Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Class Action Suits





This morning I just completed a very laborious task.  I had to dig through all my old records (I knew there was a reason I hoard) to find my receipts for the two moves I had back in 2006.


I received a notice in the mail last week that there is a class action settlement against purchasers of interstate Household Goods Moving Services from March 19, 2003 through December 31, 2007.  That would be me.  I made two moves in 2006 from my home in Pennsylvania to Delaware.  The first move was in April (to make a dent in 25 years accumulations of "stuff") and the final move in November 2006.  Total cost? About $6,000 big ones that I could ill afford but the moves had to be made.


I've participated in class actions suits before, some lucrative and some not so much.


The best (if you could call it that) class action suit was one where I purchased 3,000 of a realty investment partnership from Dean Witter (remember them?) that was guaranteed to give me a 6% return and guaranteed to always be worth at least what I put into it.  Well, that was a big lie.  My interest payments dwindled down to 4% and I couldn't sell the units because there "was no market."  To say I was mislead by my broker is an understatement.  


I had written off that investment as me being suckered in by a good-looking, sweet talking salesman a mistake when lo and behold a few years later I received a notice in the mail asking me if I would like to participate in a class action suit?  I thought "why not?"  So I did and I received $1,200.  Not as much as I invested but it was something.  Of course I turned right around and invested that $1,200 in the stock market because I thought that was found money.  I lost it.  C'est la vie.


Several times since that windfall I've received notices in the mail asking me to participate in various class actions suits resulting from my past prodigious shopping habits (I am a reformed shopaholic.)  


None have ever returned more than a few cents.  I think the highest I ever received was .37 cents.  Big whoop.


So I get this notice in the mail last week that my mover back in 2006 was participating in monopolistic practices.  Movers participating in monopolistic practices?  Gee, what are the odds of THAT?


To participate all I had to do was fill out a claim form listing the dates of my moves, my contract number and the amount I paid.  Yeah, thats all I had to do.  Now to dig up all that information.  


My basement media room is still loaded with unpacked boxes from my move back in 2006, which I very embarrassed to admit.  All kinds of goodies in those boxes.  Well, where were the receipts for my moves?


After two hours of digging I FOUND THEM!  Of course they were in two different locations.  Don't ask, I don't know why.  But I did find them and that's all that counts in my semi-befuddled state these days.  


I went to their website, fill out the information and SUBMITTED my claim.


Now I await my .37 cents.

6 comments:

  1. Our move from Cleveland to Chicago in 1998 cost $5,500. You had two moves for $6,000? Not a bad deal at all. How long until you get your pennies?

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  2. I'm not holding my breath Cubby. They didn't say when distribution would take place but I had until March 3rd to submit my claim. I've submitted claims before for other class actions and never heard a thing. The way I figure it, if I get anything I'm ahead of the game. I had already written off that $6,000.

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  3. Please tell me what's a class action suit.

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  4. Now this time be sure to invest that thirty-seven cents wisely.

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  5. Tai,

    A class action suit is where a lawyer or a group of lawyers bring suit against a company on behalf of the aggrieved members of the public whose use of a product or service is why the company is being sued. Once there is a settlement, the lawyers take their fee and the rest is distributed to the users of the product or service that were wronged.

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  6. Rick,
    I learned my lesson. I don't invest in the stock market anymore. The stock market is nothing more than a gambling casino. It's a sucker's game. Ordinary schlubs like me will never make money in the stock market. The stock market is rigged in favor of Wall Street just like the Las Vegas casinos where the house always wins.

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