Class-Action Suit Labels Siri Ads "Misleading"

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Class-Action Suit Labels Siri Ads "Misleading"

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Apparently, Apple's "advertisements regarding the Siri feature are fundamentally and designedly false and misleading."

So sayeth New Yorker, Mr. Frank M. Fazio, who, alongside a set of hypothetical "similarly situated customers," has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, claiming the "extensive and comprehensive" advertisement campaign for the iPhone 4s's Siri search function is deliberately misleading potential customers.

"The iPhone 4S's Siri feature does not perform as advertised, rendering the iPhone 4S merely a more expensive iPhone 4," reads the complaint.

"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."

The suit claims that the ads, which depict a terrible nightmare-future in which every other person is a smug gremlin barking inane questions at a shiny rectangle, overstate Siri's ability to comprehend abstract questions. It also claims the ads fail to mention that Siri can take quite a while to answer queries, and that the service gobbles up data at a phenomenal rate.

So the ads tout the positive aspects of the product and downplay the negative? It seems to me that Mr. Fazio's issue with the Apple ads is that they are, in fact, advertisements. The spots do feature a disclaimer that reads "sequences shortened," and the Apple website states that "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."

Mr. Fazio was also presumably very upset to learn that the people depicted in these adverts are not computers, despite their claims to the contrary, they're merely actors pretending to be computers. For shame, Apple.

Source: Washington Post

Permalink

Well obviously advertisements should never lie or mislead.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhtTU-guW60 (embedding disabled)

Grey Carter:
Class-Action Suit Labels Siri Ads "Misleading"

Eh, I see what he's saying. The ads seem geared toward showing the potential for Siri, rather than demonstrating the actual Siri. I'm not sure it warrants more than a refund, though.

As long there are people with more money than sense people will still buy Apple products.

This guy takes his advertising way too Siriously.

My god...this, this thing is horrifying! Are they deliberately -trying- to infantilize their userbase now? I'm glad it doesn't work as advertised. :/

Apple ads being misleading?

"The iPhone 4S's Siri feature does not perform as advertised, rendering the iPhone 4S merely a more expensive iPhone 4," reads the complaint.

Apple charge huge amounts for hardware with only minor upgrades? You may be on to someting there :P

So ... a few apple customers realised they got shafted?
What's next, the same people suing Red Bull after trying to fly off of second storey balconies?

Danceofmasks:
So ... a few apple customers realised they got shafted?
What's next, the same people suing Red Bull after trying to fly off of second storey balconies?

thats not as fun as the comercials make it out to be by the way

I still have to learn of ANY product that works as advertized...

At first I was going to say he's an idiot but after watching the ad, yeah I agree with him.

achilleas.k:
snip

Coke ads don't spread falsehoods about the product though. Sure they ignore the fact that if you drink 3 cans you've already consumed more sugar than you should in a day but they don't say that coke is actually good for you. Also coke cans have the diet info printed on them. I sincerely doubt the iPhone 4s is going to have "Some features exaggerated in commercials" printed right on the box.

Danceofmasks:
snip

That's just a jokey slogan that goes so far into the unrealistic that people know it's not true.

This advertises the capabilities of a product and flat out lies about what it can do. It'd be like xbox having blu-ray printed on the box. It's a straight up lie. Most average consumers don't realise what point voice control technology is at and I'm guessing people who would sink hundreds on an iphone 4s are probably in that camp.

Spot1990:
Coke ads don't spread falsehoods about the product though. Sure they ignore the fact that if you drink 3 cans you've already consumed more sugar than you should in a day but they don't say that coke is actually good for you. Also coke cans have the diet info printed on them. I sincerely doubt the iPhone 4s is going to have "Some features exaggerated in commercials" printed right on the box.

Still funny though. I was just making the point that if ads advertised through sincerity, that's probably what we would get (with some exaggeration of course).

That's just a jokey slogan that goes so far into the unrealistic that people know it's not true.

This advertises the capabilities of a product and flat out lies about what it can do. It'd be like xbox having blu-ray printed on the box. It's a straight up lie. Most average consumers don't realise what point voice control technology is at and I'm guessing people who would sink hundreds on an iphone 4s are probably in that camp.

So we go into the mess of drawing a line where straight lies end and exaggeration begins. You are right that a group of people saw the Siri add and said "they're obviously exaggerating" while the majority didn't realise it, but the xbox having blu-ray isn't the same thing. The Siri ad didn't show any functionality that the phone doesn't posses (which is what a blu-ray enabled xbox ad would do). It just sped up response times (and had a disclaimer for it) and didn't mention the data usage (the same way a car advertisement doesn't mention mileage when it's very uneconomical). As for its ability to understand abstract questions, that's harder to gauge in absolute terms.

