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Class-action lawsuit targets Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program

By Neil Hughes

Just days before the iPhone 7 is set to launch, customers are hoping to take Apple to task over its iPhone Upgrade Program, with a new class-action lawsuit asserting that some who signed up are "shut out of receiving the latest iPhones."

Frank v. Apple Inc. was filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Law firm Block & Leviton issued a press release announcing it is representing the complainants in the suit, led by plaintiff Emil Frank of Brooklyn, New York.

The lawsuit alleges that Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program prevents customers from getting "in line" to reserve a handset on launch day. Instead, the complaint says, members of the program have been told to "check back."

"In the meantime, they will continue to be required to make monthly payments on their older iPhones, and their eligibility for future iPhones will be delayed," the suit claims.

The Boston-based firm responsible for the class-action suit is hoping customers will contact them and opt in on the litigation.

The lawsuit doesn't name a dollar amount that the plaintiffs seek, but does seek reimbursement for "all damages sustained as a result of Defendant's wrongdoing, in an amount to be proven at trial," as well as applicable attorneys' and experts' fees.

AppleInsider was first to report on Monday that Apple has begun allowing participants in its iPhone Upgrade Program to call customer service. There, some customers are being presented with additional options for preorder, beyond what is available on the website.

It was also revealed by AppleInsider last week that some Apple retail store stock on release day will be reserved for Apple Upgrade Program members. Quantities of the iPhone 7 to be available remain unknown.

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