Apple Settles iTunes Gift Card Class Action Lawsuit, But Don’t Expect A Bonanza

Apple Settles iTunes Gift Card Class Action Lawsuit, But Don’t Expect A Bonanza

Did you buy a song off of iTunes for $1.29 before May 2010 with an iTunes Gift Card that said each song cost only $0.99? Thanks to the efforts of lawyers at Kurtzman Carson Consultants, you may be eligible for a class-action payout!

Make room in your piggy bank: you could be up to three dollars and twenty-five cents richer today than you were yesterday!

The class action lawsuit basically deals with iTunes Gift Cards that had been purchased when Apple was transitioning to $1.29 iTunes plus DRM-free songs from their previous standard of $0.99 DRM-protected tracks.

The cards claimed that each iTunes track only sold for about a buck, when actually, Apple had jacked the price of their songs by thirty cents. The class-action lawsuit filed by Gabriel Johnson in July 2009 claimed that consumers became confused by the discrepancy, and deserved their money back.

It seems ridiculous — Apple clearly wasn’t trying to rip anyone off — but the lawsuit continued for the past two years. It has now finally been reconciled, with both parties agreeing to settle out of court to prevent future expense.

If you’d like to file for your three bucks, head on over to Kurtzman Carson Consultants.

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  • AldiNYC

    Meanwhile, Kurtzman Carson will be up to $2,117,500 richer.

    Tort. Reform. NOW.

  • AlterThending

    This was kind of a minimal story. May be eligible for a class action but you tell us nothing about how to sign up or just keep an eye on your iTunes account balance. You must be at lunch.

  • GH

    This article started… then ended.

    what.

  • cm

    Be happy you got anything.  The whole point of these suits is that it prevents companies from doing little things like this that screw each person out of a little bit of money, but the amount of money for each individual is so small that you could never justify the time and expense of a lawsuit.  

    Imagine how much money Apple made off of this practice with the millions of these cards that they sold.  If someone walked up to you on the street and handed you $3.25 for doing nothing, you would say thank you and walk away.

    This firm put in the time and took the risk that it would never get paid.  Think how many hours it worked for free on the chance that there would be a recovery in this case.  

    Instead of screaming about tort reform, you should be thankful that lawyers like this are around to keep companies in line.  

  • CharliK

    I’m actually a bit shocked that they don’t have some way to track who put a gift card on their accounts during that time and just slap 3 song credits into all those accounts and be done with it. 

  • Jordan Clay

    Actually the whole point of these suits is stated above, so lawyers can get rich.   It is like the lawyers that almost sued BMW because the address in the GPS system didn’t recognize HIS address, 1 single address.  

    It seems like most people that file these suits are looking for an easy way to cheat the system and get rich.   There are countless more suits like this that are frivolous that actually drive up the price of the final product causing Apple to HAVE to charge more per song so they can still make a profit. 

    Look at all the people  that sued McDonald’s because they got fat, look at the people that sued Taco Bell because they said it wasn’t ground beef. There are more frivolous lawsuits that are aimed to make lawyers richer and not necessarily companies stay in line

  • Jordan Clay

    P.S.   Probably 3 people will get the 3.25 and everybody else will get the shaft.  and the lawyer will take the lions share of the entire claim Like Reply

  • MacMan

    The lawyers are bottom feeding opportunists – full stop. And it’s America’s rediculous legal environment that feeds this sort of ambulance chasing mentality.

    No-one ‘lost’ anything, and ‘big bad’ Apple did not ‘make’ any money out of this. Do you actually know/understand the background to this?? It seems not. Apple originally had 99c DRM encumbered songs on iTunes. DRM encumbered because of the studios, not Apple. It changed to $1.29 songs which were NOT DRM encumbered finally after Apple was able to talk sense into those other bottom feeders, the studios.

    The gift voucher (say a $15 one) bought in total $15 worth of songs. So on day one  (when songs were priced at .99c) you could buy 15. On day two when they were priced at 1.29 you could buy 11. The voucher cards are basically a credit to purchase from the iTunes store – that’s it. The advertising text on the cards simply said that songs in the iTunes store were 99c, and they were when the cards were printed. So what?

    The only people who have really profited from this are the bottom feeding lawyers – and it was dumbos who agreed to join this stupid ‘class action’ suit who perpetuate this stupidity enriching these so called ‘nobel’ (not) lawyers. 

  • CharliK

    Apple made nothing. 

    They didn’t sell the cards as X songs. They sold them as X dollars. 

    The whole suit was off the fact that the print on the back of some of the cards said that songs were 99cents. Cards that were apparently sold at 3rd party shops that were probably told to destroy them but didn’t. Which is why the payout is rather paltry compared to what it could have been.
    It’s worth noting that Apple apparently settled. So they actually weren’t found guilty of anything and certainly wouldn’t have admitted any guilt. It seems that this was more of a “if we shove some money at you would you please shut up and go away” game.

    And in the end, not that many folks are likely to get any money off it is anyway since few folks are going to have an old gift card with that verbiage and proof they bought it after the price change.

  • Jeffery Black1

    You are crazy!!!!!! If you didn’t know about the change to song prices you must be stupid!!! Apple held a event to tell everyone about the change in song prices based on popularity. I have never had to look at the back of a iTunes gift card to figure out how much a song cost. The guy who filed the lawsuit thought he would get a lot of money by doing this. I hope he enjoys his $3.25. I could care less if I got a refund. It is people like you that are ruining this once great Nation.

  • Millard Fillmore

    That’s the difference between you and me: I wouldn’t take even a small amount of money for doing nothing.  Over the years, I’ve been named in several of these kinds of “settlements,” once for about $50, but I’ve never made a claim.  I don’t cooperate with sharks.

  • Tessa

    Wait a minute, Apple has cheated little kids out of 30 cents per song & is being forced to pay back 100% of what it took, totaling over $50 million.  You don’t have a problem with Apple taking the $50 million from our children 30 cents at a time, but you have a problem with the lawyers getting paid for calling Apple to the carpet & getting our kid’s money back?  Apple took $3.25 per gift card by not honoring the promised price; do you really think Apple should have to pay back more than the $3.25 it overcharged? At $50 million, it just goes to show you how quick little amounts can add up.  I think it’s a good thing that someone is looking out for those who don’t want to live up to the promises they make at the time of the sale, “Songs are 99¢ “  It sends the right message to our children!  Honor your promises.

  • abritt

    It’s actually not too bad, it takes less than 5 minutes to sign up.

    Here’s the link for those who asked:  https://www.johnsonitunessettl

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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