Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is being sued over a persistent bug in its iMessage service that prevents former iPhone users who have switched to an Android-based smartphone from being able to receive texts sent from other iPhones, reports Bloomberg. The problem has existed since Apple first introduced the iMessage service in 2011 as part of iOS 5 and the company has long been aware of the problem, according to the lawsuit documents provided by VentureBeat.
Apple’s iMessage service allows users to send text messages via data or Wi-Fi instead of using the more expensive carrier network route. However, many users who switched from Apple’s iPhone to an Android-based device and retained their old phone numbers have discovered that the iMessage service is capturing texts that are intended for their new devices. Additionally, the senders of the texts are unaware that the messages are not being delivered since iMessage records them as received.
Documents filed by the plaintiff referenced the experience of Lifehacker’s Adam Pash, who wrote about his experience trying to resolve this issue with Apple’s customer support on his blog. As noted by Pash, none of Apple’s attempts to fix the problem worked and some of the recommended solutions involved impractical workarounds such as having all of his associates with iPhones delete and re-add him as a contact. According to the filed documents, the plaintiff had a similar experience with Apple’s customer support and noted that even deleting and re-adding contacts still did not resolve the problem. Finally, according to Pash, the Apple customer support employee told him that, “This is a problem a lot of people are facing,” “The engineering team is working on it but is apparently clueless as to how to fix it,” and that “There are no reliable solutions right now.”