Class action suit claims Siri does not work as advertised

Siri Class Action

A class action suit has been raised against Apple claiming Siri does not appear to work as advertised. Siri was launched as a key feature of the iPhone 4S however it has always carried the tag of beta software. This has not deterred a New York man from suing Apple for false advertising over Siri’s capabilities. Frank M.Fazio purchased his iPhone 4S back in November and is now part of a class of people who feel mislead by Apple.

In many of Apple’s television advertisements, individuals are shown using Siri to make appointments, find restaurants, and even learn the guitar chords to classic rock songs or how to tie a tie. In the commercials, all of these tasks are done with ease with the assistance of the iPhone 4S’s Siri feature, a represented functionality contrary to the actual operating results and performance of Siri.

The case claims that Siri is much less responsive than shown in the advertisements even though Apple issues a disclaimer stating that the service's sequences were shortened for advertising purposes. The lawsuit asks for unspecified damages and claims Siri is “at best, a work-in-progress”. Isn’t that the same thing as a beta?

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Class action suit claims Siri does not work as advertised

83 Comments

I agree this is just a stupid law suit, the product is in BETA, let me restate that the product is in BETA.
Also for the most part if you know how the product works you can use it like the commercial. Siri has problems transitioning between WiFi and 3G, so what I do is if I know I'm going to use Siri during the day, turn of WiFi. Also Siri has issues with Bluetooth, she doesn't always respond properly and in the car she will not work with Bluetooth properly either.
This is nothing new in the USA or other parts of the world, companies advertise in their ideal world conditions which is not the real world. If you notice the commercials, the people do not use bluetooth earpieces are either in WiFi or 3G locations, but not both. I think Apple knows the short comings and market around it. Is that right NO and no company should be allowed to do this, but they do and this is no different.
I have to agree with Danny, First World Problems, Indeed.....

"she doesn’t always respond properly and in the car she will not work with Bluetooth properly either."
She!!! Wow u really feel that it's a she.

Yes, Siri is a "she", unless you've ever met a gent named Siri. I can't get Siri to talk dirty to me, but no lawsuit is going to change that. Opportunist trying to make a. Quick buck. Good luck with that.

This guy has a point, when I use it in the UK it cannot look for any places, restaurants businesses etc, it doesn't understand accents, I find my self spending a whole car journey trying to send one text with Siri

If it's a nuisance, turn it off until the beta is over. Personally, I've had no issues and get a lot of use from Siri -- goes down far less than when I first got my 4S.

A waste of time and resources. Nothing more than some lesser-known law firm playing a crapshoot trying to get publicity. They're all about to learn what the big yellow label that says 'beta' means.

I don't think you can advertise siri as the main selling point of your phone and then hide behind the beta tag. No where i have seen on the phone does it say beta. I think its a dumb lawsuit, but the beta label doesn't mean anything if you are showing misleading commercials about its performance.

I think they would have a better chance fighting the lawsuit that Apple sold Siri as the main reason to upgrade. Thus charging people for siri (a beta). They basically used Siri as the ad campaign and it doesnt even work.
I almost broke my phone last week. My wife called while I was in the car. She asked me to stop at the store (just less then 1/4 mile my home). I thought, hey, I will set a reminder to stop at the store when I get home. (My phone GPS usually thinks I am home when I get within a 1/4 mile of my home). I picked up the phone, hit Siri and said"remind me to pick up a bottle of wine when I get home" I tried this 5 times. Every single time I got the same response "I dont know what you mean "remind me to pick up a bottle of wine when you get home". After the 5th attempt, I finally threw the phone on the seat of my car and pulled out paper and pen.

Completely agree with LeBeef. I have been bashing Apple for using this practice on my site for months now. There are so many other great features of the phone the DO work properly, WHY on EARTH would you focus on the one Beta piece that never works and spend millions promoting the phone as such. I wont join the suit, I don't believe in it - this country is too litigious as is so I wont be a party to a lawsuit over something this stupid, and sadly I worked in Advertising before my conscience took over so I understand how truths are stretched or enhanced. But come on - this isn't even close. The thing NEVER works, ever.
If you want to see my satirical take on this all, you can read the posts here: http://www.thingsarefunny.com/2012/03/looks-like-im-not-alone.htmlhttp://www.thingsarefunny.com/2012/02/finally-truthful-apple-siri.html

How does the average user know that Siri is in beta? Where does it say this? When turning on Siri during set up it doesn't say that. Nor does it say it when Siri is summoned. Just wondering...

