Despite no longer subscribing to their services, on Wednesday we received this funny e-mail from Netflix with the subject "Notice of Class Action Settlement. Please Read." Apparently as former subscribers to Netflix's services we were automatically enrolled in a class action lawsuit against the friendly red envelope company. In fact, the suit had already been settled! All we had to do was pick one of four options: 1. Sign up for the benefits (the benefits being one free month with +1 videos at a time for current subscribers or one free months subscription for former subscribers) as part of the settlement. 2. Do nothing. 3. Exclude ourself from the the class or 4. Make an objection to the settlement in court.
Since we no longer subscribed to Netflix and didn't want to go through the hassle of claiming a free month of dvds only to drop the service again at the end of the month, we promptly forgot about the whole thing. But then in the comments on sfist we found a link pointing us to netflixsettlementsucks.com which lists some curious facts about the suit. For instance, if you accept the free month of upgraded service "you will be put on that upgraded plan at the end of your free month and your bill will increase unless you cancel!," the lead plaintiff in the case gets a $2,000 cash "bonus" from Netflix and the kicker, the lawyers for the plaintiff get "a token amount of money... wait for it... The lawyers get $2,528,000." Really. It's all in the pdf of the long form notice of the settlement. Netflix will upgrade your service and then keep it upgraded unless you go back and degrade yourself (kind of, they will at least send you one reminder e-mail). And really, the lawyers are getting that much money for working on a case that "alleges that Netflix failed to provide "unlimited" DVD rentals and "one day delivery" as promised in its marketing materials."
The more we think about it the whole thing the more we don't particularly want to be a part of a class of people who sue over such obvious advertising hyperbole. In fact, we don't want to be a part of that class so much that, if we didn't have to actually write a letter and then physically mail it to California to get out of it, we probably would "exclude ourselves from the class." If only there was a way to do it online... Oh wait, it looks like pissed-off Chris over at "the Netflix Settlement Sucks" is working on that too. Maybe we'll exclude ourselves yet.
But that's just us. What do you think of the Netflix Settlement?