Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Sony The Courts Hardware

If You Owned a PC With a DVD Drive You Might Be Able To Claim $10 (theverge.com) 99

If you owned a PC with a DVD drive more than 10 years ago, you're probably owed $10. From a report on The Verge: A class-action lawsuit is now accepting claims after Sony, NEC, Panasonic, and Hitachi-LG were accused of inflating the prices of optical drives sold to PC makers like Dell and HP. If you bought a PC with a DVD drive between April 1st 2003 and December 31st 2008, you'll be able to claim $10 for each drive as part of the class-action lawsuit. It appears you don't need to provide any proof of purchase -- the settlement administrators are simply collecting names, email addresses, and the number of drives owned at the moment. You'll need to submit a claim before July 1st, and the money won't be released until other defendants in the litigation have settled.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

If You Owned a PC With a DVD Drive You Might Be Able To Claim $10

Comments Filter:
  • I don't remember how many drives I had back then. At least 5-6 from owned systems and ones built for others.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That appears to be part of the point of this class action -- Optical drives were absolutely ubiquitous, and the lawsuit is constructed to send a strong anti-trust message. By fixing prices, manufacturers created a huge artificial cost across the IT spectrum -- from individual home users to enterprise IT purchasing. And since the 2000s, IT spending is a non-trivial part of individual consumers' and business' budgets. The point is to make them feel the pain over price-fixing of a very common and often-replace

    • Great! Now, we just need 374,999,999 more posts from the rest of the computer owners.
    • by ET3D ( 1169851 )

      I don't remember either. Probably in the millions.

    • I don't either. I wrote down 2 machines and 3 external drives because I can actually prove that I own that many of them, not because I'm sure how many I bought. I know it was a lot more than that.

  • But you can give me $10 anyway.

    • by Ellis D. Tripp ( 755736 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2017 @12:16PM (#53819249) Homepage

      There is a place to submit a claim for raw drives, as well as computers....

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        Previous stories about this price fixing issue of optical drives has also mentioned drives in optical disc players.
        So if you bought a DVD player for your TV, that should also be a claim.

    • Ditto, but it was an HP DVD +R/RW. But I guess Texas is not included on the list of eligible states. So they did not overcharge these residents?
      • I guess they gave us a break since they already rape us with property taxes.

        • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2017 @01:27PM (#53819711) Journal

          Texas is one of the least-taxed states. We have no state income tax (on individuals) and reasonable sales taxes. Texas total state tax burden is 7.6%. Compare California, Wisconsin, and llinois at about 11%. Some states are 12%. Only Alaska is less than 7.1%.

          https://taxfoundation.org/stat... [taxfoundation.org]

          • Depends where you live in TX. If you live in a high cost real estate area you get it up the ?. I pay 15 grand a year in prop taxes + 8.25% sales tax. It is more than 7.6% of my income. High cost real estate areas subsidize the education system of the entire state thru a law often referred to as robin hood. If I remember right about 40% of the prop tax I pay for schools in austin is redirected to the state low cost areas. One of the problems with relying on prop taxes is if your income goes down, your tax bu

          • OP mentioned property taxes not sales. But congrats on the low sales taxes. That is definitely good. The only real downside is having to live in Texas.

  • "Up to $10" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jlv ( 5619 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2017 @12:16PM (#53819245)

    In the end, especially in light of the "no proof of purchase required", everyone will probably get $1.43 per drive, or less. Meanwhile, those driving the class action suit will pull in $25M, or more.

    • In the end, especially in light of the "no proof of purchase required", everyone will probably get $1.43 per drive, or less. Meanwhile, those driving the class action suit will pull in $25M, or more.

      The only winning move is not to play.

