Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit over Wi-Fi Assist

Wi-Fi assist feature

With the rollout of iOS 9, one topic that got a lot of traction was Wi-Fi Assist, which, at face value, is meant to help iOS users keep a steady connection to the internet.

Unfortunately for the Cupertino-based company, many of those articles were focused on the fact that if a steady Wi-Fi network isn’t available, the iOS 9-equipped device would automatically start sipping through the user’s data allowance. And, in the United States, many subscribers aren’t subscribed to a plan that offers unlimited data. While there were some articles articulating how Wi-Fi Assist works, and Apple even clarified the feature, for some it was too little, too late.

As surfaced by Apple Insider, Apple was hit with a class-action lawsuit on Friday, October 23, in the state of California. The plaintiffs are William Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt Phillips, and allege that because of costs related to data overages picked up due to the use of Wi-Fi Assist, the “overall amount in controversy exceeds” $5 million.

The suit articulates that Apple did not do a thorough enough job explaining what Wi-Fi Assist is, or how it works, and that it updated its own website to better explain Wi-Fi Assist after the internet swelled with articles decrying the feature for how it works.

“Defendant’s above corrective action, however, still downplays the possible data overcharges a user could incur,” the suit reads. “Reasonable and average consumers use their iPhones for streaming of music, videos, and running various applications — all of which can use significant data. Defendant’s corrective statement does not disclose any basis for its conclusion that an average consumer would not see much increase in cellular usage.”

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs did incur overages to their cell phone bill due to Wi-Fi Assist. However, it is unknown just how much the plaintiffs were charged in their overage costs, or by how much data they went over their allowance’s limit. In the end, though, the plaintiffs believe they were misled regarding Wi-Fi Assist.

Wi-Fi Assist is an optional feature found within iOS 9. However, that optional feature is activated by default after an iOS user upgrades to iOS 9. By heading into Settings –> Cellular, there is an option there to deactivate Wi-Fi Assist.

Did you turn off Wi-Fi Assist?

[via Apple Insider]