According to the Associated Press, a woman is suing Apple for $1 million over a $200 price cut. The article doesn’t call her stupid, but I gladly will. If you recall, only a few months after Apple’s mega-hyped iPhone release, they decided to cut the price of the new product by $200 in addition to stopping the production of the lower end 4 GB model.
Apple Tries to Please Customers
Price cuts are nothing out of the ordinary, and although Apple did reduce the price relatively soon after the launch, they were understanding and provided some form of reimbursement. For those who purchased an iPhone within 14 days of the price cut, Apple issued a full refund of $200. In addition, for those who purchased an iPhone prior to this, Apple gave people a $100 Apple Store credit. They were under no obligation to do so, but in an effort to keep customers happy, it was a good move.
A Good Example Why You Should Never be an Early Adopter of Technology
This is a perfect example of why it almost never pays to be one of the first people to own a new piece of technology. The price issue is obvious–technology products are prone to rapid price declines. Sure, two months is a bit quick, but any time you purchase a new phone, television, computer, or other device, it won’t be but a few months before prices begin to come down as new products enter the market.
In addition to the obvious pricing issues, new technology is often riddled with problems. As devices become more complex and require more software to run, there are going to be obvious glitches and bugs in the first models. So, not only do you risk paying a premium for being an early adopter, but you are likely to find yourself with a product that has issues that will be addressed in later models.
Where do You Get $1 Million in Damages?
Back to the news story with the lady suing for $1 million–how do you get off demanding so much money? You purchased a new product right out of the gate, and a few months later it comes down in price. So, you get a $100 credit to offset some of the cost, but you still aren’t happy, so the right thing to do is sue the company for a million dollars? Give me a break!
According to Li’s lawsuit, filed on Sept. 24 in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, the price reduction injured early purchasers like herself because they cannot resell the product for the same profit as those who bought the cell phone following the price cut.
Oh, boo-hoo, you can’t buy something and turn around and sell it on eBay for a quick buck. This lady is a consumer, not a distributor, so her ability to resell the product for a profit should have no bearing on the case. Even so, did she really think she would have been able to purchase enough of the phones to actually make a profit of $1 million, which she is claiming as damages? I highly doubt it.
I wish I knew how easy it was to get rich, because over the years I have purchased a lot of items that subsequently went on sale or became cheaper shortly after I bought it. If I had known that every time I buy something brand new that comes down in price in a few months warranted a $1 million lawsuit, I’d be sipping on a martini in a 24k gold-rimmed glass while lounging on my private tropical island as I write this.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.