The fact that there exist reviews saying that Siri "works as advertised", at least early on, means that the advertisement isn't lying about what the product can do.

achilleas.k:

Spot1990:
Coke ads don't spread falsehoods about the product though. Sure they ignore the fact that if you drink 3 cans you've already consumed more sugar than you should in a day but they don't say that coke is actually good for you. Also coke cans have the diet info printed on them. I sincerely doubt the iPhone 4s is going to have "Some features exaggerated in commercials" printed right on the box.

Still funny though. I was just making the point that if ads advertised through sincerity, that's probably what we would get (with some exaggeration of course).

That's just a jokey slogan that goes so far into the unrealistic that people know it's not true.

This advertises the capabilities of a product and flat out lies about what it can do. It'd be like xbox having blu-ray printed on the box. It's a straight up lie. Most average consumers don't realise what point voice control technology is at and I'm guessing people who would sink hundreds on an iphone 4s are probably in that camp.

So we go into the mess of drawing a line where straight lies end and exaggeration begins. You are right that a group of people saw the Siri add and said "they're obviously exaggerating" while the majority didn't realise it, but the xbox having blu-ray isn't the same thing. The Siri ad didn't show any functionality that the phone doesn't posses (which is what a blu-ray enabled xbox ad would do). It just sped up response times (and had a disclaimer for it) and didn't mention the data usage (the same way a car advertisement doesn't mention mileage when it's very uneconomical). As for its ability to understand abstract questions, that's harder to gauge in absolute terms.

The fact that there exist reviews saying that Siri "works as advertised", at least early on, means that the advertisement isn't lying about what the product can do.

It was the abstract questions thing that annoyed me the most. Response times and data are just fudging the details, like all ads do. Being able to respond to abstract voice commands does make the ad seem more than just misleading.

Let the fanboy wars begin!!!!

Toilet:
As long there are people with more money than sense people will still buy Apple products.

No matter how inflated or overstated the products are. In fact, that seems to be a selling point.

I honestly have no idea why people keep complaining about these commercials.

Smug: what?
Gremlins:...What?
Barking: Humans do generally communicate by producing vibrations in the air, yes.
Orders at a shiny rectangle:...That's the product they're advertising.

I get that it's just a joke but it doesn't seem to make any sense.

deadish:
Let the fanboy wars begin!!!!

I find it funny that back when Microsoft was the top dog Apple could apparently do no wrong yet now that Apple is the grand poobah, oh shit, they're the new Satan.

That's fanboys for you I guess.

deadish:
Let the fanboy wars begin!!!!

There hasn't been any fanboyism in the thread yet. If it starts now, I'm blaming you!

Spot1990:

achilleas.k:

Spot1990:
Coke ads don't spread falsehoods about the product though. Sure they ignore the fact that if you drink 3 cans you've already consumed more sugar than you should in a day but they don't say that coke is actually good for you. Also coke cans have the diet info printed on them. I sincerely doubt the iPhone 4s is going to have "Some features exaggerated in commercials" printed right on the box.

Still funny though. I was just making the point that if ads advertised through sincerity, that's probably what we would get (with some exaggeration of course).

That's just a jokey slogan that goes so far into the unrealistic that people know it's not true.

This advertises the capabilities of a product and flat out lies about what it can do. It'd be like xbox having blu-ray printed on the box. It's a straight up lie. Most average consumers don't realise what point voice control technology is at and I'm guessing people who would sink hundreds on an iphone 4s are probably in that camp.

So we go into the mess of drawing a line where straight lies end and exaggeration begins. You are right that a group of people saw the Siri add and said "they're obviously exaggerating" while the majority didn't realise it, but the xbox having blu-ray isn't the same thing. The Siri ad didn't show any functionality that the phone doesn't posses (which is what a blu-ray enabled xbox ad would do). It just sped up response times (and had a disclaimer for it) and didn't mention the data usage (the same way a car advertisement doesn't mention mileage when it's very uneconomical). As for its ability to understand abstract questions, that's harder to gauge in absolute terms.

The fact that there exist reviews saying that Siri "works as advertised", at least early on, means that the advertisement isn't lying about what the product can do.

It was the abstract questions thing that annoyed me the most. Response times and data are just fudging the details, like all ads do. Being able to respond to abstract voice commands does make the ad seem more than just misleading.

Well, what exactly do they mean by 'abstract questions'? Because what constitutes an abstract question is not really set in stone.

