SAN JOSE (CN) – Apple forced MobileMe customers to switch to the iCloud but failed to ensure their email and log-ins would work, allegedly leaving tens of thousands in the lurch, a federal class claims.
In the lead-up to the launch of its new remote hard drive storage service, Apple claimed that the transition to iCloud would be “automatic and effortless,” but it failed to ensure the service would work for MobileMe users, according to the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Lead plaintiff Danyelle Comer says that longtime MobileMe customers have experienced a “total loss of the ability to receive emails and have been unable to log on to their Apple IDs, or their Apple email accounts.”
Both iCloud and its predecessor, MobileMe, are Apple products.
Apple advertises that iCloud “automatically makes music, movies, TV show and applications purchased on Apple’s iTunes store available on all the Apple devices owned by the user,” according to the complaint. “Apple claims that all photos and documents are also synced between devices, with the goal of making the entirety of a users’ content easily accessible.”
ICloud allegedly attracted more than 20 million users within a week of launch.
Comer says MobileMe experienced significant problems when it launched in 2008 as a subscription service costing $99 per year. Problems allegedly included issues with stability and synching, and extended email outages.
When announcing iCloud in June 2011, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs acknowledged the problems with its predecessor.
“‘You might ask, ‘Why should I believe them, they’re the ones that brought me MobileMe?'” Jobs said, according to the complaint. “As the crowd laughed, Jobs said, ‘It wasn’t our finest hour, just let me say that. But we learned a lot.'”
Unfortunately for MobileMe users like Comer, the problems allegedly continued when they migrated to iCloud.
Comer says the transition was a foregone conclusion when Apple announced that MobileMe would become extinct after June 2012, making the software no longer supported or usable by subscribers who had already paid for the service.
Since Apple failed to ensure that its servers could adequately handle the processing of MobileMe migration requests, these longtime subscribers have had their email accounts blocked from receiving emails, and they could not access the very email accounts for which they paid for extended periods of time, according to the lawsuit.
Apple was forced to temporarily limit the number of users who could move from MobileMe to iCloud despite representing that moving to iCloud would be “effortless,” which turned out to be “blatantly false,” according to the complaint.
Comer claims Apple “knew or should have known that iCloud did not function as represented in its advertisements, marketing materials, and warranties disseminated in Apple’s nationwide marketing and advertising campaigns.”
The class seeks punitive damages for breach of warranty, unjust enrichment, unfair competition and false advertising. It is represented by David Bower of Faruqi & Faruqi in Los Angeles.