    • Re:"Up to $10" (Score:4, Interesting)

      by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2017 @12:46PM (#53819439) Journal
      If the lawyer fees are capped at a certain percentage of the money actually distributed, then there will be an incentive for the lawyers to actually make some effort to find the beneficiaries and get them some cash. As it stands now, the lawyers get a percentage of "estimated" compensation, deduct all their expenses and make a few news paper ads and go home. The money not distributed goes back to the defendant. So they don't have any incentive to actually distribute cash.
    • Yeah, this is going to be like the Prosper.com lawsuit all over again. I lost about $400 because they grossly overestimated the credit rating of the dead beat lenders I was giving money to. My settlement check from the class action lawsuit came out to $4.61. The law firm probably made millions.

      • Same here!

        I lent nearly $1,000 to deadbeats on Prosper who never paid back a dime.
        I got payments from 2 separate class action suits against Prosper since then, but both were for under $10.

        The part that angers me the most is that Prosper was SUPPOSED to turn those debts over to your choice of 2 collection agencies they supposedly employed. I selected one but never heard a THING again. For all I know, they never even really sent anything to collections at all? How would you know as an individual lender?

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2017 @01:22PM (#53819683) Journal

      While that's true, it's not necessarily *bad*. Without class actions, or if class actions weren't lucrative for the lawyers who organize them, the companies would just get away with it. The lawyers basically a reward for going after companies v who screw consumers over, with sufficient investigation to prove in court what the companies did and how consumers were harmed.

      It's not a perfect system, but I'd rather have (proper) class actions than not have them. When a company screws me out of $5 or $10 I'd rather a lawyer go after them (and get the $5) then just let the company get away with screwing epople2 over.

      • the companies would just get away with it

        Only in your crappy legal system that puts complete weight on lawsuits. Maybe it's time America got some consumer protection laws and an industry ombudsman with some teeth. Then companies can be held accountable to the letter of the law, rather than breaking the law, getting a slap on the wrist and some already rich bloodsucker pocketing the remaining change.

        • 1. America is far from the only legal system where corporations trample over everything

          2. I'm hopeful things will improve once the greedy boomer generation starts dying off, but right now, voters can't even agree that we should have laws against companies dumping lead in the water we drink. "JOBS! JOBS! KILLING JOBS! THE LOONY EPA IS KILLING ALL THOSE JOBS!!!"
          • I didn't say it was. But it is a prime example that lawsuits don't trump consumer protection. When it takes a class action and a horde of lawyers not to mention so many years that the product is no longer on sale to solve these problems then the system is fundamentally broken.

            • You did say "Only in your crappy legal system that puts complete weight on lawsuits." I'm not sure how else to take that, but I'm glad we're on the same page that this is not a problem unique to America. However, it does present a problem to your insistence that we don't need to solve these things in the courts: what alternatives are you proposing? Because I don't know of examples of countries that whip companies for bad behavior outside the courts, at least countries where capitalism is actually practiced
        • It would be interesting to compare costs of different systems. In the US, state Attorney's General offices handle some of these things, the FTC handles some, etc. Each spends resources (money) to do so and each collects fines from time to time. Here, when the Attorney General and the regulatory agencies let things fall through the cracks, any concerned citizen can address via a class action, and the bigger the problem, the bigger is the incentive to organize a class action.

          I haven't seen any studies, I woul

    • Re:"Up to $10" (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@nOSpam.worf.net> on Tuesday February 07, 2017 @02:33PM (#53820293)

      In the end, especially in light of the "no proof of purchase required", everyone will probably get $1.43 per drive, or less. Meanwhile, those driving the class action suit will pull in $25M, or more.

      Then go file your own lawsuit for whatever money you'd get.

      Class actions happen because there's a hole in the current legal system - as in "steal from many and get away scot-free". If you steal $1,000,000 from 1 person you can probably get a lawsuit to reclaim it. But if you steal $1 from 1,000,000 people, you can get away scot-free.

      Think of all the times your cellphone carrier jacks up your rates - if you're on a contract, technically they're not supposed to, but they do. And what are you going to do about it? If they jack it up $5 4 months in a 2 year contract, that's $100 over the term. Are you going to sue them to reclaim that?

      Probably not - between court filing fees ($25-40 typically) and having to take a day off, you're probably just going to sit there and complain and pay up. Meanwhile, the carrier makes an extra few million dollars.

