Florida woman sues Apple for $5 million under racketeering law

“Woman buys an iPhone 4. Fifteen months later the power button stops working. She calls AT&T,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “They send her to Apple. She works her way up and down the customer service chain and gets tough love at every turn: Her warranty expired three months ago. She has two choices. Pay for repair ($149.99 plus shipping) or buy new phone.”

P.E.D. reports, “Adopting the consensus view that the iPhone 4’s power button problem is a known manufacturing defect, and buying into the tin-foil-hat theory that it’s carefully planned obsolescence — a part designed to go bad right after the 1-year warranty expires — she files a class action suit under RICO (the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) for $5 million plus.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. The contract life of the iPhone is two years, always buy the warranty for a mobile device to go the full two years. There are too many opportunities for disaster, from carrying it in your purse, your pocket, letting the nephew play with it, dropping it, etc. Life happens.
    If you buy a new car, wouldn’t you buy insurance?

    1. Well, another way to look at it is that vast numbers of people might as well not have a cerebral cortex. Therefore, their behavior is on the level of a Lizard as they use their older genetic history regions of the brain instead.

      Do I REALLY have to consider them to be MY species?!

  2. she files a class action suit under RICO (the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) for $5 million plus

    The high damages request alone is enough to get this thrown out of court. She’s got to be crazy. If she could rustle up an actual class action lawsuit, I might care. But she can’t. So Boo-Bloody-Hoo madam. The world does not owe you an iPhone repair out-of-warranty. But I’m sure your lawyer LOVES you. 😕

  3. All she had to do was “request” to replace the battery. Battery replacement is the lowest non-warranty repair cost.

    I had a bad home button on my iPod. The cost to repair is a default $99. Instead of repair, I turned it in for $30 off of the next iPod Touch 5.

    There is no such thing as planned defect of the power button. If so, we would have heard about millions of repairs of this type. It’s simply a post warranty fault, a random occurrence.

    1. Planned defects in Apple gear? I think not. Check this out:
      – Still running my 1993 Quadra 650 Mac, souped up with a PPC 601 daughterboard. All it ever needed was a new PRAM battery.
      – Still running my 1997 PPC 9600 server. I’ve killed some hard drives on it, but not the original hard drive! Also needed a new PRAM battery.
      – Still running my 1998 PowerBook Wallstreet PDQ. Also needed a PRAM battery. Although I will complain that the clutch on the display assembly was total crap, replaced 3 times. Apple paid for 2 of them via AppleCare.

      Get the idea? Go play with Samsung gear, my dear, if you want to see planned obsolescence in action. Sheesh.

      Apple for life.

  4. In the iPhone 5 at least, this IS a known issue.
    She probably didn’t sue because she didn’t want to pay 149 dollars. She probably had some other frustrating Conversations with Apple. You don’t go and do something like this otherwise. There is more to this story than meets the eye.

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