back to article Court KOs irate Apple iMessenger woman's bid for class-action face off

Apple has dealt a legal blow to a woman who claimed the iGiant's iMessage system prevented her from receiving texts when she switched from an iPhone to an Android-based smartphone. Adrienne Moore brought her case against Apple in a district court of northern California, and was hoping to upgrade her legal challenge to a class- …

  1. Phuq Witt
    Facepalm

    Next Case...

    Someone brings a class action against Apple because their old OSX software no longer runs on their new Windows PC.

    1. Thomas 6

      Re: Next Case...

      I shall assume that you are being deliberately obtuse. If not, then I struggle to comprehend how you even managed to post this given your obvious development difficulties.

      For the sake of the argument I shall summarise the issue for you:

      1. Person A has Apple phone with iMessage switched on

      2. Person A switches Apple phone to an Android phone

      3. Person A is no longer receiving all of their text messages because Apple is still processing them through iMessage which is not compatable with Android

      4. Person A does not want to run iMessage on their Android, they just want their text messages delivered.

      Now could you please explain your analogy and how it relates to the story.

      1. Steve Evans

        Re: Next Case...

        Almost Thomas 6... Except iMessage isn't an option outside of Appleland.

        Person A has an iPhone, and sends a message to person B with an iPhone... The iPhones recognise they are both iMessage capable, and from that moment on, every "text" message they attempt to send completely avoids the SMS standards (and SMS allowances of your contract) and instead are sent via an Apple server as data.

        This all works fine until person A get a non Apple device.

        Person B sends person A a message. B's iPhone goes "oh yes, I remember them, they're on iMessage" and sends the message to the Apple server, where it sits... Forever.

        Person A sees and hears nothing.

        The problems are:

        1) iMessage is an Apple "feature" (or hijack depending on how you look at it) which isn't available on non-Apple devices

        2) The general public don't realise that when they send an SMS between iPhones that have "recognised" each other as iMessage capable, it's not an SMS anymore.

        3) There is no fall-back or timeout on a delivery failure via iMessage.

        This would have been a complete non issue if Apple had considered the idea that people might leave their distortion field and had a delivery failure timeout... Once a delivery fails via iMessage the sending phone could then use the *global standard* of SMS unless the other device once again "negotiates" and they agree on iMessage again.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. cynic 2

          Re: Next Case...

          The obvious comparison would be with Blackberry. Anybody know what BB messaging does in the same situation?

          1. Ed 11

            Re: Next Case...

            I believe BBM identifies are primarily your BB pin, which is a unique identifier with no connection to your phone number.

        3. Andy E
          WTF?

          Re: Next Case...

          I'm not sure that's correct. The blurb on iMessage says it only works over WiFi and defaults to SMS if WiFi is not available for one of the parties. I have seen this happen when sending texts to someone who I know has an iPhone.

          Secondly its possible to de-register your phone number from iMessage if you are leaving Apple land.

          Have I missed something?

          1. Ed 11

            Re: Next Case...

            iMessage works over wifi or cellular data.

          2. Steve Evans

            Re: Next Case...

            @Andy E

            That functionality might be what it does now, but it wasn't how it worked originally. So if that is indeed a true description of the functionality, and the iPhones verify both ends are happy to iMessage before each communication, it looks like the Apple engineers have moved faster than the wheels of the legal profession (who would have guessed!).

            Yes it is possible to unregister from iMessage, but you need to realise you are in iMessageLand to start with. Many don't.

            IIRC, the leaving iMessage option only appeared, or became known, after this fuss first started.

            @Cynic 2

            The difference being a BBM number is a BBM number, not a mobile number... For communication between BBM users, you can change phone, mobile number, network, country, whatever you like, and install the BBM client on your phone (BBM client available for iPhone, Android, BB and probably Windows mobile), tell it your BBM number, and you're away. It's like an email address, completely portable. iMessage is tied to your Apple account, unavailable on other platforms and is "subverting" communication which should be routed through a mobile phone standard.

        4. DougS Silver badge

          @Steve Evans

          Except suing over faulty software and assuming it was a deliberate evil scheme to screw over iPhone owners who defected to Android is making a pretty big assumption that will be hard to prove in court.

          When I try to send an iMessage sometimes it falls back to SMS, but I remember there were cases in the past where it would just fail to send (not show "delivered") and it would end up being sent hours later. I remember this happening when sending messages to people at football games, when the cells were too overloaded to be able to get any data. So it wasn't just a bug that affected Android owners, and once it was fixed it helped iPhone owners as well. So pretty clearly it wasn't deliberate on Apple's part.

