The Touch Disease Class Action Lawsuit to Continue as the Lead Plaintiff Calls Apple's Latest Offer 'Pitiful'
Late on Thursday Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple Formally Acknowledges the iPhone 6 Plus 'Touch Disease' Issue and Offers Customers with this Problem Some Relief." While Apple opened a new program to deal with the issue this week that would provide some Apple customers a bit of financial relief, I questioned whether that would be enough relief for the law firms handling the class action lawsuits to back off. The answer, at least involving one class action, is clearly no.
A Canadian report published today reacts to Apple's newly announced touch disease program. According to the report, "Apple is finally offering a cure for its iPhone 6 Plus models plagued by so-called "touch disease." The affliction causes the phone's screen to freeze up and no longer respond to touch commands.
The fix will cost American customers $149 US. Canadians will have to shell out $189.
The move follows months of customer complaints about touch disease and multiple proposed class action lawsuits filed against Apple over the issue.
But while Apple is offering a fix, some customers are dismayed to discover the company is charging a fee and placing the blame on them.
According to Apple arises after the phone has been dropped "multiple times on a hard surface" and then is subjected to "further stress."
iPhone owner Trina Rae Wiegers from Prince Albert, Sask responded to Apple's offer by saying "I think it's pitiful." She claims that many smartphones get dropped, so if that's the culprit, lots of different iPhone models should be suffering from the same problem – but aren't. "You can't just pick one and say apparently people are just dropping the 6 Pluses."
Wiegers owns an iPhone 6, which she believes also suffers from touch disease. She says it periodically freezes up and becomes useless. "You miss calls, you can't text, it's a horrible piece of crap."
Even if she could get the fix, Wiegers claims she would never pay $189. "It's ridiculous," she says. "It's their problem and they need to own up to it." $189 fee for show?
Wiegers is the lead plaintiff in a proposed Canadian class action lawsuit launched against Apple over touch disease.
A total of four proposed class-actions have been filed, two in Canada and two in the U.S. involving both iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners.
"It's a design defect, so to charge $189 to fix their problem is simply atrocious," claims Regina lawyer Tony Merchant, who's heading up the Canadian lawsuits.
He alleges both the 6 and 6 Plus were designed in a way that even the slightest bend results in a disconnect in the phone, causing the screen to no longer respond to touch.
Merchant claims Apple came up with a fee for the fix not because it needed the cash but to create the impression touch disease is not its fault.
"Their motive is to maintain the pretense that they didn't design a defective phone," he alleges.
"What they ought to be doing is fixing all of [them] without charge and pay compensation to people who've lost the use of their phone."
In order to proceed, all four class actions must first be certified in court. Apple would not comment on the proposed suits. For more on this, see the full report here.
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