Apple settles “shoddy” Powerbeats2 lawsuit for $9.75 million

Apple denies any wrongdoing but chose to bypass litigation through the settlement

Apple has been wrapped up in a lawsuit regarding “shoddy” Powerbeats2 wireless earphones since 2017. Now that it’s settled, here’s how to get your share of the $9.75 million.

Anyone who purchased Powerbeats2 earphones for personal use before August 7, 2020, is eligible for a payout of up to $189 per proof of purchase via check, direct deposit or PayPal. The exact payout amount depends on the final fees associated with the lawsuit, the number of claimants, and a points-based award system. 

The points-based system is more complex than most other settlements, as it considers whether you have a proof of purchase, the number of proofs of purchase you have and the number of warranty repairs you’ve had. 

It also considers how many points in total are claimed. For example, if owners claim 150,000 total points, each point you claim will net you $40.10 in settlement cash. 

The points are as follows:  

  • No proof of purchase and no record of warranty repair: 1 point
  • No proof of purchase and a record of one warranty repair: 2 points
  • One proof of purchase and no record of warranty repair: 2 points
  • One proof of purchase and a record of one warranty repair: 2 points
  • Two proofs of purchase and no record of warranty repair: 4 points
  • Two proof of purchase and a record of Two warranty repairs: 6 points

If you have a pair of Powerbeats2 headphones, you can submit your claim online at wirelessearphonessettlement.com. You can also download a paper claim form and mail it in. You must have your claim postmarked no later than Nov. 20, 2020. 

There is no timetable set for payment, but the settlement site states the courts will review the settlement on Jan. 15, 2021. There will be no payments until after that review. 

What prompted this lawsuit? 

In 2017, a pair of Beats Powerbeats owners filed a lawsuit claiming Apple misrepresented the wireless headsets as sweat and water-resistant and “Built to Endure.” The plaintiffs claim that after “minimal use,” the headphone stopped retaining a charge, failed to turn on, and would sometimes only turn on for a few minutes before turning off again.

The lawsuit claimed that when the user would submit for a repair via the factory warranty, Apple would replace the defective set with refurbished Powebeats that had the same problems. The plaintiffs claimed many users “have been through several pairs of Powerbeats only to experience the same defect each time.” 

As is typical with a settlement, Apple denies all allegations but chose to stop the litigation via settlement. 

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