Apple is no stranger to courtrooms, attorneys, lawsuits and anything else related to the U.S. justice system. The latest lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by an Apple user whose account was terminated. The plaintiff says that Apple’s terms and conditions over its media services allow it to close an account simply over mere suspicion.
Apple sued by customer whose account it suspended for unknown reasons
Furthermore, Apple’s services clause prevents a user whose account has been terminated from accessing media content that they’ve purchased from Apple. The lawsuit states that “Apple’s unlawful and unconscionable clause as a prohibited de facto liquidated damages provision which is triggered when Apple suspects its customers have breached its Terms and Conditions.” In the suit, which was filed by Matthew Price and seeks Class Action status, the plaintiff says that he “has expended $24,590.05 for purchased Content, consisting of related services, Apps, and Content, including in-App purchases, programs and platform extensions, accessible only through the use of the Apple ID.”
So Apple’s decision to terminate Price’s account prevents him from accessing the $25,000 worth of media content that he already had purchased from the tech company. The suit calls Apple’s conduct “unfair, unlawful, fraudulent, and illegal” while alleging that Apple violated several California consumer regulations. The plaintiff wants a jury trial seeking a permanent injunction that would block Apple from engaging in its illegal behavior.
Price is also demanding restitution from Apple for the money he spent on media content, apps, and other purchases that he is no longer allowed to access, damages, and attorneys’ fees. The court filing also included written complaints from others whose Apple account had been suspended. For example, one Apple user said that he had received a call from a woman working for Apple who called to tell him that he had violated some terms but did not know which ones.
As a result of this action, the Apple rep told the gentleman that he would have to create a new Apple ID and re-purchase all of his apps. And if he wanted to know why his account was closed, he would have to hire a lawyer. And yet another complaint was publicly posted by an Apple user who the company accused of refuting iTunes charges.
The customer denied that the charges took place and called out Apple for deciding that the best way to handle this was to close a long-running account. We have included the court filing with this story and suggest that you take the time to read some of the complaints made by customers who had their Apple account taken away. Reading these we discovered that when Apple closes an account, not only does it prevent a user from accessing the apps and contents that were rightfully paid for, it takes away the customer’s access to any unused funds that were stored in the user’s Apple account.
Price also revealed in his filing that just before Apple terminated his account, he had purchased an iPad Pro
to enhance the content that he had spent nearly $25,000 on from Apple. Once his Apple ID was terminated, the plaintiff argued that the usefulness and the value of his iPad Pro had declined dramatically. And as the plaintiff points out in the suit, all Apple needs to do to seize its customers’ property is merely have a suspicion that he or she “breached its “Terms and Conditions.”
Besides asking for restitution from Apple for the apps and content purchased from the company, the plaintiff is asking for “punitive damages, costs, attorneys’ fees and whatever other relief the court deems appropriate.” Since this legal battle might impact a large number of Apple’s customers, we will keep a close on the proceedings.