By Mike Peterson / appleinsider.com
Apple has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that its media services terms and conditions, which permit the company to terminate an Apple ID, are “unlawful” and “unconscionable.”
The complaint, filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, goes after an Apple services clause that states a user with a terminated Apple ID cannot access media content that they’ve purchased.
Through its terms and conditions, Apple retains the right to terminate an Apple ID. More than that, the lawsuit claims that Apple can terminate an account based on mere suspicion.
“Apple’s unlawful and unconscionable clause as a prohibited de facto liquidated damages provision which is triggered when Apple suspects its customers have breached its Terms and Conditions,” the lawsuit reads.
Additionally, the complaint claims that users with Apple devices will find their products “substantially diminished in value” if their Apple IDs are terminated, since they won’t be able to access Apple services or purchased content.
The plaintiff in the case, Matthew Price, reportedly spent nearly $25,000 on content attached to an Apple ID. When Apple terminated Price’s Apple ID for an alleged violation of its terms and conditions, Price lost access to all of that content.
According to the complaint, the $25,000 worth of media included apps, in-app purchases, programs and platform extensions, and related services. The plaintiff also alleges that Apple prevents users from accessing unused funds attached to an Apple account. Price, for example, had about $7 in iTunes credit.
The lawsuit doesn’t specify why Price’s account was terminated. However, it does claim that Apple shut down the Apple ID “without notice, explanation, policy or process.”
It goes on to claim that Apple’s conduct — specifically, the clause and resulting terminations — are “unfair, unlawful, fraudulent, and illegal,” and alleges that Apple is in violation of several consumer regulations in California.
The lawsuit is seeking class action status, with a Nationwide Class consisting of people in the U.S. who have had their Apple IDs terminated.
It asks for a jury trial seeking a permanent injunction barring Apple from engaging in the allegedly unlawful behavior; restitution of funds lost during account termination; damages; and attorneys’ fees.