on Thu 21 January 2010
I received an email saying I could possibly recover a whopping FOUR
dollars from a class-action lawsuit against Skype (full text below). I
guess people who let their unused Skype credits expire were pissed?
Even though they warned me that they were going to expire, and I let
them. Can I really complain about that? I'm glad justice is somehow,
somewhere being done, but I don't mind that much. Of course it's stupid
that they should expire at all, so I guess they should get that message.
It probably would have been better to just reinstate everyone's
credits. Cuz you know, computers can keep track of that stuff. But
what I really want to say is:
\<Rant about class-action lawsuits>
Do these really help anybody? I get 4 bucks back out of probably 10
bucks that I let expire. Is that fair? What if I only had 30 cents
left? What if I had \$200 that I lost? Do I still get 4 bucks? Then I
would be pissed; but then I probably would not have let them expire.
But in general, I've received a few of these kinds of things before.
Does each of 1,000,000 people getting something back really help
anyone? Or is it just all about punishing the bad company and hoping
they don't do it again? Or does it just teach them to screw people more
effectively next time, so no lawsuit can happen? It all just seems
dumb. You can bet the lawyers make a mint, regardless.
\<Rant about Skype>
Speaking of dumb: Skype, you are. Your Android app doesn't do the 1
thing that made your service cool: allow free calls over the existing
internet connection. I'm not saying you have to use the wireless
internet service (3G or ??)--though I do believe that should be
possible, but theoretically that could be considered a net neutrality
thing--WHY CAN'T I CALL FOR FREE OVER WIFI?? THAT IS WHAT SKYPE IS
Here is the full text of the lawsuit email I received. If someone wants
my 4 bucks let me know.
NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION
If you are a United States resident who purchased Skype Credit that, on
at least one occasion prior to December 31, 2009, expired after 180 days
of inactivity, a proposed class action settlement may affect your
rights. PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.
Plaintiffs Holly Barker and Brian Carness have filed lawsuits against
defendants Skype Communications, S.a.r.l. ("Skype Communications"),
Skype Technologies S.A., Skype, Inc. and eBay Inc., on its own behalf
and as successor by merger to Skype Delaware Holdings, Inc.
(collectively, the "Defendants") challenging the Skype Credit expiration
policy. Plaintiffs allege that Skype User Accounts and Skype Credit
constitute "gift certificates" that cannot expire or be subject to
inactivity fees under various states' laws and that Defendants
unlawfully applied the Skype Credit expiration policy against their
Skype Credit balances after 180 days of inactivity in supposed violation
of these various states' laws, including applicable "gift certificate,"
consumer protection and/or unfair and deceptive practices laws.
Defendants deny that they did anything wrong whatsoever, and contend
that plaintiffs' claims are meritless. No court has decided which side
is right, and both sides have agreed to resolve the cases and provide
relief to the Settlement Class instead of litigation. There is a
proposed settlement on behalf of a nationwide class of current and
former United States resident purchasers of Skype Credit from Skype
Communications, which, if approved, will provide that Skype
Communications shall discontinue its Skype Credit expiration policy and
implement a Reactivation Policy whereby Skype Credit will no longer
expire after 180 days of inactivity, but rather be deemed "inactive" and
subject to reactivation. In addition, Skype Communications, on behalf of
itself and the other Defendants, has agreed to pay a Settlement Amount
of \$1,850,000 in full and complete settlement of the Released Claims,
which shall include: (i) attorneys' fees and costs and named plaintiffs'
incentive awards not to exceed \$1,000 each, which collectively shall
not exceed 25% of the Settlement Amount subject to Court approval; and
(ii) availability, on a claims made basis, of an electronic voucher for
\$4.00 of Skype Credit per claimant from the Net Settlement Amount.
If you are a member of the Settlement Class, your legal rights are
affected and you have a choice to make right now:
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS
SUBMIT CLAIM FOR VOUCHER Participate in settlement and receive voucher
for \$4.00 of Skype Credit. Go to the Administrative Site at
www.creditexpirationclassaction.com and complete an Internet claim
OBJECT TO SETTLEMENT Object to the settlement or any of its terms, and
ask the District Court not to approve the settlement. Appear at a Final
Fairness Hearing on March 12, 2010. To object to the settlement, to
plaintiffs' counsels' request for attorneys' fees and costs or to
plaintiffs' request for incentive awards, you must file with the
District Court (700 Stewart St., Seattle, WA 98101), by no later than
February 16, 2010, written objections setting forth: (i) your name,
address and telephone number; (ii) your Skype ID or User Name(s); (iii)
a sentence confirming, under penalty of perjury, that you are a person
in the Settlement Class; (iv) the factual basis and legal grounds for
your objection; (v) the identity of witnesses you intend to call to
testify; and (vi) copies of exhibits you intend to offer into evidence
at the Final Fairness Hearing. Copies of all objections also must be
mailed to each of the following, postmarked by the last day to file the
objection: Plaintiffs' Counsel: Roger Townsend, Esq., Breskin, Johnson &
Townsend, PLLC, 1111 Third Avenue, Suite 2230, Seattle, Washington
98101; and counsel for Defendants: Julia B. Strickland, Esq., Stroock &
Stroock & Lavan LLP, 2029 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA 90067.
ASK TO BE EXCLUDED Get out of this action. Get no benefits from the
settlement. Keep your rights to sue. If you ask to be excluded or "opt
out," you will not share in the settlement benefits and you will not be
permitted to object to the terms of the proposed settlement. But, you
will keep any rights you have to sue Defendants separately for the same
legal claims asserted in the actions. To be excluded, you must mail a
written "opt out" request to the Settlement Administrator at P.O. Box
2277, Faribault, MN 55021-2400, with a postmark of no later than
February 16, 2010, setting forth the following: (i) your name, address,
telephone number; (ii) your Skype ID or User Name(s); (iii) a sentence
confirming, under penalty of perjury, that you are a person in the
Settlement Class; and (iv) the following statement: "I request to be
excluded from the class settlement in Barker v. Skype, Inc., et al,
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington,
Case No. 2:09-cv-01364-RSM."
This is a Summary Notice. For further information about the proposed
Settlement, including copies of the Stipulation and Agreement of
Settlement and other court documents, visit
www.creditexpirationclassaction.com or contact Plaintiffs' Counsel. DO
NOT CONTACT DEFENDANTS, DEFENDANTS' COUNSEL OR THE DISTRICT COURT.
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE.