Apple Inc. is facing a lawsuit over its new smartphone’s – the iPhone 7 – pre-order system. Lawyers are claiming the tech giant prioritized new orders over Apple Upgrade Program members, who were seeking to trade the new phone with their existing handset. The suit, which was filed on Monday, seeks an injunction and other damages, a notes a Recode report.
iPhone Upgrade Program – more problems than solutions
As per the lawsuit – filed in the U.S. District Court in Northern California – the smartphone maker had a different plan in mind when scores of consumers signed up for the upgrade program, and were ready to benefit from the yearly upgrade with the release of the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. However, “(the program) allowed non-iPhone Upgrade Program customers to snap up the limited inventory of the new devices while telling countless iPhone Upgrade Program customers to ‘check back later,’” the lawsuit read.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction and many other damages on behalf of Brooklyn resident Emil Frank and others, who are part of the upgrade program. The lawsuit wants the iPhone maker to make its full inventory of phones available to iPhone upgrade program members. Additionally, the lawyers at Block & Leviton want the tech giant to reimburse upgrade program members for any extra payments they made while they waited for a new iPhone.
As per 9to5 Mac, one of the biggest problems with the program is that consumers must buy from Apple in-store and not online or from a third-party store such as Best Buy. Customers on traditional carrier upgrade plans could preorder the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus like normal, but the iPhone Upgrade Program members were asked to buy the device in stores when officially available or to check back later.
Apple addressing the issue?
Apple Inc. introduced the upgrade program last year. The company, under the program, sells new iPhones directly to the consumers in 24 monthly installments, but participants are supposed to be able to upgrade each year. Last week, the tech giant said the program members would be able to pre-order the iPhone 7. However, the smartphone maker did not go into detail on how it would prioritize its old or new customers, the report notes.
Nevertheless, the tech giant is now appearing to address the issue, as per Macworld. Apple Inc. updated the iPhone Upgrade Program reservation page over the weekend to include the message that “Due to high demand, the model you’d like may not be available.” Further, the message asked the customer to call 1-800-MY-APPLE, and a Specialist will soon help the customer in finding the model they want.
On Monday, Apple shares closed up 2.24% at $105.44. Year to date, the stock is down almost 2% while in the last one-year, it is down almost 8%.