>mfw people still buy apple products

Seriously though, stupid class action lawsuit is stupid. If this guy bought an Apple product he deserves whatever garbage he got.

My question is, can Siri even answer the specific questions if they are asked exactly as in the advertisement? If it can, then they're merely IMPLYING that it can answer more abstract questions, and they have a reasonable defense, because technically the ad didn't show anything it can't do. If it can't even answer these questions, though, then it's blatant false advertising.

P.S. Thanks

I was wondering how you'd chime in on the nightmarishly garish ads in question. I was actually a little saddened that there was a gratuitous link to the Critical Miss discussing how stuck up their own ass the people in the ads seem. Though, from the Siri image pages I've seen, the service is very repeatable, without much differentiation between things, and not overly capable of learning.

BehattedWanderer:
I was wondering how you'd chime in on the nightmarishly garish ads in question. I was actually a little saddened that there was a gratuitous link to the Critical Miss discussing how stuck up their own ass the people in the ads seem. Though, from the Siri image pages I've seen, the service is very repeatable, without much differentiation between things, and not overly capable of learning.

You don't link to your own work in a news post, it just isn't done. That and I have to pretend to be neutral, and that comic, even though a joke, was the opposite of neutral.

Grey Carter:

BehattedWanderer:
I was wondering how you'd chime in on the nightmarishly garish ads in question. I was actually a little saddened that there was a gratuitous link to the Critical Miss discussing how stuck up their own ass the people in the ads seem. Though, from the Siri image pages I've seen, the service is very repeatable, without much differentiation between things, and not overly capable of learning.

You don't link to your own work in a news post, it just isn't done. That and I have to pretend to be neutral, and that comic, even though a joke, was the opposite of neutral.

And here I was hoping for a bold defiance of convention. But, pretend neutrality is pretty important, I suppose, so I'll just go find it myself.

I can see where they're coming from. In the UK ad they ask things like "what's my day like" to which the iphone responds "not bad, only 2 meetings today", or "do I need an umbrella" to which the response is "the weather should be clear today". I suspect these are the abstract questions and I doubt asking an iphone "how's my day looking?" will draw that response.

On one hand, not automatically calling bullshit on an advertisement makes this guy look like an idiot, but on the other hand I can't help but secretly hope he wins and maybe makes advertisements a little more informative and a little less stupid.

Varil:
On one hand, not automatically calling bullshit on an advertisement makes this guy look like an idiot, but on the other hand I can't help but secretly hope he wins and maybe makes advertisements a little more informative and a little less stupid.

When it comes to tech though ads can be very misleading. People who don't follow technology may see an ad and think that we're actually capable of such things then go out and buy based on that. As I said I've all along thought no way when the ads portray people asking abstract questions and getting the answer they expect, but others may not.

Also as a side note, I've never used siri but I'm guessing my accent wont work. I'm from Lancashire in the UK and no automated system can ever understand the Lancastrian accent.

It would be hilarious if Apple used Siri as their lawyer in court.

Honestly? I know a handful of people who own the iPhone 4s and none of them use Siri whatsoever. They feel it's mostly just a gimmicky bit of software that (since we live in Ireland) has no real use since most of it's other functions are unavailable to people not currently in the United States.

Though they still couldn't answer my question when I asked them why didn't they just get a 3g, which suddenly became much cheaper. Capitalism at it's finest folks.

is there a mod so it sounds like GLaDOS? cause I'll care if there is about this rather stupid lawsuit if there is :D

This is not going to be successful. Apple uses the fine print in the ads and discloses the technicalities on their website. This means that the ad is NOT legally misleading and that Apple is making full disclosure.

Grey Carter:

BehattedWanderer:
I was wondering how you'd chime in on the nightmarishly garish ads in question. I was actually a little saddened that there was a gratuitous link to the Critical Miss discussing how stuck up their own ass the people in the ads seem. Though, from the Siri image pages I've seen, the service is very repeatable, without much differentiation between things, and not overly capable of learning.

You don't link to your own work in a news post, it just isn't done. That and I have to pretend to be neutral, and that comic, even though a joke, was the opposite of neutral.

Are you sure you were being all that neutral?

Mr. Fazio was also presumably very upset to learn that the people depicted in these adverts are not computers, despite their claims to the contrary, they're merely actors pretending to be computers. For shame, Apple.

Kinda sounds like you're calling the guy an idiot there.

All the fanboys and critics should be saving their pennies for Apple stock instead of yapping. Go buy it. Now.

I don't know why hes bothering to waste his time. They haven't enforced a false advertising case in years. All advertisers do is lie. I'd be more shocked if they decided to change things up and go with the truth.

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