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.

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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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Black Friday Deal: Virgin Mobile’s HTC Wildfire for $99.99 at Radio Shack


Hey, I hope you all are relaxing after your Thanksgiving meals. I know I am and we ate at 12pm. Gives you an idea of how much I enjoyed myself.

Onto the meat of the post. I just realized that Radio Shack will be offering Virgin Mobile’s HTC Wildfire S for $99.99, which is 50% off its regular price of $199.99.

htc

Now I know I may have mentioned in a previous post that I wasn’t in a really big hurry to consider this phone but honestly, at 50% off of its MSRP, I may be outside Radio Shack tomorrow morning to pick one up. I already ordered one online for Ann who occasionally has issues with her Optimus V freezing up. I’ve tried cleaning stuff out of it and it still does it now and then. This will be her Christmas gift from me.

Myself, I’m just thinking of it as an affordable upgrade which is what makes prepaid programs much more enticing. For a single Benjamin, I can upgrade my phone in less than a year’s time as opposed to being on a contract when I would have to wait until it was up (usually 2 years) before I can consider doing the same thing. Not only that, I’d be paying taxes on the full price of the phone even if I got it under contract for $50. And that ain’t cool* (READ UPDATE BELOW). By that logic, the purchase seems more than justified.

If you want to avoid the crowds (not that there would be any at Radio Shack but I could be wrong), you can order it online now or be like me if you can’t wait for the phone to arrive on your porch and hit your local bricks-and-mortar location at 5:30am.

It’s a good thing my local store is only a few miles away because I’m so crawling back into bed when I get home. And if you do get this one or the Optimus V at Target, don’t forget to use Ann’s Kickbacks code when activating: UJWQD9VW. Heck, or mine: dJWQc09H.

Enjoy the shopping season! With the exception of this, I’m done 🙂

*UPDATE 11/25/11: I bought one online Thursday and paid taxes (8.75% in CA) on the sale price (around $108). This morning, I went to my local store and ended up paying taxes on the full price (around $117). What gives?

  • $99.99 @ 8.75% CA tax = $8.74 (online price of $108.74)
  • $199.99 @ 8.75% CA tax = $17.49 (in-store price of $117.49)

Tweeted @RadioShack. Waiting for reply and will post reply/resolution.