. So he's suing Apple for perpetuating a "misleading and deceptive" message. Fazio says Siri is “at best, a work-in-progress” and shouldn't be promoted as anything more in the media.

    According to the WSJ, the class action lawsuit includes the following language:

    [I]n many of Apple’s television advertisements, individuals are shown using Siri to make appointments, find restaurants, and even learn the guitar chords to classic rock songs or how to tie a tie. In the commercials, all of these tasks are done with ease with the assistance of the iPhone 4S’s Siri feature, a represented functionality contrary to the actual operating results and performance of Siri.
    Although, from where I stand, it's hard to take this lawsuit 'siri'ous - pun fully intended - the matter at hand is out of my hands. And the legal system must now decide if the lawsuit, which requests "unspecified damages," has merit.

    Source: WSJ
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Siri at The Heart of New Class Action Lawsuit started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 47 Comments
    1. JedixJarf's Avatar
      JedixJarf -
      Quote Originally Posted by BenderRodriguez View Post
      WHY is it still in beta after the release date was like 5 months plus they had to test it before they released it right?

      So is it going to be beta forever?
      Do you remember how long Gmail was in beta?
    1. Norb's Avatar
      Norb -
      Quote Originally Posted by JedixJarf View Post
      Do you remember how long Gmail was in beta?
      That would make him angry at a company he loves so no, he does not.
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      Quote Originally Posted by JedixJarf View Post
      Do you remember how long Gmail was in beta?
      Wasn't it like 4 months and u could only get in on it if your friends invited u and they were a member then after that it was open to everyone? Or was it longer?
    1. ibiggy's Avatar
      ibiggy -
      Apple Wins UK Advertising Standards Agency Case over Siri

      I'm in the UK, and stumbled across this, i'd have thought ios 5.1 would have put some of this straight upon its release last week, but it hasn't i am disappointed about this, and apple are earning enough for development and to work harder on issues like this, i know its massive to sort out in UK - USA is massive and Having spoken to a customer service representative recently, they still cannot give a date when this is likely to be launched in the UK other than its likely this year.
      It is misleading and i purchased the 4S because of that functionality, i feel hard done by and may consider an alternative smart phone when my contract is up for re-newal, its things like this that could damage companies, how many others feel the same?
      (read this)

      Apple Inc. has won a case in the UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), over allegedly misleading Siri advertisements in Britain.

      According to a report on Electronista, the complaint was brought about by an unidentified individual who said a Vodafone advertisement for the iPhone 4S (originally posted in October) was deceptive. Upon inquiry, Vodafone directed the ASA to Apple.
      The advertisement's text reads:
      "Simply ask Siri to help you send messages, set reminders or search for information. It can even use information from your iPhone -- such as your location, contacts and contact relationships -- to provide intelligent, personal assistance."
      Apple was accused of providing false information and, principally, failing to point out that the location functions worked only in the US and not the UK.
      Unfortunately, the ASA ruled in favour of Apple. The agency said that although Siri was unable to provide directions, traffic updates or suggestions for local businesses in the UK, it did use location data to provide weather forecasts. The agency said their belief was Siri acting as a guide to local businesses was not implicit in the ad and beyond average consumer expectations.
      "We considered that some consumers may have had prior knowledge of what Siri was reportedly able to do in the US and, with this knowledge, might read into the ad that Siri users in the UK would benefit from similar maps-based functionality," the ASA states.
      "However we did not consider that these consumers represented the average consumer in the UK and, because the ad in itself had not explicitly or implicitly made such claims, we concluded that the ad was not misleading," the ad agency further added.
      Meanwhile, Apple has already announced a media event on 7 March, where they are expected to announce the iPad 3 - with Siri. Therefore, expect Siri accompanying an iOS update (to iOS 5.1) for the iPad and, hopefully, this will also be a chance for Apple to revamp Siri functionality for the UK and non-US locations. (it didn't)
    1. oneduality's Avatar
      oneduality -
      Quote Originally Posted by GUNNY29 View Post
      Siri is still in beta and will be in beta until it is perfected or as near as possible to being perfected for all languages I would imagine which completely makes sense the only time Siri doesn't work for me is when I'm being lazy and not pronouncing words correctly.

      The guy suing is a fool simple as.

      I for one think that more and more, developers are using "BETA" as an out .. that's great if you're working on freeware, or if you're doing some targeted beta test but that is not what Apple is doing, and it's something Google is guilty of as well even though in their case it's not quite as bad since it's all free web services .. in the case of Siri, they really wanted to use it as a lure to sell a device even though the product wasn't ready..

