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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:46 PM
Original message
Class action lawsuits - what a joke
I received a notice today that I can claim a settlement in a class-action lawsuit against my cell-phone provider. As a current customer, I have a choice of two settlements. I can either get a $15 credit on my bill (as long as I extend my contract for 1 year) or a $30 credit (with an extension of 2 years).

Can anyone explain to me how -

1. This does anything at all to redress the people who were apparently so badly scammed they felt the need to start a class-action lawsuit in the first place and

2. It punishes the company in any meaningful way? Looks to me like it gives them a lock on your business for at least another year while costing them almost nothing.

Compare that to my situation several years ago when I bounced a check for $15 in New Hampshire. At the grocery store to buy food for my kids. The store didn't call me, write me or try to reach me in any way. They sent the police to my door, I was arrested and had to appear in court! I had to pay the amount of the check that bounced plus $25 to the store. I had to pay an overdraft fee to the bank of $18. And I had to pay the court $95!

I asked the judge - since I'm so poor, I can't even write a $15 check without bouncing it, what makes you think I can afford to pay $95? I was then threatened with contempt.

Sure.... there's no such thing as corporate welfare. :eyes:
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. But the lawyers made good money.
Unfortunately, this sort of "settlement" is becoming more common. Why not just send all current and past customers $15 and call it even?
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. We just got one for Valvoline Instant Oil Change...
I waived my rights to any "claim".
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. Was it for Verizon? I got one of those the other day.
I opened it and thought, they wasted all this paperwork for THIS? :eyes:
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Bingo
Yeah, waste of paper, time and effort. My guess is that most people are so disgusted by what they "offer" that the company ends up paying out nothing. And since they all have lawyers permanantly on retainer, they probably didn't lose much there, either. :eyes:
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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. The named plaintiffs do very well in those suits...
as do their attorneys. The settlements are usually negotiated between the named plaintiff's attorneys and the company, and all federal class actions have a Special Master appointed by the Court to look out for the best interests of the unnammed potential plaintiffs.

The company gets punished plenty in a class action, usually to the tune of several million dollars by the time you receive any notice that the suit even exists.

You always have the right to opt out of the class action settlement, consult your own attorney, and sue on your own behalf. If you can find a lawyer to do that.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. Wow! That's one evil country to poor people you live in! Not that
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 05:16 PM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
that's news to anyone anywhere.

I often like to think of St Callixtus and another saint and martyr, whose name escapes me at the moment, kneeling by the side of the graves of the martyrs they buried, looking up to Heaven and murmuring, "One day, Lord... one day...!"
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. It is indeed
It's discouraging sometimes here on DU because there are not a lot of people here who seem too sympathetic with poverty. Oh, to a point but it's amazing how many threads I see in which people assume that those on welfare are perfectly able to work, or that they all deal drugs, or that they could "pull themselves up by their bootstraps."

I've been poor. So poor I had to do things like chop up a dresser with a handsaw to burn in my woodstove because my house was freezing. So poor I had to feed my kids nothing but biscuits made out of flour and water and baking powder because that was ALL I had in my house (and lucky to have the house - rental of course) for about a week.

I understand that the guy begging outside the store might very well use the five dollars I gave him to buy a bottle of booze or a pack of cigarettes instead of a sandwich and I don't judge him for that. If I was living on the street with nothing, probably mentally ill to a certain extent, no shot of getting a job because he's homeless, smells and has no teeth - I'd probably drink and smoke, too. Christ, I need to drink as it is and I have a good job, and a home and an income and a relationship.

This country does almost nothing for its poor. They are despised and ignored. They pay more for everything and are preyed upon by every scam artist (think check cashing joints, high-interest loans, lotteries, get-rich quick schemes) known to man. They have almost no recourse under the law. Their children grow up to be the same way because they know no other way.

Sorry. It's something kinda close to my heart - can you tell? :rant:
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Yep. It is to mine, too. I read of an actor here, who also refuses to
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 05:45 PM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
be judgemental about what indigent victims of our diablical societies spend the money he gives them, on.

In fact, doubtless, in his best Shakespearian king-player tones, he insisted that they spend it on drink or in some other frivolous way!

One of the saddest things is that people who consider themselves as Christians and should know better, even though, indeed, in some cases, they really are good people in other ways, trot out the vile, evil, false witness that the rich have always peddled since Old Testament times, and to which you allude, i.e that the reason the poor are poor is because they are idle and really don't want to work.

In fact, it's ironical but Karl Marx and La Thatcher shared a certain sorrow concerning the poverty of the poor. For Thatcher of course, it seemed to her that they were just a useless burden on their taxes, and even if they worked would not be as fanatical about it as the managerial classes. Karl Marx, on the other hand, lamented the poverty of their desires; that they were content with so little.

Both, were materialists, but I know whose shoes I'd prefer to be in on Judgment Day - and it wouldn't be La Thatcher's.

The Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount say it all.
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
7. Got two of those
I made my wife read through all that crap. Then she chucked it.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
10. Some lawyers made a killing.
And the carrier sacrificed some money, but in a way that guarantees they will get it all back.

What, you mean that doesn't represent the interests of everyone involved?
:sarcasm:
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