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.Mac benefits confusion

.Mac benefits confusion

Yesterday we posted a report from a reader who felt that the membership benefits listed on the .Mac website were misleading because some of them are no longer available. To be fair, we also pointed out that the page states "Don't miss out! Offers are for a limited time only" and ".Mac members have already received," which appears to us, at least, to state that the listed benefits are what current members have already received, not necessarily which benefits are still available.

We've received a significant number of reader responses to the story, most of which come down on Apple's side of the fence. One reader pointed out that the description of each "benefit" indicates its availability by the use of tense: current offers are in the present tense, whereas expired offers are in the past tense. (E.g., "Members received" or "was a free gift to members.") Reader John Morgan's reaction was similar to that of a number of readers:

"I looked at that page also, but didn't feel deceived. I felt the page was saying, 'Look what you could have received if you had a .mac account' and [implying] that new subscribers would get equivalent offers in the future."

That being said, Gary Squires makes the point that the vagueness to the list of "benefits" itself is questionable:

"I am not a lawyer, however, the California Attorney General's office and the Consumer Protection office both would probably take a very dim view of this (especially since the web page doesn't denote the distinctions) and force Apple to honor the requests."

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