      It's not something Apple normally even does.. I think they'd not have done it if it weren't for Jobs' ailing health and the fact they could use it to force some people's hand in upgrading.. much as they did with MMS capabilities when they said the 1st gen couldn't support it hardware wise .. ( purely not true )

      PS.. I am a developer myself..
    1. Bhp41's Avatar
      Bhp41 -
      Holy God!!!!! There's going to be a million Android users filing C.A.S. next week.
    1. Ozdude's Avatar
      Ozdude -
      Quote Originally Posted by KraXik View Post
      You could put this in the dictionary under the word 'America'.

      Quote Originally Posted by NakedFaerie View Post
      Also the saying "Only in America"
      Quote Originally Posted by trevorrawson View Post
      I wish that people were held more accountable for frivolous lawsuits. If this guy wants to sue then fine by me...but when (not if) he looses them he should be held responsible for all legal costs by both him and apple plus a huge fine for the frivolous lawsuit. Garunteed nobody would take his case if this were the new standard.
      +1 to all those comments!

      I think the abbreviation USA should officially be change to USL, the United States of Litigation, LOL. Maybe if it were easier to make those lodging frivolous lawsuits pay the defendant's costs if the case is lost or thrown out, people would think twice before suing at the drop of a hat in the US over such matters. That and the fact too many US law firms are way too willing to take a punt on making big bucks in the process of running such a case and getting a result against a large 'deep pocketed' corporation as to rarely bill the 'plaintiff' anything like real world legal costs.
    1. jn1rz1's Avatar
      jn1rz1 -
      If you notice at the bottom of screen it usually says "sequences shortened" so that could be saying what ever command to siri, her messing it up, you follow by saying NO correcting her then reissuing the command and so on...
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      It would be nice when u tell Siri to send a text and one word is wrong so u have to freakin say everything u just said again u can't just change one word
    1. idkanymore's Avatar
      idkanymore -
      My diet pills didn't make me less of a fatty! The commercials said otherwise! I'm suing for damages to my love life.
    1. kadernal's Avatar
      kadernal -
      I'm on the fence about the suit... on one hand the guys clearly looking for a quick buck, on the other he actually might have a case because apples ads clearly don't show the actual user experience of siri.

      I didn't purchase an iPhone 4s for personal use specifically because siri was really the only interesting thing apple did in terms of upgrading from the 4.... and I knew that even apple couldn't pull it off voice commands. Siri was touted as the biggest and most life changing feature of the 4s at the keynote. it's a novelty act at best. But it is my job to know about this stuff, and I enjoy reading and learning about whats going on with tech... so I am much more informed than 95% of the people who are buying apple products. Most people see the commercial, hear the hype, and pony up the cash to ride the train.

      I also think its funny that people are implying that we shouldn't really take an ad for face value because companies are always going to embellish about how great their product is... that is BS!!!!!! Why should that be the status quo? Why should a company that is going to take in $1billion in 1 day for the launch of a new product even need to over sell? They would rather treat the consumer like a bunch of blithering idiots and risk ending up having to deal with something like this because anything this guy might win or win for the rest of the people in the suit is peanuts compared to what they are pulling down.

      Quote Originally Posted by JedixJarf View Post
      Do you remember how long Gmail was in beta?
      hmm i dont remember paying for gmail...

      Quote Originally Posted by dkanymore View Post
      My diet pills didn't make me less of a fatty! The commercials said otherwise! I'm suing for damages to my love life.
      does not =/=

      if someone uses this phone for work and that person was led to believe it was going to make it easier to set appointments and do other stuff, why shouldn't that feature work as promised?

      If I bought a mercedes and it was advertised as having a feature that was a MAIN selling point and that feature wasn't there or working as promised after paying the full amount for the car wouldn't you expect a refund or something from the company?

      The more I think about it the more I am with this guy. It might just be the fact that people are so willing to lie down and get pissed on by a major corporation. Like when Sony took away other OS from the PS3 after advertising it as a major feature, no one really cared. I guess business is easy when you only need to cater to the lowest common denominator!
    1. teej1410's Avatar
      teej1410 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CabooseLoL View Post
      The Siri tv commercials say "sequences shortened" at the bottom of the screen... This law suit won't go far hahaha
      Yeah, even I saw that too. It's also a commercial. Every commercial makes a product look better than it is. This lawsuit is just plain stupid.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Apple says it is in beta, but was it in commercial? No.
      It is as he says, in the commercial Siri is advertised as completed product.
      He does have merit in his lawsuit.
    1. subywrex's Avatar
      subywrex -
      Good lord people. Really? In apple commercial it only shows WHAT Siri is capable to do. I have not seen one thing in a commercial that wasn't true.

      In the example of the guitar song Siri will simply do a web search for you. No where in the commercial did it show Siri teaching the kid how to play the guitar.

