Apple is doling out refunds to customers who purchased season passes for “Breaking Bad,” and mostly because of some confusion over the name.
AMC, the network to air the popular show, broke its final season up into two parts, with a year between airing the two. What customers didn’t realize is that “Breaking Bad: Season 5” and “Breaking Bad: The Final Season” were two separate purchases on iTunes, resulting in some pretty angry hate mail—one customer even filed a class action lawsuit against Apple.
The lawsuit reportedly contended that when the show was announced and became available for download on iTunes, it was advertised as the "final" season and contained "16 episodes."
The lawsuit asked for a refund of $20, which the plaintiff felt he was entitled to.
The mea culpa here, however, is on AMC, not Apple. Apple was simply caught in the middle of a bad decision on AMC’s part, but it has made good on behalf of the network since it offered the show for customers to purchase, either a la carte per episode or with a season pass on iTunes. Apple is, essentially, giving away “The Final Season” to its customers with a refund code good to cover the cost.
The company has written to customers a note detailing its refund (via 9to5 Mac):
Dear Customer, We apologize for any confusion the naming of “Season 5″ and “The Final Season” of Breaking Bad might have caused you. While the names of the seasons and episodes associated with them were not chosen by iTunes, we’d like to offer you “The Final Season” on us by providing you with the iTunes code below in the amount of $22.99. This credit can also be used for any other content on the iTunes Store. Thank you for your purchase.
image via stuffpoint.com
This brings up an interesting debate in television marketing. Splitting seasons of popular shows might work on regular network television by traditional broadcasting means, however in the streaming universe, these sorts of situations only bring on confusion. Since a lot of viewers have taken to the ether for their entertainment viewing, there is little room for this sort of marketing fluff.
AMC is also planning on splitting the final season of another one of its popular shows into two. “Mad Men” will be airing the first half in 2014 and the second half in 2015, leading viewers everywhere to wonder why they just won’t call it what it is: two separate seasons.
Edited by Ryan Sartor