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Apple Sued for iPhone Wi-Fi Assist Miss

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By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on October 27, 2015 1:59 PM

Apple is being sued for Wi-Fi Assist, a feature that is less than helpful. Plaintiffs say Apple should not have left Wi-Fi Assist on as a default setting or should have made it more apparent that iOS9 users would incur added charges when it is turned on, Fortune reports.

Two plaintiffs filed suit on behalf of a class of users with data overage charges. They want Apple to reimburse iOS9 users who did not have unlimited data plans and got hit with big cell phone bills because of Wi-Fi Assist.

Feature Hits and Misses

As implied by the name, the Wi-Fi Assist feature is intended to aid users by keeping them constantly connected to the Internet. But it was bad news for the plaintiffs and others overcharged for data due to Apple's failure to warn that the feature automatically switches to cellular data use when a device is connected to a weak Wi-Fi signal.

William Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt Phillips, who filed the class action in San Jose on Friday, say Apple should pay users back for their surprisingly big cell phone bills. The lawsuit states that more than $5 million in overage charges have been incurred by unwary users.

"[Apple] intentionally chose to have the default setting of the Wi-Fi Assist as activated while at the same time chose to omit the likelihood of data overcharges to consumers that do not have an unlimited data plan," the lawsuit says.

The company reportedly would not comment on the suit. Yet, it did recently respond to a flood of articles complaining about just this issue with Wi-Fi Assist. Instruction on turning off the feature are now available on the company website, and below.

Take Corrective Action

According to AppleInsider, this is how to deal with a default Wi-Fi Assist:

"To shut off Wi-Fi Assist, iOS 9 users must open the Settings app and choose Cellular, then scroll to the bottom to find the toggle button. The option is missing on some older Apple devices, including the iPhone 4S, the iPad 2, and the first-generation iPad mini."

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