Oh, come on! Did anyone watch listen or read the Keynote address when the phone was announced and introduced? Clearly it was stated that Siri is in beta and that there would be a few bugs. I haven't had any problems with Siri, then again, I am not that gullible to believe the hype and glory spread by the mainstream press and the average tech blog reporter who neglects all the details and fawns over the precious. Apple has clearly stated that Siri is in beta. get over it.

Of course Apple's website says that Siri is in beta. They are not dumb. They want to avoid all of these lawsuits.

I can't believe someone would sue apple for this. In my Siri experience it has done what it says it can and yes it takes some time, because it's not a human mind. I'll pay close attention to this lawsuit because if they win I will be extremely disappointed. I'd like to meet some of these people listed in the lawsuit just to tell them how ignorant they are

The 3UK advert for Siri has it giving directions. This is very misleading. Apple should be above such deceits. If I didn't have better things to do ill be suing them also.

Promise big things & don't deliver? Apple actually did that? Can't be true. Time to open the checkbook. Your devoted fans are unhappy Cuopertino.

I always thought it was strange that if it is still in beta why it's the center of Apple's 4S commericials as a key feature.

I think many of you are missing the point. Apple may state that Siri is still in beta, but it has two very visible commercials touting the function as a key component for the iPhone S. Now I recognize that Apple needed to differentiate the iPhone S from the original iPhone considering the design is the same (except for some of the internals which most consumers could care less about), but I could see this pissing some consumers off if it didn't work as expected.

Peter,
Unfortunately, others have done this before Apple, and the reality is that others will do it after Apple. To state a few companies, ATT, VZW, T-Mobile, Google, Microsoft, IBM, I can go on, but I think you get my point.
The reality is Apple is no more evil then all these companies, and actually some are more evil then Apple.
No I am not a fan boy, I will put them down for things they did wrong, and raise them for things they do right, but I also won't simply blame them because they did what others do...

I don't think anyone is saying that Apple is the only one doing this. I am sure there are many other cases where a company got sued for false advertisement.

When someone offers an opinion you don't like, you call them a troll and then talk about their upbringing? What are we supposed to call you then?

apart from in this case the name rob white is synonymous with trolling, you only have to be on this site a few days to see the connection. Funny it's usually me calling him a troll.

Will some Apple fans always defend Apple no matter what they say or do? It's funny seeing these comments when you realize these are grown men & women writing this garbage. Apple fans are just as bad as crazed football fanatics. They will defend them no matter what happens.

So can I sue Garmin when my gps gives me wrong directions? Can I sue my Internet provider when they're download speeds fail to reach the speeds they advertise? If so, someone point me to the nearest attorney!!! Jejejee

I'm going to sue McDonalds and Burger King because my burger absolutely does not like it does on the commercial.

The Big Mac does look like it does in the pictures - although that's BEFORE they whack it with a rubber mallet and hand it over to you.

I bought a 4S for my wife last week for her birthday. I played with Siri while getting the phone set up for her. Siri didn't work for crap in the car on the way home. When I asked Siri where would be a good place to go to get a beer it suggested a strip club 20 miles away. O_o Nevermind that there are 20 bars between here and there, and that I wouldn't step foot into that particular club on a bet.
Siri was disappointing, but it seems better than anything similar I have tried on my EVO3D. Nothing to sue Apple about though.

How about you do a poll of every iPhone 4S user, even the ones that don't frequent this site, and see how many know it is in beta. You are kidding yourself if you think that the service is advertised as beta.

Well said. As i mentioned in an earlier comment, no where on the app itself does it say Beta. Besides, you can't make siri the main selling point and then cry Beta every time it doesn't work.

Siri is cool but it is not as effective as Apple would like us to believe. If you are going to put beta software on your phone and then tout it as a selling feature, you might get some disgruntled consumers when it's not exactly as advertised either in speed or functionality. I'm not necessarily supportive of the lawsuit but companies need to be held accountable for the difference between the "reality" portrayed in ads and what the reality really is. Apple has probably overreached here with their reliance on siri but you can't deny that it has had an effect on the market as google is developing it's own version. It is not a worthless concept or bad software. It's just that siri on my phone is not the siri on the ads but it's not that far off either at least when it works.

