Apple dodges lawsuit over misleading iCloud storage charges

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What you need to know

  • A judge has ruled against a lawsuit that claims Apple deceives its customers over iCloud storage prices.
  • Plaintiffs alleged that Apple deceived customers by making them think 5GB of free storage would be enough for users.
  • They also claimed that Apple charged users without consent to renew their storage and failed to disclose its cancellation policy.

A lawsuit that claims Apple's iCloud pricing is deceptive has been thrown out, with the plaintiffs required to amend their suit if it is to have any chance of success.

As Bloomberg Law reports:

Apple Inc. ducked, for now, a proposed class suit alleging it tricks customers about the costs of iCloud storage, when a federal court in California said the customers failed to adequately explain how the company's recurring charge notification was deficient or how they were fooled.

A suit against Apple had alleged that Apple "deceives consumers into thinking they can maintain their data storage for free", where in reality "they quickly exceed the free 5GB limit and then must pay for an increasingly costly service." A judge said the group had not supported their claims under California's auto-renewal law "which requires certain disclosures and customer consent before a subscription is renewed." The judge further stated that Apple was not in fact failing to obtain consent from users who pay for iCloud subscriptions stating "there was no plausible explanation for how iCloud users who pay for storage didn't agree to do so."

According to the report plaintiff's also failed "to support claims that Apple didn't properly disclose its iCloud cancellation policy," pointing out that Apple tells users where and how to cancel the service. Finally, a claim that Apple breached a promise about being able to use less than 5GB of storage was found to be untrue:

The customers also alleged Apple breached a promise to explain how users could stay under the free initial 5GB storage ceiling. These contract-based claims fail because the consumers didn't identify a provision in the iCloud Terms and Conditions that promises users any form of data storage advice, the court said.

The plaintiffs can amend their complaint and will need a serious rethink of their case if they are to have any success against Apple. iCloud is one of the best iPhone features on devices like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, letting users view content like photos across multiple devices, and backing up data that can be transferred to new devices on upgrade or when a device is lost.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9