(1/20/2003) Like most chain letters, this one tries to convince you that you can get one over on corporate giants who don't want you to know what's coming to you. Unlike most such chains, however, this one is basically true.
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
Whether y'r for or against lawsuits is yr own personal opinion. Either way, when the recording industry was taken to trial for illegal price fixing, they eventually agreed to pay out over $67 million to consumers. They just never bothered to announce in a widespread manner how to go about it. If y'r an American citizen and purchased a cd, record, or cassette between 1995 and 2000, you can claim $20 as part of the settlement by going here:
You are a member of the Settlement Group if you are a person (or entity) in the United States or its Territories and Possessions who purchased prerecorded Music Products, consisting of compact discs, cassettes and vinyl albums, from one or more retailers during the period January 1, 1995, through December 22, 2000.
They're still arguing the exact amount, and you won't get more than 20 bucks, but you can file a claim electronically. It's a pretty sweet thing, considering how overpriced CDs are, and the amount of collusion that naturally goes on.
More info at http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2002-09-30-cd-settlement_x.htm
END CHAIN LETTER TEXT
In September 2002, five CD distributors and three retailers reached a settlement in a price fixing case brought by 41 states. As part of the settlement, the companies agreed to refund $44 million to American consumers who bought "music products" between 1995 and 2000 (and who among us didn't). To facilitate the payout of these refunds, the website linked above was created. It asks for a lot of information, but is legitimate.
However, this is where the accuracy of the note above fades.
The claim that "They just never bothered to announce in a widespread manner how to go about it" is absurd. I have seen and heard multiple reports of it on radio, TV and print news in the last two weeks.
Next, the assertion that "you can claim $20" is misleading. The maximum payment that can be received is $20. However, the more people who register for the refund, the smaller the individual takes can be.
Third, the statement that "They're still arguing the exact amount" is flat-out wrong. The total settlement about is $44 million dollars to be split evenly among the claimants. This was decided in September 2002.
What this chain letter doesn't tell you is that the more people who know about this, the greater the possibility is that the consumers will get nothing. The settlement set the minimum payout at $5, due to the cost of issuing checks. If the individual payout drops below $5 (8.8 million claimants), the defendants pay nothing and consumers lose again.
So, wanna try your luck at the settlement lottery? Go ahead, but break this misinformed chain letter. Break this chain.