CHICAGO (CN) – A class action claims ZeoBIT defrauds customers by saying its MacKeeper software can spot performance problems on Mac computers, but labels every computer as “at risk” and in need of repair.
Lead plaintiff Gregory Ward sued ZeoBIT, a California LLC, in Cook County Chancery Court.
“ZeoBIT develops software that it claims will increase the speed, performance, and stability of a consumer’s Macintosh personal computer by removing harmful errors, and eliminating privacy and security threats,” the complaint states.
“Unfortunately, as described more fully herein, ZeoBIT uses a common deceptive scheme to trick consumers into purchasing its MacKeeper software, which ultimately fails to deliver the utility ZeoBIT promises.”
ZeoBIT, based in Sunnyvale, in Silicon Valley, “aggressively markets MacKeeper in online advertisements,” the complaint states. It offers a free 15-day trial along and a free “diagnostic scan,” which then detects performance and security issues.
It warns users that “more than 30 percent of drive space on an average Mac is taken up by junk files,” and to “be aware that over time, more and more memory resources will be consumed, decelerating your MacBook,” according to the complaint.
ZeoBIT guarantees that the full version of MacKeeper software, which costs $39.95, will clean up the Mac’s hard drive, remove junk files, boost login time, and generally speed up the computer’s performance, Ward says.
“Contrary to ZeoBIT’s marketing and in-software representations, however, neither the free trial nor the full registered versions of MacKeeper perform any credible diagnostic testing of a user’s Mac,” the complaint states. “Instead, ZeoBIT intentionally designed MacKeeper to invariably and ominously report that the consumer’s Mac needs repair and is at-risk due to harmful errors, privacy threats, and other problems, regardless of the computer’s actual condition.
“ZeoBIT controls a large market share of the Mac utility software industry, and holds itself out a reputable market leader. Given that and because average consumers lack the requisite technical expertise to understand the underlying functionality of MacKeeper, they trust ZeoBIT to honestly and accurately describe the software’s functional capabilities and to identify and remove harmful errors from their Macs as promised. ZeoBIT betrayed that trust and as a result, thousands of consumers have been (and continue to be) duped into buying and continuing to use MacKeeper.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
Ward seeks class certification and damages for fraud, fraudulent inducement, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
He is represented by Benjamin Richman with Edelson PC.
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