Just over two weeks after an indignant 'Breaking Bad' fan started to put together a class action lawsuit against the company, Apple has caved and agreed to offer full refunds to all iTunes purchasers of the hit drama's "final season." If you're wondering why Apple is giving out what is surely a huge chunk of change in refunds for one of its most highly bought series, the answer is simple: It's AMC/Sony's fault.
While AMC has always promoted the currently airing final eight episodes as the second part of 'Breaking Bad's fifth season, the network (along with series producer Sony Pictures) decided to go the dreaded "double dip" route when it came time to release the episodes on DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital download. You may recall that the first half of season five was released on home video as "the fifth season," while the final eight episodes will be released in November as "the final season." Putting the rather slimy fact that AMC/Sony expects fans to pay double the price for only three more episodes than a "normal" season of the show aside, this caused major problems for Apple and its popular iTunes downloading service.
The beef customers have is that when they purchased their "season passes" back in 2012, the wording clearly stated that this payment entitled users to download every future episode of the fifth season. Unfortunately, AMC/Sony's marketing strategy led them to label the second batch of season five episodes as another season entirely, requiring owners of a season five pass to put out another 20 plus dollar subscription fee if they wanted the 2013 installments.
This led an enraged fan to start up the aforementioned class action lawsuit. While Apple initially balked at the idea of offering refunds, they have now seemingly decided that the ongoing bad publicity brought upon by the legal action was causing too much damage to the iTunes brand.
Do you think 'Breaking Bad' fans were right to ask for their money back? Is splitting one season into two purchases a reputable business practice?