December 1, 2023 – Judge Preliminarily Approves $1.8M Apple Gift Card Settlement; Official Website Is Live
The official website for the Apple gift card class action settlement detailed below is live and can be found at ShayGiftCardSettlement.com.
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The settlement, which was preliminarily approved by the court on October 6, 2023, covers consumers nationwide who bought an eligible Apple App Store or iTunes gift card at any time from March 2018 to July 2020, whose gift card was redeemed or subject to a redemption attempt by an unknown third party prior to activation or redemption by the consumer, and who did not receive a refund or replacement gift card from Apple or any other third party. The deal also covers California residents who purchased a gift card between May 2017 and February 2018.
The plaintiff first notified the court of the settlement with Apple on August 28, 2023 in a motion outlining the terms of the proposed deal. The parties now await final approval of the settlement terms from United States District Judge Jinsook Ohta.
To file a claim online, head to this page. To submit a claim, you will need the CPT ID and passcode found in the settlement notice you may have received via email or mail. If you did not receive a notice, you can still file a claim online.
To receive a share of the funds, you must file a claim form through the settlement website by January 8, 2024.
According to the settlement website, the deal provides eligible class members with cash payments equal to the face value of their gift cards at the time of purchase. Payments will be reduced on a pro rata basis should the total value of benefits distributed to consumers exceed the $1.8 million settlement amount. The website explains that class members may choose to receive payment by check or Automatic Clearing House transfer.
Per the website, individual payment amounts will be calculated based on the total number and value of valid claims filed by class members. The settlement agreement adds that in no event will any settlement funds be returned to Apple.
A final approval hearing is scheduled for January 17, 2024. Payments will be distributed to eligible class members if the court grants final approval to the deal, and after any objections or appeals are resolved.
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September 19, 2023 – Apple Gift Card Lawsuit Settled for $1.8 Million
Apple has agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle the proposed class action detailed on this page, with attorneys describing the proposed deal as “unquestionably fair” to consumers whose Apple gift cards were allegedly stolen by third parties.
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According to the plaintiff’s motion for preliminary settlement approval, the proposed deal covers all consumers nationwide who bought an Apple App Store or iTunes gift card in the United States at any time between March 2018 and July 2020, whose gift card was redeemed by an unknown third party prior to activation, and who did not receive a refund or replacement gift card from Apple or any other third party.
Court documents state that the class is comprised of more than 53,000 eligible Apple gift card buyers nationwide. Payments to proposed class members who submit a valid claim online or by mail will be equal to the face value of each eligible gift card at the time of purchase, settlement documents state. If the total value of all filed claims exceeds $1.8 million, the payment amounts will be reduced on a pro-rated basis.
ClassAction.orgwill update this page if and when the settlement receives preliminary approval from the court and when the official settlement website goes live.
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A proposed class action alleges Apple has knowingly sold “defective, unsecure and valueless” gift cards susceptible to an ongoing scam whereby funds are fraudulently redeemed by third parties before they can be accessed by the card’s owner.
According to the lawsuit, Apple, rather than implement simple preventative measures to curb gift card theft, has instead chosen to stay silent, declining to refund victims or roll out stronger security procedures to protect consumers’ personal information.
The plaintiff in the case, which names as defendants Apple, Inc. and Apple Value Services, LLC, says she purchased a $50 Apple gift card from an Encinitas, California Walmart as a gift for her son. Though the gift card remained in the plaintiff’s possession until she presented it to her son, he received a message upon attempting to redeem the card indicating the funds had already been redeemed by another party, the amended suit claims.
When the plaintiff contacted Apple about the gift card, she was told that the funds had been redeemed by another account on April 3, 2020, the same day she purchased the card, and that the gift card no longer had any value, the complaint says. For security reasons, the suit states, Apple would not provide any information about the account that fraudulently redeemed the gift card. The plaintiff says she was then told “there was nothing else” Apple could do for her, that her case was closed, and that any further contact regarding the matter would go unanswered.
According to the case, Apple’s defective design, manufacture and/or packaging of its gift cards has allowed them to be targeted by thieves who electronically access the cards at the point of sale and redeem the funds loaded thereon. Thus, when a consumer attempts to use a newly activated gift card, the card registers as already “redeemed” and is valueless, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit explains that Apple gift cards, which can be purchased online or through various retailers, may be used to pay for goods available through Apple’s online services, including the App Store and iTunes. Each gift card contains a unique personal identification number (PIN) that is activated when the card is purchased, the case says, adding that each PIN, which is covered by silver scratch-off tape, contains personal information associated with the gift card purchaser.
The lawsuit goes on to assert that Apple maintains records of when, how, and where its gift cards are activated and redeemed and is therefore aware that its gift cards are easily subject to fraud. Further, numerous consumer complaints have put the defendants on notice that the funds loaded onto gift cards are not secure, the case adds.
Despite this knowledge, Apple has nevertheless failed to take reasonable steps to safeguard consumers’ accounts and ensure third parties cannot tamper with their gift cards, the complaint claims. Moreover, the defendants have failed to disclose to consumers that the cards were subject to “ongoing fraud” whereby funds could be easily accessed by third parties, as well as the fact that it’s Apple’s policy to not refund or replace the value of the gift cards subject to fraud, the suit alleges.
“Had Apple disclosed to Plaintiff and Class Members that Apple did not have adequate systems, policies, and security measures in place to secure customers’ Apple gift card account information and Apple gift card funds, Plaintiff and Class Members would not have purchased the Apple gift cards,” the complaint contests, charging that the defendants have “reaped enormous profits” from their allegedly deceptive scheme.
Apple currently faces another proposed class action filed over allegations that the tech giant has knowingly profited from gift card scams while doing little to protect or reimburse victims.
Among other apparent violations of California law, the case alleges Apple violated the state’s newly minted Consumer Privacy Act by failing to protect proposed class members’ personal information associated with the stolen PINs.
Initially filed in San Diego County Superior Court, the lawsuit has been removed to the state’s Southern District.
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