Hey I have an idea..... I am going to sue Dodge/Chrysler Motor Corp. because my vehicle doesn't get the exact mileage that was listed on the window sticker when I bought it.
Where's my attorney?!?!?!?!?

Actually MPG are always listed as estimates, and there are several factors to MPG, such a driving conditions and area, and the driver themselves are variable in that amount. So you are comparing Oranges with Apples. LOL...
Honestly Apple shouldn't advertise a beta product in whole. I can see them saying we a voice assistant and then moving on but having a whole commercial for Siri is wrong.
Even when Google Nav was/is in beta, competitors advertise it as a feature, but the whole commercial is not dedicated to the Google Nav; at least what I have seen. I could be wrong though.

That was actually par tof my point too, VARIABLES .... this guy could have an accent or speech impediment that adversely affects Siri's ability to recognize what he is saying. Basically people just need to use common sense. NO PRODUCT can be expected to work 100% of the time flawlessly.

Mpg is clearly stated to be estimates. And there are class actions against them when they don't live up to expectations. Search hyundai elantra mpg class action.
The difference here is no where in the commercials does it state that Siri is in beta and may not always work as advertised. They only say the sequences have been shortened and I'd venture a guess some of them have been completely fabricated/simulated.

Siri is a complete waste of time here in the UK, you cannot use it for anything at all, and I mean nothing which in my opinion makes its less than Alpha, certainly not Beta.
Without Siri the 4S really doesnt have much over the 4 (on paper), Apple needed Siri to be able to quantify the launch of a new product, and as such a major 'feature' of the 4S that doesnt work is most certainly a misadvertised.

@Simon - I beg to differ as far as 4S not having anything other than Siri vs the iPhone 4.
I bought my 4S for the 8MP excellent quality camera as well as the dual core processor.
Siri has no affect on my purchase, I chose the 4S over the 4 simply based on camera specs and processor specs.

Besides the camera, I have seen zero difference between my 4 and 4s. You may have ATT which may be faster internet. I have verizon and have seen no speed increase or any other difference other than the camera.

Because any iPhone on Verzion will only use EVDO REV A. for data regardless of the model. EVDO REV A. averages around 700k to 1 Mbps. The iPhone 4S is a hybrid radio that includes HSDPA 14.4 Mpbs/HSPUA 5.76 Mpbs for people on HSPA networks like AT&T.

Did you use a 4 prior to using the 4s? I've not noticed a difference in speed with the dual core processor. Just my opinion.

If camera quality is so important then buy a proper digital camera, even an 8MP DSLR will be miles ahead of a 4S.
For Siri there is no alternative device, Gamers should buy consoles, photographers should buy cameras, people who want to use dictation to control their phone have Siri and only Siri on the iPhone, and it plain and simply doesnt work as a key selling feature of the device.
Windows Phone and Android voice control are much better, agreed its not fluid and you have to say given commands but at least the phones do what you tell them.

This lawsuit is a waste; much like the patent trolling lawsuits that are going on in the mobile industry today. What is interesting is seeing Apple and its most ardent supporters using Google's cry of "It's Beta, dummy!" to defend against the problems. That is the problem with releasing beta software in a production environment. I wondered how long it would take for that defense to be used.
By the way; in my experience, the Siri application is only useful for creating lists and as a search input method. It will be interesting to see where Apple takes it from here and when they will drop the beta label from it.

Wow! I have my own fan club of people who instead of having an intelligent discussion call me names. Is this representative of the typical apple fanatic?

Then I'm suing AT&T for saying my iPhone has 4G when it doesn't! It's all about advertising, and having a leg up (AT&T is the worst!); why should Apple be held to different standards than Samsung, Dell, HP, AT&T, Verizon?

Verzion advertises LTE when it doesn't meat the original definition of Advanced LTE by the ITU. Verzion is the worst at lying.

So essentially he is doing what Apple and Android have been doing to each for the last several months lol, suing the crap out of each other. This idiot does not realize that because Apple disclaimed that Siri is in BETA the judge is going to give them a big slap in the face cause nowhere has Apple stated Siri is a finish product and also expressed that the commercial was edited. They have been upfront with this info, This idiot obviously didn't learn how to read.

iMore.
I would love to see a poll for 4S users about Siri.
Would be curious to know what percentage of us have given up on using the feature almost completely, and how many of us use it regularly.

