“Breaking Bad” fans who get their fix through iTunes are feeling ripped off over the last season, which Apple has divided into halves — meaning watchers must pay for the cost of two seasons instead of one, despite not receiving any extra episodes.
The double-charge has spurred Ohio resident Noam Lazebnik to file a class-action lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the price tag of $13.99 (or $21.99 for HD) that customers paid for the final season only provided access to eight episodes, and now they must fork over another $22.99 if they want to see the show through to its finale.
Lazebnik noted that he initially spent his money on what was billed as a “Season Pass,” which should entitle him to an entire season of viewing.
The first eight episodes of the season aired more than a year before the final eight, which may explain why Apple decided to treat each part as a separate season.
However, “Breaking Bad” network AMC has long billed the final 16 episodes of the show as a single season, despite breaking it down into two parts. Show creator Vince Gilligan reportedly halved the season in order to give the last episodes more weight.
Lazebnik is suing Apple on the grounds of false advertisement, and believes he has a good chance of winning. Under the wording of Apple Season Pass marketing, buyers are offered “every episode in that season” for a one-time fee.
A portion of the complaint reads:
The iTunes informational page regarding the "Season Pass" option explained (and still explains, as of the date of the filing of this Complaint) that "purchasing a Season Pass gets you every episode in that season and at a better price than if you were to purchase it one at a time.
Therefore, customers who purchased a "Breaking Bad: Season 5" Season Pass from iTunes reasonably believed that they would receive access to all 16 episodes of Season 5, as announced and promoted by AMC, the network responsible for producing and airing the program on "live" TV, just as Apple had promised.