Classmates user sues as no-one was really looking for him

By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

I’m not sure whether to mark this one down as a ridiculous WTF lawsuit or to think that maybe the plaintiff might have a point here.   So I thought I would write this one up for GAS and let you, the readers, decide.

A user of Classmates.com, Anthony Michaels, was told by the site that former school friends were trying to contact him and that he should spend $15 and upgrade to the premium membership to collect those messages.  But, and you guessed it boys and girls, when he upgraded, there were no messages!   The “your old school buddies are trying to contact you” line was just all one big marketing ploy to get Anthony to upgrade.

Now some people like you and me would fume for a little while, maybe fire off an angry email to Classmates, then after a while, settle down and write the money off.   After all, it is only $15! It’s not a staggeringly huge amount that will bankrupt you (it costs more these days for a pizza or a cinema ticket).   But Anthony decided instead to turn into the legal caped crusader and filed a class action lawsuit (pdf file) alleging that Classmates deceived him and lots of other people – they’re mad and they want their money back!

The lawsuit is going after Classmates for deceptive advertising which is where I think Michaels has a point.   But on the other hand, it makes Michaels look a bit….how can I put this….silly?   He loses a mere $15 and he responds with a class action lawsuit on behalf of other people he doesn’t even know of?   He kind of comes out of this looking like Tony No-Pals.  “Nobody sent me an email so I think I’ll sue”

An extreme over-reaction or standing on a legal principle?   GAS readers, over to you.

[Via Wired]

Advertisement





31 Responses to Classmates user sues as no-one was really looking for him

  1. Haha smart guy, but I can see why he’s so mad, so many of those social sites are just BS and you spend money to get nothing, maybe he had been cheated before and this was just the last straw. How much is he suing for?

  2. ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’

    so that may be a little extreme in this case, but it can still apply. maybe he was just at the end of a really bad day, but i think he’s doing the right thing. too many people get scammed by similar advertisements.

  3. He has every right to go after them for a class action. How much money do you think this rip off company has made with that type of adevertising. I suport him not so he gets his money back, but so classmates.com losses the money they cheated people out of.

  4. How do I get in on the CAL? I fell for it too. Maybe the $15 was for the first month? Last time I checked it was still $30 a month so if you are like me and forget to cancel then it can really add up.

  5. Haha smart guy, but I can see why he's so mad, so many of those social sites are just BS and you spend money to get nothing, maybe he had been cheated before and this was just the last straw. How much is he suing for?

  6. Consider how many thousands of dollars these hucksters have probably raked in because too-tolerant folks have shrugged off the $15 loss and a lesson learned and never looked back. Maybe it seems kinda frivolous, but I like that somebody is holding Classmates’ feet to the fire.

    • Time Warner actually tried “scamming” me recently, I signed up for a 15mbps internet package a couple months ago which they told me would run $30 a month. They sent me a bill a couple weeks ago which showed a monthly charge of $40 so I called them and asked WTF. They said the real price is $40 and it’s only $30 if you buy a TV package too, to which i replied “why the **** would you quote me $30 if you already knew I wasn’t getting the TV package in the first place?”

      After 3 hours of sitting on the phone with them, they refunded my money. But I’m willing to bet that a LOT of people get scammed like this and just don’t care enough to complain about it.

  7. ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’

    so that may be a little extreme in this case, but it can still apply. maybe he was just at the end of a really bad day, but i think he's doing the right thing. too many people get scammed by similar advertisements.

  8. He has every right to go after them for a class action. How much money do you think this rip off company has made with that type of adevertising. I suport him not so he gets his money back, but so classmates.com losses the money they cheated people out of.

  9. How do I get in on the CAL? I fell for it too. Maybe the $15 was for the first month? Last time I checked it was still $30 a month so if you are like me and forget to cancel then it can really add up.

  10. Consider how many thousands of dollars these hucksters have probably raked in because too-tolerant folks have shrugged off the $15 loss and a lesson learned and never looked back. Maybe it seems kinda frivolous, but I like that somebody is holding Classmates' feet to the fire.

    • Time Warner actually tried "scamming" me recently, I signed up for a 15mbps internet package a couple months ago which they told me would run $30 a month. They sent me a bill a couple weeks ago which showed a monthly charge of $40 so I called them and asked WTF. They said the real price is $40 and it's only $30 if you buy a TV package too, to which i replied "why the **** would you quote me $30 if you already knew I wasn't getting the TV package in the first place?"

      After 3 hours of sitting on the phone with them, they refunded my money. But I'm willing to bet that a LOT of people get scammed like this and just don't care enough to complain about it.

  11. We should be happily applauding such legal action on behalf of consumer justice. Yes he only lost $15, but how much money has Classmates made on these bogus claims? There have to penalties to impose a cost on deceptive business practices and I applaud anyone who has the time and tenacity to do it!

  12. We should be happily applauding such legal action on behalf of consumer justice. Yes he only lost $15, but how much money has Classmates made on these bogus claims? There have to penalties to impose a cost on deceptive business practices and I applaud anyone who has the time and tenacity to do it!

  13. I totally agree with the guy. They could have used a million marketing lines, but they chose to use the one that is misleading. It’s a lie that “some old buddie is trying to reach you”.
    A few months ago I bought a Nokia N73. I specifically asked the guy at the shop: ¿Does it have 3G? (The brochure that the shop gave me said so). And he said “YES”. But he forgot to mention the “only in european networks” part. (I live in Argentina, SouthAmerica). I sued. I won. And now I have a shiny new 8gb Nokia N95. And all because of a dumb brochure and a dumb shopguy who lied to me.
    Companies need to understand that nowdays they cannot lie to us so easily. They need to be concise and clear, and allow ME to choose.

  14. I totally agree with the guy. They could have used a million marketing lines, but they chose to use the one that is misleading. It's a lie that "some old buddie is trying to reach you".

    A few months ago I bought a Nokia N73. I specifically asked the guy at the shop: ¿Does it have 3G? (The brochure that the shop gave me said so). And he said "YES". But he forgot to mention the "only in european networks" part. (I live in Argentina, SouthAmerica). I sued. I won. And now I have a shiny new 8gb Nokia N95. And all because of a dumb brochure and a dumb shopguy who lied to me.

    Companies need to understand that nowdays they cannot lie to us so easily. They need to be concise and clear, and allow ME to choose.

  15. This is kind of like the ‘Miss Cleo’ thing. after the FTC went after them they immediately came back with a $500 million dollar settlement. $500 MILLION!!! Tells you how $15 can add up in hurry.

  16. This is kind of like the 'Miss Cleo' thing. after the FTC went after them they immediately came back with a $500 million dollar settlement. $500 MILLION!!! Tells you how $15 can add up in hurry.

  17. Remember the lawsuit against the RIAA for their deceptive pricing scheme? $15 a pop, but they paid the price (albeit a rather innocuous sum in the long run)

  18. Remember the lawsuit against the RIAA for their deceptive pricing scheme? $15 a pop, but they paid the price (albeit a rather innocuous sum in the long run)