iPhone users may have noticed a jump in their bills accompanying the iOS 9 update, which included a briefly mentioned feature, Wi-Fi Assist. This feature is meant to switch to cellular data if your Wi-Fi signal is poor or slow. This means that even if you’re somewhere where you should be connected to Wi-Fi, like home or work, it may switch you to cellular data if your connection is too busy or slow.
For some, this is a handy feature and a welcome alternative to constantly swapping between Wi-Fi and cellular data. For others, however, this has shown a massive increase in phone bills, where cellular data is being eaten away while users are unaware.
It turns out that Apple failed to warn users that this new feature may introduce extraneous charges, and they may have to pay the price now — literally. Apple is being sued for upwards of $5 million due to this oversight.
Although Apple has recently made updates about Wi-Fi assist informing people that overages may occur, they are still being held accountable for not properly informing their consumers at the time of release. It is being argued that consumers were not informed that a routine software update would introduce extra charges to their bills.
Apple has since tried to minimize the situation by insisting extra data charges incurred would be insignificant, but there are many users unhappy with these charges who are ready to argue that. The lawsuit pegs Apple with failure to comply with California’s Unfair Competition Law as well as the False Advertising Law. Specifically, they are being accused of negligent misrepresentation. It is unclear what the outcome of this case will be.
If you are interested in turning Wi-Fi Assist off, it can be accessed through settings > cellular > Wi-Fi Assist. From here it can be turned on and off at will.