Blogging 365, Day 24: The Class Action King


emachines

It seems like every time I go to the mailbox there’s some kind of card in there informing me that I’m eligible to participate in a class action lawsuit against whomever for whatever reason.

It happened with ProFlowers, Best Buy, Sears, Sony BMG, Stamps.com and Classmates.com. Out of all of them, Best Buy’s proved to be the most fruitful with me getting a check for well over $700 in unpaid wages while the others were pretty much wieners offering a free month of service (I’m looking at you, Stamps and Classmates) or nothing worth writing about.

And as of now, I currently have two on the boiler: Radio Shack and the one I got today, eMachines. In the case of Radio Shack, they are accused for violating California Code Section 1747.08 and as a result of the deliberation since the judge couldn’t decide who was right, the settlement has come in the form of an $11 certificate that I can use at Radio Shack once the settlement has been approved. Now I have to wait until after March 27, 2013 to check a website that isn’t even active yet and see if everything is kosher. I’ll just be sure to pay cash this time.

The latest one is a little robust and it involves eMachines (now Gateway Computers). According to the lawsuit, anyone who purchased an eMachines computer after December 31, 1997 is eligible to participate provided they got this little card in the mail. Those who may think they are eligible can also check this fully functional website for more information.

CAM02822

This is when it pays to register your stuff because if I hadn’t, there would be no way for them to know I would be eligible. I purchased my eMachines somewhere near 1999 when Ann and I moved out on our own for a bit. I remember the computer well because it was the first one I ever owned with a DVD-ROM drive – and it was laggy as hell. The first movie we watched on it was There’s Something About Mary, a complete snore-fest of a comedy that I can’t even recall with much clarity.

Either way, I did own one. And as you can see in the details above, by the time all of this goes down and is approved, I can either take the whopping $62.50 in cash money OR take the certificate for up to $365 to be used toward the purchase of a replacement computer from a place I’ve never heard of. (UPDATE: a new website as since been established). I think it’s obvious what I am going to do.

But you haven’t heard the best part of all of this: why they were being sued. According to the lawsuit, eMachines was accused selling computers “with a defective part that could cause the loss or corruption of data written to, or read from, a floppy disk.”

In case you need a refresher, here’s what floppy disks look like.

2809183-a-colorful-set-of-floppy-disks-including-blue-red-green-purple-and-yellow

That pile there? That’s got the capacity to hold a whopping 7.2 MB worth of data. Not just 7 but 7.2, PEOPLE! Can you imagine how I felt once I got my first Iomega ZIP drive? My God, one ZIP 100 MB disk could hold as much data as 70 floppies! Now we’re talking!

Oh wait. If I did the math right, the 32GB card in my phone can hold as much as 327.86 ZIP disks. You don’t want to know how many floppies that is.

But I digress. The bottom line is that I’m a-gonna get paid for a piece of “faulty” equipment that has been outdated since 1997. But alas, there is still some use for the fabled floppy disk.

floppy

It still serves well as the ubiquitous “Save” icon on just about every program you can think of, a reminder of the days when clicking on it would actually save your data to the floppy drive.

If it had the capacity to do it, that is.

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Who the Hell Are They?


Being that I’ve got a profile on Classmates, I occasionally get e-mail alerts for any kind of activity relating to my registered schools. In fact, I got one the other day telling me that So-and-so signed up:

“David,

Remember So-And-So? They just signed up at Classmates.com! Click here to re-connect with them!”

Yes, I do remember so-and-so. He was a wrestler and a real dick. Probably hasn’t changed.

More often than not, I get alerts telling me that somebody signed my guestbook. I was surprised to find out I even had such a thing on that site. The thing is that if you are not a Gold Member, you can’t see the names or pictures of those that left their mark, and that’s been happening quite frequently with me. I must be one popular dude. 

That’s when curiosity got the best of me. As for why, I couldn’t tell you. After all, I had few friends in high school and even less that I’d even bother to make the effort to track down. That’s just how I roll.

I learned that if you click the link to sign up for Gold Membership and then back out, a pop-up window opens that offers you a free 7-day trial. There was no way in hell I’d want to spend the money for a year’s subscription to this site, so I was happy to see the 7-day trial.

I clicked. I signed up. I observed.

I canceled a few minutes later.

Why? I went over to my guestbook, the only reason for signing up in the first place, and had no flippin’ idea who these people were! Some I never heard of, most were from another graduating class, and all of them had nothing important to say. Some of them even signed it multiple times–why in the hell would you do that?

At any rate, it’s a lesson learned at the very least. And should my curiosity start to rise in the future, I must remind myself that it’s simply not worth the effort to sign up again–even if it is free.


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