Three independent Apple dealers have launched a Web site to document and share information concerning what they consider to be unethical or illegal business dealings by Apple Computer. The Web site is the latest salvo in an on-going battle that is now in the courts between the Mac-maker and dealers who have accused the company of unfair and illegal business practices.
TellOnApple.org was launched by Elite Computers & Software of Cupertino, Calif., MACadam Computers of San Francisco, Calif. and MacTech Systems of Bend, Ore., all former Apple Authorized Resellers who are suing Apple over what they are calling bad faith dealings with dealers.
The former dealers hope the site will not only convince other independent dealers to speak up and report what it considers unfair business practices by Apple, but spotlight to customers that Apple is unfairly mistreating dealers who are now in direct competition with Apple since the company started selling product directly to customers via the Web and its retail stores.
"Weive been hearing from people and dealers complaining that Apple is treating them unfairly, too," Tom Santos, 48, operator of Macadam for 14 years, told The Mac Observer. "We decided maybe the best thing to do was find out about people who are out there who know more about Appleis operations and how they have unfairly treated small dealers. That was the real reason behind launching this site."
"Itis time that Appleis conduct is made known," Thomas Armes, President and CEO of Elite Computers, said.
Santos denied that the site is to get extra publicity for its pending lawsuits against Apple and put pressure on the company to settle out of court.
"We donit need publicity for our cause," Santos commented. "We have gotten plenty already. We are trying to get additional information to further our case."
The three dealers along with Neighborhood Computers of Littleton, Colo. and Computer International of Los Angeles, Calif. have filed multimillion-dollar complaints in the last year accusing the Cupertino-based concern of fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition, false advertising and violation of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The case is expected to go to trial later this year, Santos said, but discovery of evidence has yet to take place by all parties.
"We are suppose to have a case management conference on April 20th, which has been postponed by Apple five times already," he said. "At that time, weive been told the judge will then set a trial date."