by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
genius bar, perminder tung, time capsule


Guy Sues Apple For $25k Because His Time Capsule Device Died

from the that's-not-how-this-works dept

People will file lawsuits over almost anything these days. Perminder Tung has apparently sued Apple because his Time Capsule device broke and no one at the Genius Bar could fix it. I can certainly understand the frustration here, but it's difficult to see how there's any sort of legit claim. Technology fails all the time. There's nothing that promised this device would work forever. Claiming, as Tung does, that the failure of Time Capsule represents "a fundamental and total breach of contract," seems like a huge stretch. Man. If I could have legitimately sued every time a technology -- especially a backup storage system -- failed without being repairable, I'd have a hell of a lot more money. But we don't do that, because we know that there is no implicit promise when you buy technology that it works forever.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2012 @ 11:43pm

    Anyone here remember the light-bulb that has remained lit for 100 years and still works today? That's because at the time, light-bulbs and other pieces of technology were made with quality in mind.
    Today, most if not all electronics companies make items of poor quality and short durability so that they break quickly and people are forced to buy new ones.
    Light-bulbs don't last 100 years. Some printers are purposefully made so that some parts will fail after a certain number of uses.
    Most of the time, manufacturers don't try to make their products last. Sometimes, they even lower the life of their products on purpose.

    A lot of stores today will sell you televisions with only a 3-6 month warranty. If you want to extend the warranty, you have to pay extra. Why? Don't these stores trust that the stuff they sell you will last more than 6 months? They're basically telling you "We can't promise it will still work after a few months"! Why do we accept this as normal when we should be telling these stores "Well if you don't think your TV can last longer I won't buy it"?

    Maybe we do need some lawsuits over failing electronics. Those devices aren't cheap (they're affordable perhaps, but not cheap). They can also be very important - back up storage, cellphones, laptops with our work on them... we can't afford to have them fail or spend more than a few days in the repair shop.
    Yes, technology fails sometimes, I can accept that. The question is, why does it fail? And if the answer is "because the manufacturer doesn't care about making a durably product" then that's wrong.

    Not only does this make us shell out more money to replace broken devices, but it also hurts the economy by wasting resources. The natural resources and the time spent making a replacement iPad could be used elsewhere. If only that first iPad didn't break and didn't need to be replaced, right?

    Devices have to last for a reasonable amount of time; "reasonable" should be defined with regards to the importance of the device (storage and work devices should definitely be built with durability in mind), the cost of the device (few people can and should spend $1000 on a new TV every 6 months), and the use the device is designed for (some devices are designed for heavy tasks that will damage them faster, such devices should therefore be allowed to have shorter warranties).

    We NEED manufacturers to focus on durability. And if the only way to do this is to sue, then why not? I know devices will fail, but did Apple try very hard to make a device that lasted a long time? Durability should definitely have been one of their concerns when they developed the product, so perhaps a lawsuit is warranted here.
    We have minimum standards for safety, so why not minimum standards for durability?

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