      People are just plain ignorant when it comes to product. A commercial is meant to attract you. This is why car companies tell you a flywheel horsepower rating of ONLY the motor, not taking into account that by the time the power gets delivered to the ground it has lost a substantial amount. Cause what sounds better my car has 305 horse power or 220?

      I hope the guy rear ends someone and gets sued up his ***
    1. djarkiz's Avatar
      djarkiz -
      Quote Originally Posted by KraXik View Post
      You could put this in the dictionary under the word 'America'.
      Haha now that's funny !! =)
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ibivibiv View Post
      ummmm...... Apple - iPhone 4S - TV Ad - Rock God - YouTube

      The ad mentioned in the lawsuit. Like I said, all they need to do is stick a disclaimer in that ad like the one I mentioned. The message is inconsistent and will give them grief. In one set of marketing the smear "beta" all over it. In the next they make it look like the thing can make you a guitar player and cook your dinner. I do agree people need to use their head and realize it is a dramatization meant to entertain while advertising the product, but still just cover your butt and tag the end of the commercial with a quick on liner about how your experience may vary.
      I didn't see anywhere in that ad saying that Siri was fully functional or out of beta. I understand what your saying though, it's just sad that we live in a world where you have to cover every angle or else someone will try and sue you. The guy still won't win so whatever.
    1. GeoffS4's Avatar
      GeoffS4 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ibivibiv View Post
      This will actually work against them then. I imagine that we will see a sudden tag on all SIRI related advertising that says "SIRI still in beta release. Actual user experience may vary". Without that disclaimer and with Apple admitting openly that it is beta this case might just have merit. You can't advertise something as a full fledged product and then turn around and admit openly in public elsewhere that it is in beta. They need a consistent message as to the expected behavior of the product or these sorts of lawsuits will arise. On a side note, my SIRI feature works great and personally even when it doesn't it isn't worth suing over. But even having said that, Apple needs to put some kind of disclaimer up until they iron out the bugs or sue happy people will get them.
      I don't get your logic. BETA means, regardless of your or "his" understanding, testing. BETA means testing not complete, in production, close but not finished, issues may or may not exist. This is not an in the bizz term but a universal term, regardless of someones ignorance. BETA, again by definition, means unexepected results. Otherwise, if it operated as expected it wouldn't be in testing, it would be complete.

      No, I respectfully...or just plain, disagree with you. If it was listed as BETA, they pretty much covered it (unless there was intentional or gross misconduct or irresponsibility).

      Quote Originally Posted by BenderRodriguez View Post
      WHY is it still in beta after the release date was like 5 months plus they had to test it before they released it right?

      So is it going to be beta forever?
      C'mon, unless you're "like" 7 months old, do you really think 5 months is forever? Do you have any idea how many lines of code, testing, feed back, analysis, re-code (adjustments), etc. take place? This isn't code to play blackjack, it's a bit more complicated. Seriously?! You think 5 months is unreasonable? How long do you think testing should take? Then the analysis of the results? THEN what changes need to be made followed by coding and non-beta testing.
    1. BIMPtacular's Avatar
      BIMPtacular -
      Quote Originally Posted by santacruzlocal View Post
      I really hate this stupid sue happy generation !!!
      You people do realize that Apple has been taking everyone under the sun to court lately, right? Fanboys are funny.
    1. GeoffS4's Avatar
      GeoffS4 -
      Quote Originally Posted by BIMPtacular View Post
      You people do realize that Apple has been taking everyone under the sun to court lately, right? Fanboys are funny.
      Frivolous lawsuits are one thing, valid suits are another. Winning a suit does not, in my book, make it non-frivolous nor does winning it mean the reverse. People not taking accountability for their actions (or lack thereof) then blaming others is frivolous...and American, now that I think about it (to KraXik's point).
    1. BIMPtacular's Avatar
      BIMPtacular -
      False advertising is a more valid claim, in my opinion, than another tablet manufacturer making tablets that are thin, have a black bezel, and rectangular in shape. At the end of the day this is all subjective, but being a consumer myself, and enjoying what little rights we have as consumers, I tend to side with consumers when I feel that something may carry weight. I don't personally have an iPhone anymore and honestly don't care about Siri at all, but I can understand where people may feel misled about what she can do. Apple is also using the Beta tag to avoid things like this. Once something is released to the public and being sold to customers, its hardly fair to say its still in Beta, especially when its a MAJOR selling point. I make video games for a living and I would love to see a game company do that and expect people not to complain. I think that Apple makes quality hardware, but as a software engineer I can hardly say the same for their software. Apple fans are one of a kind and Apple should thank their lucky stars. Just saying.