Apple Threatens Owner Of Exploding iPod

Methinks “The Steve” needs to have a chat with his iLawyers. Why? Simple. The Times in London reports that Apple attempted to silence a father and daughter with a gag order after the child’s iPod music player exploded and the family sought a refund from the company:

The Times has learnt that the company would offer the family a full refund only if they were willing to sign a settlement form. The proposed agreement left them open to legal action if they ever disclosed the terms of the settlement.

Lovely. But there’s more:

The letter also stated that, in accepting the money, Mr Stanborough was to “agree that you will keep the terms and existence of this settlement agreement completely confidential”, and that any breach of confidentiality “may result in Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties”.

“I thought it was a very disturbing letter,” said Mr Stanborough, who is self-employed and works in electronic security. He refused to sign it.

“They’re putting a life sentence on myself, my daughter and Ellie’s mum, not to say anything to anyone. If we inadvertently did say anything, no matter what, they would take litigation against us. I thought that was absolutely appalling.

“We didn’t ask for compensation, we just asked for our money back,” he added.

Because of this, Apple has just become the latest victim of the Streisand Effect as this has become more than just a Times of London story. For example, this Google search brings up a ton of hits on this story alone. Not to mention a Google search of blogs.

That’s not exactly positive press for Apple now is it.

Apple via another story had no comment other than this:

Apple denied its response had attempted to gag the family when Sky News Online contacted them, instead describing it as “standard practice to have a letter of settlement”.

I’m sure it is, but I guarantee that it isn’t being seen that way right now. If you factor in what I told you in this post from last week, Apple seems to have a major PR problem on its hands.

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