Classless

I’m not the only blogger to mention this, but in this case the wider the message gets the better. My e-mail queue tells me that, though I no longer use Netflix

You are receiving this notice because you were a paid Netflix member before January 15, 2005. Under a proposed class action settlement, you may be eligible to receive a free benefit from Netflix.

A class action lawsuit entitled Chavez v. Netflix, Inc. was filed in San Francisco Superior Court (case number CGC-04-434884) on September 23, 2004. The lawsuit alleges that Netflix failed to provide “unlimited” DVD rentals and “one day delivery” as promised in its marketing materials. Netflix has denied any wrongdoing or liability. The parties have reached a settlement that they believe is in the best interests of the company and its subscribers.

The “free benefit” would be “a free one-month Netflix membership on your choice of the 1, 2 or 3 DVDs at-a-time unlimited program”. Yee haw. I’ve not been this excited since those bastards at Apple had to pay me $0.35 because they sold me a “17-inch monitor” that really only had 16.8-inches of viewable image on it. I am now served so much better as a consumer since the ads started saying “16.8-inches viewable monitor”.

On the settlement web site, buried in the full text of the settlement, is the following:

8.1 Subject to Court approval, Netflix shall pay $2,000 to the Class Representative.
8.2 Subject to Court approval, Netflix agrees to pay Class Counsel up to, and will not contest the reasonableness of, $2,528,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

The Class Counsel in this case is:

Adam Gutride, Esq.
835 Douglass Street
San Francisco, California 94114
Seth A. Safier, Esq.
6467 California
San Francisco, California 94121

Fortunately, buried even further into the settlement is this line:

11.1 Netflix shall have the right to terminate this Agreement and the settlement in the event that greater than 5% of the eligible Class Members opt-out of the settlement.

That makes it pretty clear what I’m going to do. Opting out is fairly easy and one Class Member has put together a form letter you can use. It’ll cost you a stamp, though. Fortunately for me, the check I got from Apple (plus interest) should cover my stamp.

Thanks to AS for providing advice and additional links and RS for the firm links.

Update: Initial post listed Netflix’s lawyers as the class counsel. D’oh! Sorry all. Corrected above.

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3 Responses to “Classless”

2wr Says:

Um… better check your facts. WSGR represented Netflix, not the Class.

3Becky Says:

Instead of opting out of the class, I suggest remaining IN the class and objecting to the terms of settlement, on the basis that it is excessively punitive and that Frank Chavez does not represent the class appropriatly.

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