Class Action Gal

I may be able to retire soon! And it’s all thanks to the following:

Crate and Barrel

A computer I once had

My bank

My neighborhood grocery store

But most of all, it’s thanks to being at the WRONG place at the RIGHT time—or is it the right place at the wrong time? Either way, I’ve hit gold, and the reason can be summed up in one word:

Class Action Suit

Ok, that’s three words. Well, apparently, while I’ve been sleeping and doing about a gazillion other things, my name has been bandied about and added to many a class action suit list.  You know what I’m talking about, right?

A class action suit is when a large group of people collectively bring a claim to court in order to sue an entity for damages or irreparable harm or something like that. Though, if you ask me, I don’t think I suffered much trauma the day I shopped at Crate and Barrel. Yet, somehow I got tangled in the lawsuit’s web.

Apparently, when these collective groups decide to sue, they don’t necessarily ask me if I want in, nor do they tell me what the fracas was about. I didn’t know bubkis until I got a letter in the mail informing me about the suit and of my rights as a citizen of the free world.

Of course, my first reaction is always, “Huh? What do I have to do with this class action suit?”

But, once I figure it out (actually, I never do), then I jump on board the bandwagon—hitching my wagon to the class action star!

By the time the letter arrives, the suit is well underway, and, if you ask me, reading the letter is like reading gobbledygook. I know this because I’m a pro at recognizing gobbledygook when I see it and I see it all the time. Usually on IRS 1040 forms, credit card notices, divorce papers, and so on.

Somewhere in the class action letter it tells me what to if I don’t want to be included in the suit, but I never get that far. I usually pass out halfway down the first page. I figure it’s too much trouble to exclude myself, anyway. Besides, you never know what you’re going to get by staying the course.

As I see it, class action suits are a great way to meet friends with common interests or a common cause. I always assume that when the case is finally settled, we’ll all go out for a drink, or maybe one of us will host a party so we can collectively celebrate and count our winnings. Of course, so far this hasn’t happened, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

I must look like I have what it takes to be a member of these prestigious groups of litigants, as I’ve been part of at least a dozen this past year alone:

I received a $15 gift card to Crate and Barrel because of some dispute involving a mistake in their cash register system and, apparently, only those who shopped in any of their stores over a three-day period were eligible. Bingo! I happened to go in on one of those days!

A suit was brought against my local supermarket and the upshot, as part of the settlement, I received a year’s worth of $9 coupons to be used once a month on groceries.

Last month, I received a check for $8 from Dell computers because five years ago, I owned one and yada yada, yada, we won! They must have heard that my Dell crashed and I lost all my files, so I assume the $8 was compensation for that loss.

A few days later, I received $35 from a dispute involving Bank of America. I don’t know why, but thank you, BofA! (Sidebar: By the way, BofA, I find it ironic that the check I received was issued by another bank. Does that mean you don’t bank at your own bank?  I wonder…)

These class action suits seem to be growing on trees and I’m definitely in the thick of them.  Today, I received two more notifications of suits that are pending. One is from Walmart, and it involves Netflix. And, like the other suits, all I have to do is:

NOTHING!

And I’ll be eligible to receive whatever settlement comes out of it. I can’t wait to find out!

So, how about you? Have you initiated a class action suit or been involved in one lately? Do tell!

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56 thoughts on “Class Action Gal

  1. I’m part of the Ticketmaster one and read that one very closely because I go to a lot of concerts. While I wish I could have had just a check for all the overpayments Ticketbastard customers put out on those “service fees,” it does give a good discount on future tickets. It’s equivalent to how many you bought, so I’ll be seeing the good effect of this CAS for two or three years.

  2. I thought I had only been in one CAS until a check for 3 cents arrived in the mail this week, my share of some suit over final value fees on ebay motors between certain dates. I have not cashed it yet – I’m having too much fun showing it to people, got to share the laughter.

    • Good money, too, I might add. In fact the more things you buy and the more you spend, increases your likelihood of becoming involved in one of these CAS’, and soon you, too, can be receiving checks for $5 or $10. Imagine the possibilities!

  3. There was a sexual harrassment/discrimination suit against a company I worked for when I was a teenager. Same thing as these – I got a letter in the mail giving me the option to opt out. I had a lousy manager for a while who treated me poorly, so I didn’t opt out.

    Ended up with almost $700.

    • Amber, I hope that $700 was enough to compensate you for having to endure a lousy boss. I once had one and never saw a dime. In fact she once tried to bilk me of $1,500, kind of a long story. But next time you get some junk mail, look it over before you toss. Could be a Class Action suit in disguise. 😉

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. I’m in the same boat as Sherri D. above. I spent overseas, but was apparently overcharged in conversion fees. I looked at the check and thought to myself. Darn!!! I should have spent more…maybe the check would have been bigger. You’re right. Easy street here we come…if the post office will stay open and deliver the mail.

    • Thank you for stopping by!

      If only you’d had a million dollars to spend overseas. Just think how much you would have gotten in the settlement then. Sigh. That’s the story of my life, too. Always a day late, and a dollar short. Anyway, I’m still trying to figure out how to invest the $43 I got from Dell and Bank of America. Any ideas? 😉

    • How about this? As soon as I rustle up enough winnings and buy myself a retirement home, I’ll invite you to come stay with me and we can create a blogging headquarters and anyone who wants to come and blog from there is welcome! Now, wouldn’t that be fun? 😉

  5. Good one – too funny, although, now that your are richer than MIdas you probably don’t blog or read comments anymore ( your minions are doing all the work). I did benefit from one Class Action against HP. However, the computer that replaced the one I had, is SO SLOW and not worth the effort it took to complete the paperwork,

    • If by minions you mean my dog, Henry, then you are absolutely right. But he’s always been the one commenting, so the money hasn’t changed me at all. On the other hand, don’t get me started on Henry. Now that I’m raking in the dough, he wants a raise. Sigh.

