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Monday, August 20, 2012

How to Keep the Cost of Things Down ~ A Rant!

So today I'm trying to clear out my email, I ran across an email for a class action lawsuit against Netflix. So I open it up and start reading what they are being sued for and here is what the email said:
Our records show that you were a current or former Netflix subscriber as of July 5, 2012. We are emailing to tell you about a Settlement that may affect your legal rights. Please read this email carefully. Go to for more information.
A Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit that claims Netflix unlawfully kept and disclosed information, including records on the movies and TV shows its customers viewed. Netflix denies that it has done anything wrong.
What does the Settlement provide?
Netflix has agreed to change its data retention practices so that it separates (known as “decoupling”) Entertainment Content Viewing History (that is, movies and TV shows that someone watched) from identification information for those subscribers who have not been a Netflix subscriber for at least 365 days, with some exceptions.
In addition, Netflix will pay $9 million into a Settlement Fund to:
• Make donations to Court-approved not-for-profit organizations, institutions, or programs.
• Pay notice and settlement administration expenses.
• Pay attorneys’ fees of up to 25% or $2.25 million of the Settlement Fund, plus up to $25,000 in expenses.
• Pay a total incentive award of $30,000 to the Named Plaintiffs.
Proposals from potential donation recipients will be sought, and, after consideration, recommendations will be made to the Court. A list of the proposed donation recipients will be posted on the website.
 So I'm looking it over, go to the website read some more things and realized, this is the kind of crap that makes the price of things go up. I'm not sure people understand this, so I'm going to explain it.

In plain terms, Netflix is being sued for keeping track of what kind of shows you watch. This is how they "recommend" things you'll like. If you like this feature, you shouldn't join the lawsuit because that would mean you don't think they've done anything wrong. Also, if you have the time available you should object to the lawsuit and this is why. If this happens and it likely will: The 6 plaintiffs (people who started the lawsuit) will each get $5,000 a piece. The lawyers will get $2,250,000 dollars plus $25,000 in expenses for a total of $2,275,000. Netflix will also get to pay all the court/filing fees. The the courts will determine where to send the rest of the $9,000,000 (9 million). If you join the lawsuit you will get nothing! I repeat NOTHING! And as a bonus, eventually, Netflix will be required to raise there rates for their services and you will get to pay more money for the same exact things. Businesses never lose when it comes to lawsuits. The only real winners are the lawyers. Even the folks who sued only got a measly $5,000 of the total. Hardly enough to buy a used car. Half a year of college. Doesn't seem worth it, overall to me. So once again if you have the time to object you should do so!

I recently got one for Groupon, too. It seems people are trying to get rich quick by trying to sue large companies, but I doubt there getting much and then the rest of us have to pay higher prices. So don't jump on the band wagon for the peanuts that these lawsuits give out, because for the amount of money you receive, if any, you will pay a lot more down the line in fee increases, and so will the rest of us.

Please, understand I don't think anyone should get away with true injustice. But read what the lawsuits are and decide for yourself if you agree they are in the wrong. And a better way to show you don't like a companies practices is to take your dollars to their competitor.