Logitech faces a class action complaint from an Illinois resident who says the company’s old home video security system was defective and that it took several steps to keep customers from making warranty claims.

James Anderson, of Orland Park, filed a complaint Aug. 22 in federal court in Chicago, saying the cameras in Logitech’s high-definition Alert systems routinely failed and the proprietary software was “rife with bugs and glitches that made the systems reliable and inoperable.”

Logitech, based in Newark, Calif., “refused to honor its warranties to remedy the defects while customers’ warranty periods lapsed,” according to Anderson’s complaint, until the company discontinued the product, leaving customers without replacement parts or cameras.

Anderson cited Logitech’s advertising for its systems, which said a “video security system is only as good as the video it captures,” promoted features such as weatherproofing and night vision and included customer-submitted videos of thwarting burglaries in progress, catching thieves and one involving a possible wild black bear intrusion. He said products started at $300 for a master camera, with each extra camera costing at least $200 and the annual subscription running $80.

He also referenced the company’s online customer forum where other users “inundated” the boards “with complaints about the functionality and efficacy” of the systems, rendering them “inoperable and unable to provide reliable security services.” Customers had difficulty installing and setting up the system, keeping them powered on and connected, reported micro SD card failures, overheated components, faulty or inoperable motion sensors, delayed or failed alerts and serious software bugs.

Anderson further detailed the manner in which he alleged Logitech purposefully avoided satisfying warranty terms, such as requiring customers to undergo “repetitive, time-consuming, cumbersome and unsuccessful troubleshooting processes,” failing to supply replacement parts until warranty periods lapsed or telling customers systems were on back order, sending defective replacement parts, promising hardware and software fixes that never materialized and failing to provide refunds.

According to the complaint, Logitech decided in the last quarter of 2012 to stop making and selling the systems by 2014, but kept that decision from customers until July 22, 2014, meaning the company “knew internally for nearly two full years that it had given up on the defective alert systems but continued to sell its remaining stock to unsuspecting customers who would eventually be stuck with significant investments in defective products.”

In moving for class certification, Anderson referenced other litigation involving Logitech for similar reasons in federal court in California and New Jersey. He also said Logitech should not be able to find protection with statues of limitation because of the alleged concealments that gave rise to the complaint.

Formal allegations include fraudulent business practices, violation of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment and violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

In addition to class certification and a jury trial, Anderson wants the court to award actual, treble and punitive damages of at least $5 million, restitution and disgorgement of profits and legal fees.

Representing Anderson in the matter is Gary L. Specks, of Highland Park, and the San Francisco firm Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer, LLP.

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
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