  6. I once received a check from Oxmoor Publishing because of some issue with their Martha Stewart books. Funny thing was that I remember the incident in question and found it quite annoying. Glad I was part of such an action.

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  8. Monica, report back when you’re involved in one with Apple, Microsoft, or Oracle! If this happens, we’ll know you’ll be set for life! hee hee! Girl, may you at least get a new iPad for your troubles! 🙂

  9. Wow! Really? I had no idea class action suits worked that way. It’s kind of like entering a blog giveaway…and always being the winner. Wild!

    • I should really keep a log on each CSA I’m involved in. I tend to forget after getting that first letter announcing it. Years go by and suddenly a check shows up in the mail. So, for every check, there’s probably another 5 or 10 that got nothing. I don’t really know.

  10. I just got $18.30 from a CAS (when you are in sooo many, you can abbreviate, and your “sisters” will know what you are talking about) — some time between 2000 and 2005 or 6 I spend some money out of the country — all I can figure it was our brief trip to British Columbia — and for some reason, not known to me, I got $18.30 back from whatever I charged then…..who knew? If only!!! When I cashed it the other day, the Bank Guy said, “wow, I’ve seen a lot of these lately.” Actually made me feel better, cuz I was a little leary that it was a scam, but after reading all the fine print on the check, etc., it seemed to be OK – I took a pass on any more to do with the settlement — hope I don’t regret that! HA!

    • Hey Sherri! So good to hear from you!

      How luck are you? You got a vacation AND money back?? It’s like getting a rebate on fun. CAS are a windfall, my friend. You know, money doesn’t grow on trees. But CAS often does!

  11. I’ve received a bundle of these over the years, but never a penny. You must have good class action jojo! I think the lawyers are the only ones who truly make any money out of these things (I mean, besides YOU)!

    • Becky, you called it. This is great for the lawyers, because there’s so few of them in comparison to how many are in the class suit–hundreds, thousands. Often when you hear that a company has settled, it’s in the millions, but what each of us gets, is such a tiny, practically insubstantial amount. Is it worth it? Only for the lawyers.

  12. We need to put our heads together and think of what enterprise might be ripe for a CAS and plan our spending accordingly 🙂 If it happens at Nordstrom’s we should be good to go.

  13. I’ve seen this here and there but I never actually get money! And look at all the times you have actually received something! JEALOUS!!!!

    • Oh yes! With any luck one day I’ll be able to live off of these little settlements. Of course, it’ll take several hundred settlements to keep me in the style I’ve become accustomed to, for a year. After that, I’ll see if Walmart needs any greeters.

  14. If I was B of A, I wouldn’t bank with me either. Credit union all the way, bay-bee!

    They were probably required to deposit the funds for the lawsuit into a trust account with another bank, so they couldn’t loan out the money on bad mortgages or credit default swaps or such, until it was settled.

    FYI – I have gotten some and some of the checks look INCREDIBLY like junk mail, or those mailers which if you sign and deposit turns out you’ve switched phone carriers. So, sadly, pay attention to your small junk mail, there could be gold in them thar hills!

    • Beverly, I think you’re right about the requirement to deposit the funds into a trust account. I hadn’t thought of that. Good call!

      And you’re right, these checks arrive in what looks like junk mail. I think they deliberately don’t want you to open it. But I know what you mean about how sometimes junk mail can be deceptive. I once ordered a ring tone for my cell from an offer and the next thing you know I was being charged $20/month for access to some type of video game. I put the kabash on that right away!

  15. You just can’t make that sh*t up: B of A — sent a check from a different bank?!?!

    Didn’t someone among the powers-that-be ponder the message there? Didn’t someone see the irony???

    Best of luck on the suits. I’m thinking if you’re anything like I am, you might get enough cash to fund your Diet Coke habit for, like, a week. Maybe two.

    😉

    • No indeed. I’m quite suspicious, and I’m pretty sure there’s a conspiracy theory here somewhere. And, yes. When all is said and done, I suspect my winnings are enough to see my diet Coke habit until the end of the month–or the end of this weekend, whichever comes first. 😉

  16. You are rich! 🙂 I love your observation “Does that mean you don’t bank at your own bank?” Interesting but perhaps not surprising in this current crazy financial crisis 🙂

    • Yes, I’m a little suspicious of a bank that doesn’t bank in its own bank. But one of the commenters below gives a good reason, so maybe, just maybe I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. This time.

  17. I got a few hundred dollars from my insurance company for doubledipping me and others in my state on uninsured motorist coverage for years. That was the best class action suit ever. I’ve been sent letters for others but no checks.

  18. I’ve received a few of those, too, but I don’t recall actually ever seeing any kind of payout. Maybe I’m shopping at the wrong places. A few more checks and you can retire :>)

    • Be careful about those payouts. You may have received it and assumed it was junk mail. Which is why I open all my junk mail because you never know. In fact, I think it was the BofA settlement that looked like junk to me and then I opened it. It was my red-letter day!

  19. I’ve received several of these, but unlike you, mine haven’t panned out — yet. I’m still hoping, months and years later, because we all know the wheels of justice crank slowly!

  20. Yep, I was name in one a week ago for Ticket Master. I think I’ll get like, a few dollars. Need to check again ’cause it was all the gobbygoo stuff you mentioned.

    • My son is also caught up in the Ticket Master CSA. But, I hate to tell you, according to him the settlement include about $20 in coupons that can be used toward future tickets, but not more than $3 or so off per ticket. I’m glad you agree, it’s all gobbledigook!

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