On May 11, the Quebec Superior Court approved a settlement in a class-action lawsuit involving Apple and consumers who bought a 15 or 17-inch 2011 MacBook Pro and experienced a graphics issue. PCMag was the first to report the settlement approval.
Under the terms of the settlement, eligible individuals are entitled to compensation.
Lawyers from the Lex Group represented the plaintiff.
On its website, the group defines the class as consisting of individuals who "live in Quebec and purchased, own, or owned a 15” or 17” 2011 MacBook Pro Laptop" or individuals who "live elsewhere but purchased such a Device in Quebec."
The settlement further divides the class into two groups.
The first group, Lex Group attorney David Assor told MTL Blog, consists of consumers who received service from Apple for the graphics issue, as well as consumers who contacted Apple about the problem but never received such service.
The second group includes people who experienced the graphics problem that was the subject of the lawsuit but who never contacted Apple about it.
What's the compensation?
Members in the first group will automatically receive $175 per device, Assor said.
Members in the second group will have to make a claim on the settlement website. They will also be eligible to receive $175 per device.
Finally, members of both groups will be able to make a claim for repair expenses for which they have not already received a reimbursement.
For this claim, eligible consumers must have a receipt for their purchase of the 15 or 17-inch 2011 MacBook Pro dated before December 31, 2017, Assor explained.
When will members of the class be able to make a claim?
The court ordered the claim form to become available within 10 days of the "effective date," which Assor said has not yet been determined.
He estimated that the effective date could occur in four to six weeks.
The feds have proposed a retail tax on certain luxury goods sold in Canada effective January 1, 2022.
This means extra tax when you buy luxury cars and private aircrafts priced over $100,000, or boats priced over $250,000 — cause that's definitely something all of us were planning on doing next year (note the sarcasm).
Excise duties are paid by businesses rather than consumers, meaning you won't have to pay the tax if you're just a vape user. But it does mean that vaping products will likely get more expensive to make up for it.
The new duty on vaping would apply to all vaping liquids, regardless of whether or not they contain nicotine, but not to cannabis vaping products.
There's also a proposed increase in excise duties on tobacco products in the budget — up by $4 per carton of 200 cigarettes, along with corresponding increases for other tobacco products.
Again, you won't be paying more taxes on cigarettes but the price could go up because the tobacco industry will want to recuperate the costs.
Netflix, Prime Video & other video streaming platforms
The government wants companies from outside of Canada that sell and supply digital services to Canadians to start collecting and paying GST/HST.
This includes video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and so on.
Crave is homegrown so it won't be impacted.
The measures would come into effect on July 1, 2021.
Experts told the Canadian Press that companies will probably add a GST/HST charge to subscribers' bills or add the price of the tax to the total sale price.
The same way Netflix would be required to collect and pay GST/HST, so too would non-Canadian music streaming platforms, such as Spotify.*
The government's GST/HST proposal also covers "non-resident distribution platform operators" like Google Play.*
Tax lawyers Rob Kreklewetz and Stuart Clark explained in a blog entry that vendors and operators will collect the correct amount of GST/HST based on the consumer's "usual place of residence as determined by their billing address, SIM card, IP Address, and/or banking information among other indicators."
*This article has been updated. An earlier version of this article included Apple Music & the Apple App Store; however, Apple opted to start charging GST/HST voluntarily in 2019.
Why is there a class-action lawsuit against Apple?
"Consequently," law firm LPC Avocat Inc. writes online, "the one-year warranty period offered to Quebec consumers is not a reasonable length of time, having regard to the price paid and intended use for Apple Products."
They also argue that Apple further violated the Act by not informing AppleCare and AppleCare+ purchasers both "orally and in writing" of "the existence and nature of [...] Quebec’s legal warranty" outlined in two sections of the Act.
MTL Blog has reached out to Apple for a comment on this story. This article will be updated when we receive a response.
Who is eligible to participate in the class action?
According to Narcity Québec, the first group includes all customers who bought an iPhone since December 29, 2014.
The second group, according to LPC Avocat Inc., includes "all consumers who, since December 20, 2015, purchased 'AppleCare' and / or 'AppleCare +' for an Apple product, including an iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, iPod and / or MacBook and who were not informed of the legal warranty under the Consumer Protection Act at the time of purchase."
How much money is at stake?
The class action is seeking "punitive damages in the amount of $300.00 per Class Member," according to the law firm.
Other possible damages are "to be determined."
"In Quebec, you are automatically included in the group if you meet the definitions of authorized groups, so you don't have to do anything. If one day there is a settlement or a favourable ruling, we will notify everyone," said Joey Zukran of LPC Avocat Inc. to Narcity Québec.
Members of the class action can sign up to receive updates online.