        5. AndyDent
          Thumb Up

          Re: Next Case...

          Great detailed breakdown of the problem.

          She's not an idiot - it was (is?) a real problem. I have family members who experienced it when one member had to start using a Windows Phone for work reasons, and everyone else's iPhones remembered them as being on iMessage.

          Apple really screwed up this experience

          (Informed opinion from mobile developer with 30+ years experience who struggled to explain how this problem happened and what Apple were thinking).

      2. Phuq Witt
        Facepalm

        Re: Next Case...

        "...Now could you please explain your analogy and how it relates to the story...."

        * OSX native Messaging = Proprietary Apple Format & Protocol

        * Android Messaging = Jabber = Google Talk = XMPP = Completely Different Format & Protocol

        So:

        * Proprietory Apple Format & Protocol != Completely Different Format & Protocol

        Just like:

        * OSX Apps != PC Apps

        Do you get it now, or is it still a bit complicated for you?

  2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    She's an idiot. Completely.

    As per title.

    1. Richard Jones 1

      Re: She's an idiot. Completely.

      Yes she bought a dumb apple toy and now regrets her action having found it was like joining the scientologists.

  3. Drefsab_UK

    Apple just need to provide a simple deregister tool that you can mark your phone number as longer reachable via imessage. Build it into the app/put it on their web page. Job done.

    Yes the woman is a fool but so is most of the general public. The people with idevices are not choosing to send via apple or carrier network the app is doing that itself. Its a great feature to save network costs but you need to be able to opt out of it to.

    1. Ed 11

      You mean something like this?

      https://selfsolve.apple.com/deregister-imessage

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        It is being suggested that Apple didn't make it clear that this was necessary.

        It does seem unreasonable if Apple didn't have a fall-back/failure detection or at least warn the sender.

        1. Oh Matron!

          Ignorance is no defence. Ask Hurricane Higgins

    2. hardboiledphil

      >> Its a great feature to save network costs but you need to be able to opt out of it to.<<

      You can. Just turn it off.

      I prefer to use it where possible because you get delivery/read receipts as standard so I know when the recipient has read it. Like SMS used to do in the good old days...

  4. Otto is a bear.

    And another thing

    Just a reminder.

    SMS is not a guaranteed delivery mechanism, just because person A sends person B a message does not mean they will receive it. Not only that it is not instant, near instant if you are online, but if you are offline you receive it when your operator feels like it. iMessage does at least update itself shortly after you go on-line again.

    I'm surprised you can't use iMessage through an iCloud app, though, which would be visible from Windows, or indeed any other browser.

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: And another thing

      This is true but perhaps the carriers should look at improving this situation, because people regard SMS as instant, guaranteed, or at least they get very surprised or confused if a text doesn't arrive in a timely manner, or indeed at all.

      They could market it as a "premium text" with (almost) guaranteed delivery - which might educate people that standard SMS is not guaranteed, as well as potentially being a money-maker.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not for long

    This woman needs a good forensic IT geek to get the dirt on Verizon and Apple. Then she will be able to once again file and this time obtain a class action lawsuit.

    Verizon is not alone in blocking calls, Comcast does the same thing with legitimate international e-mail sent to U.S. customers. It has been documented that Comcast is illegally blocking all e-mail from various ISPs around the globe even though these ISP's are not sending out excessive SPAM as Comcast claims. The illegal blockage of legitimate international e-mail by Comcast constitutes consumer fraud according to the AG.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Not for long

      You'd only think it was fraud if you couldn't read (or pay someone to read it to you)

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Not for long

      You've been popping this post repeatedly. Have you considered contacting a lawyer? I'm sure there's at least one (thousand or more) who'd take the case, turn it into a class action and make themselves a pile of money. Might even get things to change. Take some action instead of beating up the comments section.

  6. Steve 129

    As if class action status would really hurt them

    Non-issue anyhow.

    Even if class action status had been reached it would likely have only cost them $18.37 anyhow!!!

    Class action suits are a complete sham these days.

    About 3 years ago I got a 'payment' check from an action against AT&T for 12 cents !!! Seriously... Postage on the check was 35 cents !!!

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Doesn't get her text messages....

    Tosses a hissy fit and files a lawsuit. Sounds about right these days. <sigh>

  8. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    But the judge didn't say there was no case to answer, just that the defendant could not meet the requirements of a Class Action.

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