Apple latest retailer to be sued over alleged linking of customer Zip codes to junk mail

Two Massachusetts residents and a Californian who bought stuff at Apple stores across eastern Massachusetts yesterday sued Apple, alleging they got junk mail when the company figured out their home addresses from the Zip codes they say they were required to hand over at the cash register.

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Boston, seeks treble damages for themselves and all the other Massachusetts residents they claim were grievously harmed by the alleged practice.

Last March, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that using data mining to link customer Zip codes to their actual addresses violated Massachusetts consumer-protection laws.

They're represented by Siprut PC, a Chicago law firm with a local office that has filed a number of similar suits against national retail chains since the SJC decision.

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      lawsuits left and right. you

      By on

      lawsuits left and right. you hear about the little league coach who is suing 14 year old player for throwing his helmet in joy for scoring and it accidently hitting little league coach who is suing? wow. wow people.

      3 * 0 = 0

      Treble damages, huh? Please give us the details on all the pain and suffering you've encountered.

      This PROVES that Steve Jobs was an amazing visionary.

      By on

      Steve could predict exactly what we wanted, years before we ourselves realized we wanted it:

      1) Crap products made in China by workers paid 25 cents an hour in factories that flout all international standards of decency

      2) An anti-competitive business model that precludes the use of any application or accessory on which Apple hasn't taken a significant cut

      3) Crap iPhone casing materials that smash if you drop them from a height of 6 inches, and then cost $100 to get repaired

      4) Unsolicited junk mail generated through surreptitious practices

      Yes, let the record show that Steve was a true American hero!

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      I don't understand how people

      By on

      I don't understand how people just don't throw the stuff in the recycling bin and be done with it, but then again my blood pressue goes up each day I come home from work and notice a politician has stuffed either between my front doors, or my mailbox with crap.

      I kind of hope they do something, the MA Dem party candidates do not leave me alone when there is any election. I have a college age kid they assume votes democrat - she's never registered as a D so I am not sure why they pick on he (must be demographic).

      The Warren junk mail was enough for her to swear never to vote for that woman, it was EVERY day with sometimes multiple pamphlets.

      So as much as I say this is frivolous and every day in the month of December I expect Lands End and LL Bean catalogs, it can be a bit much.

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      Seriously. The first thing I

      Seriously. The first thing I do after taking off my coat is to sort the mail. All bulk mail, including catalogs (unless I'm in the market for something which I know that store sells) goes immediately into the recycling bin. Credit-card offers are shredded.

      I also recently got on a list to reduce, if not eliminate, the number of credit-card offers I received. I think I had to send an actual letter to the company, but that took, like, 5 minutes.

      Here's the link: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phon...

      ETA: I also got so pissed off once about receiving a Victoria's Secret catalog at my office that I not only called VS to get myself off of the mailing list, I also researched ways to stop other forms of junk mail. I spent some time on this page, and called a few of my worst offenders. https://www.dmachoice.org/index.php

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      Pat...

      And you got nothing from those republikkkan dickbags romney or brown? Amazing.

      Good! F them!

      I bought an Apple product last summer during tax free weekend WITH cash (as a gift). The salesperson insisted on having my name to complete the sale, and I refused. The salesperson refused to let the sale ring through, claiming they compiled a list of names to limit the sales of electronics to MA customers. When I asked him how many John Smith customers they had, he refused to answer. So I gave him a female name, I'm a male, and he let the sale go through.

      Why can't we buy anything anymore without someone trying to connect with us and ask us about our whole life?

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      Marketing

      By on

      Also roommate works at apple part time.

      They do this to track purchases....... no no no, its not like Stop & Shop where they are evil about it. Apple actually has LIMITS on how much stuff you can buy in one sitting. A good example of this are iPhones, they limit how many you can buy each day due to the limited quantities at stores. Its to prevent re-sellers from coming in and buying 50 or so phones to resell on the black market.

      Not sure if this is really why, but its a good educated guess.

      (and no, I don't agree I should have to give information to buy something, especially if it was paid with cash)

      Just curious

      which black market you could sell 50 iPhones you paid $649 each for, and make a profit? I'm assuming Apple doesn't offer quantity discounts if I walked into the Bolyston Street store and asked for 50 unlocked 5's. Sounds like bs to me.

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      China

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      They ship them to China and countries that don't have the iPhone and resell them for over 1000USD

      Nobody said you have to give them the zip code where you live...

      By on

      Nobody said you have to give them the zip code where you live..... Many times I give the zip code for work. Sometimes I give the zip for the town I grew up in.

      Retailers will tell you they track zip codes to identify where customers live in order to determine if they should build a brick and mortar in a certain area. That may have been the case years ago. Now I firmly believe many merchants are mining data from several sources and are able to track more than we are aware.

      Current law - consumer protection or other wise - cannot keep up with the advent of technology and how it is used.

      **** a side but related point:
      With current technology, shopper loyalty programs and our interest in saving; we are actually providing retailers with way more information than we realize. Soon the only way to shop anonymously will be to leave all electronics off when entering a store and pay with cash only.

      Smart phones have GPS and location tracking. Google can show you where you have been and when. When we download apps to our devices; we give the apps access to a huge amount of information (not all of it our own): facebook friends and posts; contacts and email addresses; call logs from the device; member rewards/shopping preferences; prescription information; and banking information. The list continues.... On one hand we are horrified that our information is so readily available - without our permission and yet on the other hand we are spoon feeding our most personal information to the big computer cloud in the sky.

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      D'oh!

      Let's go further. When they ask for you zip code, say 'no thank you' and don't give them one. I'm sure no retailer, especially a huge Apple purchase, will let the consumer walk away without the sale.

      (Of course, the "how dare they ask for zip code" people will order something on line, where they willingly give their zip code for shipping. hmmmm)