You cannot on one hand ding Android for requiring technical knowledge the average user lacks and and on the other allow Apple to take refuge in a tag most users neither know nor understand. Those of us who follow Apple blogs and read Apple's info pages know this, but the average user does not. Certainly Apple has not made it clear in their advertisements that Siri is in beta.
If the iPhone truly is the phone "for the rest of us" -- whatever that means -- then the iPhone, even more than competing products, trades on the perception it creates for "the rest of us." You can use "beta" as a shield if most of your users know and understand it is beta, but you lose "beta" as a shield if the beta product is the main focus of your marketing efforts.

Siri is working for me, however my biggest gripe is how she won't work with the Bluetooth in my car. She misunderstands everything like "call bill" and she's like "here's the nearest gas station"??? The old apple iPhone 4 voice activation worked from making calls to playing music fine. I think it may be the microphone not having notice canceling tech but still, older system was 90% accurate to siris 10%. Tho when not connected to my car it's about 85-90 accurate and very helpful.

...really? He's referring to the fact that Siri has a female voice. I'm pretty sure he knows it's a program and not a living thing.

Ok, the lawsuit is silly, but he's got a point. Siri is "beta" and will always be, because Apple knows it will never work as advertised. The regular customer does not even know what "beta" means, and would NEVER expect something "beta" on a Apple product.
If Siri was on any other device people would be bashing it right and left, but, as usual, Apple gets a free pass from its herd, which almost feel sorry for Apple because Siri does not work well. Bad Siri, bad.

That commercial where the kid tries to get Siri to teach him how to play guitar and then wants her to call his deluded self "Rock God", is absolutely ridiculous. I've tested Siri out to attempt some of the things shown in the commercial. Some things work. Others don't. But a lawsuit based on unrealistic expectations is purely daft.

I've had an iPhone since the original and Siri is, by far, the worst idea Apple has incorporated into it's device. It's a novelty and the only thing it's consistent in, is sucking.

The lawsuit is useless but that doesn't mean that Siri doesn't suck.
For me, and so far.

I would personally like to see where Apple lists Siri as a beta other than the Apple keynote that most consumers haven't seen or a tiny footnote on the website which most haven't seen even if they did buy it via the web. I'm looking at a 4S box now and it's not there either.

After commercials:
“Sequences shortened. Coverage varies.”
Legally, that's good enough.
On website:
"1. Siri is available in Beta only on iPhone 4S and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply."
Legally, that's good enough.
The user manual also outlines that a good data connection is needed, and certain things may interfere with the service.
http://manuals.info.apple.com/enUS/iphoneuser_guide.pdf
Legally, that's also good enough.
This suit is frivolous.

"Sequences shortened. Coverage varies."
This lawsuit has no grounds. Apple already placed a disclaimer at the end of the commercial.

Here is where Apple opened themselves to this lawsuit. For a beta program, they are making every effort to sell it as THE forefront feature for the iphone 4s. Otherwise its just another iphone 4. You shouldn't put an incomplete feature as the forefront of your flagship product.
Still these peeps suing cannot be so ignorant to how siri works and that its performance is directly tied to the performance of your data network. If its crap, well then Siri will be crap. Suppose all in the lawsuit must be Sprint customers :)

Imagine if Ford claimed the new Fusion got 60 mpg but when you got the car it only got half that. Then imagine if the Ford fan boys said well that is ok because it's in beta. LMFAO!

Great post Nick- def. my favorite so far. I would like to see more pc how-tos and tutorials like this. I've been planning on doing a reformat for a while and picked up some cool tips.

Great program, amazing footage. Two gripes: stop the inane anthropomorphizing. The tree is not a "she" or a "queen." Irritating as all hell. Second, why don't you identify the birds? You identified every insect and mammal but not the weavers, the barbets, the pigeon...

Actually for huge addon support and friendly, firefox has become most popular browser on market. Anyway thanks for sharing for this.

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How do I get in on this class action suit?! I'm so pissed about how crappu my Siri is, I was lead to believe it was better than this. It cannot even do a simple web search, it cuts off in the middle of me saying a short command. I hate it!!! Totally misleading!!!