      And even if you do go through, they'll not show up (lawyers cost money), and take the default judgement. Then they'll pay you back your $100, because they factored that 99.99% of people wouldn't, but the few bored enough to do so, well, it's not a big deal.

    • As they should. They are the ones doing all the work.

    • In the end, especially in light of the "no proof of purchase required", everyone will probably get $1.43 per drive, or less. Meanwhile, those driving the class action suit will pull in $25M, or more.

      On the bright side, the next time companies think about doing something similar, they'll have 25 million reasons as to why it's not a such a good idea.

    • by King_TJ ( 85913 )

      Exactly!

      There's a class action underway right now over milk price fixing, and it started out talking about you earning as much as $43 or something like that.
      I went ahead and filled out my claim, since I lived in one of the states covered and bought milk during that time. But a week later, a friend of mine checked the site and the estimated payout was down to under $10 already, due to all the claims filed.

  • You'll need to submit a claim before July 1st, and the money won't be released until other defendants in the litigation have settled.

    It sounds like your chances of actually getting any money are slim. Probably all this does is raise the damages so the lawyers get a bigger payday.

  • by Billy the Mountain ( 225541 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2017 @12:20PM (#53819285) Journal
    Residency requirement. FTFA: Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin.
    • by sh00z ( 206503 )
      WTF, Texas!?! I was going to come here to ask if "HP" is inclusive of Compaq, but never mind.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      And the link to the actual form which is always left out of TFS: https://www.opticaldiskdriveantitrust.com/ [opticaldis...itrust.com]

      If you purchased a new computer with an internal ODD, a stand-alone ODD designed for internal use in a computer, or an ODD designed to be attached externally to a computer while a resident of Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tenn

    • Unfortunately I was a Canadian living in Canada between April 1st 2003 and December 31st 2008 and not eligible.

      Fortunately I remain a Canadian in Canada in 2017 and may survive to 2020.

    • Boooo! No free money for me!

    • by sootman ( 158191 )

      Actually, you PROBABLY are, if you're in the U.S. The 23 states and DC add up to about 162 million people (2010 census) which is a little over half of the 308 million people in the U.S.

      Yes, I should be working right now.

  • Just like Volkswagen. US Customers get millions, and the European customers still pay a thousand per year in tax for having a Diesel car, without seeing any of it back. The sue-culture is apparently good for something...
  • My Newegg order history shows 8 total DVD drives. Plus one laptop with a DVD. Dang,within the years 2003-2008... reduces it to 2 drives, one laptop with a DVD. I'm sure there were more dammit... Then again it doesn't say I have to prove it. I bought some locally from the local computer store. If I got $30 from these guys I would be shocked.
  • I think i did not. Back then i only bought used thinkpads, so i did not by that drive from a manufacturer - and probably these were made before 2003 (I anyway used mainly external USB-dvd drive). Next step (around 2008) was to buy laptops without optical drives embedded (i had an external one+did not see the need for installing OSses-1G USB drives worked fine for debian/ubuntu).

  • Since "you don't need to provide any proof of purchase" the headline should be:

    Here's how to get $10 free!
    • Yes, although, should there be any form of checking in the future, what would your charge be? Perjury? Potentially serious punishment for a measly $10.

  • ... the settlement administrators are simply collecting names, email addresses, and the number of drives owned at the moment.

    At the moment I have about a dozen.

    Oh, that's not what you meant? Learn to fucking write then: " ... at the moment, the settlement administrators are simply collecting names, email addresses, and the number of drives owned [at the time]".

  • Here is the only link that matters. [opticaldis...itrust.com] Pointing to the Verge is pointless.
  • I vaguely remember buying somewhere between 2 and 500,000 PCs in that time period. To be safe, I'll claim the 500,000.
  • Of the FOUR class action suits I've "subscribed" to in the past, I've received exactly ZERO dollars.
    Because, frankly, once the lawyers have your name and can make their money, there is no real motivation for them to actually obtain anything for you.
    I refuse this sort of thing now on principal.

  • my state is not listed.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.

Working...