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Apple Canada sued for demise of three-year-old Time Capsule

updated 02:30 am EDT, Fri June 15, 2012

Lawyer loses Time Capsule backup, iPhone data

Lawyer Perminder S. Tung, a resident of Surrey, British Columbia, has filed a lawsuit against Apple Canada for the demise of his nearly three-year-old Time Capsule. According to the court documents filed earlier this week, Tung accuses Apple of being in breach of contract for failure to provide promised services and goods, and is seeking over $25,000 in damages for the failure of the networking device and the loss of the "sole backup" of his iPhone, containing irreplaceable "information and memories" not stored anyplace other than the phone and the router.

Tung said the router and backup unit failed on or around March 14 of this year, nearly three years after he purchased it. He then called Apple tech support who refused to troubleshoot as the product was clearly out of the one-year warranty. A day later, he brought the Time Capsule into Apple Specialist Simply Computing's Langley location, who also told Tung that it was out of warranty, and suggested he bring it back to the Apple Store where it was purchased.

Six days later, the genius at the Apple Store in the Pacific Centre indicated the data on the Time Capsule was lost and unretrievable, but admitted that previous models were known to develop problems. Tung was offered a replacement unit at a lower-than-retail cost, but refused the offer.

Before Tung could institute a replacement backup solution procured on his own, his iPhone failed, and data from the birth of his first child were lost, as well as "other significant memories" stored in the phone which were apparently not stored in iPhoto, iCloud storage, or an iTunes backup of his phone. The court documents accuse the company of a "breach of contract and negligence of Apple and its employees" as the root cause of Tung "suffering losses," including replacement costs and loss of data. The court documents filed also refer to an "implication made known to Apple and it's representatives" at the time of sale by Tung that he required that "if the product were to fail, the stored data would be retrievable," thus allegedly proving that the failure of the product lies in Apple's hands.

While a very specific range of Apple's Time Capsule was issued a repair extension authorization, the dates and serial numbers of the recalled units are very narrow, with a sale date between February and June of 2008. Tung purchased his time capsule in June of 2009 -- a year after the cut-off for the repair extension. The model he bought was most likely the second version of the product, which addressed the known issues in the first version.

Specifics of the Time Capsule's mode of failure are not available, nor is the reason for the iPhone's demise. Apple Canada has yet to comment on the filing.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jreades

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Time Capsule 'Backup'

    While I can appreciate this man's frustration that a TimeCapsule failure has led to complete data loss, I have to point out (in case anyone with a similar setup is reading this thread) that this is *not* even remotely close to being a backup solution. TimeMachine is not a backup solution either. They are both important steps towards something viable, but without some careful planning you're still vulnerable to any and all of the following: fires, floods, robberies, electrical shorts.

    If you genuinely care about your data then a basic minimum is:

    1. TimeMachine to an external drive that is *always* kept off-site except when you are actually using it to back up.

    2. TimeMachine to an external drive that is local, but kept unplugged and hidden away except when you are actually using it to back up.

    You now have 3 working copies of your data (including your live machine), 2 at your home location and 1 off-site.

    For the more paranoid, you can also burn DVDs and ship them to a friend/family member in a 3rd location. If you've got money to burn and a fast network then the online backup services are now quite good too.

    Of course, the truly paranoid wouldn't trust TimeMachine or anything except rsync and its industrial equivalents, but for me the ease of use outweighs the more limited feature set and (modestly) reduced reliability.

  1. SunSeeker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    Unless I'm mistaken the Time Capsule cannot backup an iPhone without first backing up to a Mac via iTunes
    Did this guy make a habit of deleting his local iPhone backup from the Mac assuming that his time capsule was some kind of bullet proof magical device which was not susceptible to issues such as the laws of physics, design or manufacturing flaws and human error

    Someone should have told him that if it doesn't exist in at least three places it may as well not exist at all

  1. darkelf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    lawyer jokes

    they're all true.

  1. Fonejacker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another Stupid Lawyer

    Thick as two planks, blames everyone except himself. Wants money for nothing. Wastes the Courts time. What a loser. I feel sorry for his child. With a father like him, the poor child will not grow up normal.

  1. Blairmc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It beats chasing ambulances.

    Do you think he got that photo done in preparation?

  1. facebook_Iáń

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2012



    His children are already screwed, they have his DNA - their only hope is a genetic mutation that may improve their intelligence, or decrease their greed.

    See the Darwin Awards...

  1. trevj

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Take that Americans!

    Just when you thought YOU had the monopoly on idiot lawyers! ;-)

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not only...

    Not only is this guy a complete idiot (and therefore more suited to using Windows) but from his own testimony, methinks he is also a liar. I think his lawsuit is predicated more upon what might "potentially" happen, rather than what he says actually did happen. Yes, it would be terrible if you HAD lost the images from the birth of your first child (notwithstanding that a lawyer reproducing is never a good idea) but I honestly don't believe that it actually happened the way he says it did, if at all.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No case.

    By the mere fact that he kept a backup at all, he was acknowledging that hard disks and flash memory can fail. So why does he think he can sue because the backup hard disk failed, if he already knew it was a possibility.

    BTW, has he tried sending it to DriveSavers? They can do much more than Apple.

  1. FireWire

    Joined: Dec 1969



    he had precious photos of his child's birth but he didn't even send them to his wive or relatives? And is it me or a Time Capsule is just a HD inside a router and thus for an amount of cash a lawyer can afford, the data can be retrieved?

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