Tag Archives: Breaking Bad

Complaint to iTunes regarding television series season pass

Apple through its iTunes service, is in conflict with the rights of consumers under Australian Law.

The nature of the purchase agreement with iTunes does not involve any other person or company other than (we the consumer as) the purchaser and Apple as the vendor.

Apple has buckled to the opportunistic and greedy corporate behaviour of the distributor of the television series ‘Breaking Bad’ – Apple has in fact demonstrated that its relationship with this supplier is more important than its relationships with its customers. Is this true Tim?

Apple suggests and I quote:
“Season Passes are managed or sold by the TV network and iTunes can only provide the episodes and sell them the way the TV network wants them sold. There is a binding contract with the TV network to provide the content on the iTunes Store.”

This is irrelevant… Why?

While the law in Australia defers to the principle of caveat emptor – let the buyer beware – it was well established and widely publicised that Season 5 of ‘Breaking Bad’ was to be the final season. An expectation was established in the wider community. By purchasing a season pass to this final season through iTunes, it was expected that access would be provided to the entire Season 5, not just the first eight episodes.

The consumer public is not a party to Apple’s contractual agreement with the series distributor, just as the series distributor is not a party to the contractual agreement between (we) the consumer and Apple. Legally one has no effect on the other.

Apple cannot lay the blame at the feet of its supplier.

My same argument presented differently – to supply content, Apple has *separate* contractual agreements with the purchaser of content and the supplier of content, but no legal connection is made between the purchaser and supplier – one has no effect on the other.

As a result of this situation, I am approaching members of parliament with a request to challenge Apple and its iTunes Store service regarding this breach of Australian consumer law.

As a result of this situation, I will no longer use the iTunes Store to purchase any media content unless it is free of charge. This includes apps in the iTunes App Store.

I have changed my lifestyle significantly this year, a decision that included my leaving full time employment to pursue a career in computer programming – specifically programming for OS X and iOS. I have invested an enormous amount of time and effort in the last six months learning the Objective-C programming language, and I will soon release my first iOS app.

A part of my decision was based upon my belief in the people that run Apple – I believe that they love what they do – I believe that they want to provide the best possible customer experience – I believe that they are honest clever people with an enormous desire to innovate everything they touch. Now that I know Objective-C better, I can vouch for the extraordinary effort that Apple has placed into carefully maturing this elegant and vast programming language and its Xcode IDE.

This situation saddens me enormously, because I have a vested interest in the very concept that I am now rejecting.

Apple is not about buckling to the opportunistic greed of its corporate suppliers – Apple is about providing the best experience for their customers.

Please help me restore my faith in Apple, and in particular the iTunes Store, and prove that it is evolving from the same philosophy that makes iOS such a great mobile operating system and its iDevice family one of the most popular and successful mobile computing platforms in the world.

Please do this for all Apple customers.

My own personal fine print… while I acknowledge some online comments state that the final season of Breaking Bad was always to be split over two parts, I was not aware of this at the time I purchased a season pass, despite reading and watching numerous articles in the lead up to the release of Season Five.