If You Bought a Computer between Certain Dates, You Can Get $10 From a Class Action Lawsuit
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If You Bought a Computer between Certain Dates, You Can Get $10 From a Class Action Lawsuit

You don't need a receipt, the serial number, or the computer to file a claim

February 8, 2017

Did you buy a computer at any point between April 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008? If you did, depending on the state in which you lived at the time, you can get $10 from a class action settlement. And you don't need a receipt, the serial number, or the computer itself to file your claim.

This may sound like a scam, but according to Consumerist it's actually true. Many may think this is a hoax because the majority of class action settlements make up a kind of compromise between reasonable consumer record-keeping and preventing ineligible people from filing a claim. In addition, most lawsuits provide higher payouts for those who can produce proof of their eligibility, but otherwise require them to simply swear on penalty of perjury that they truly did buy the product in question.

However, the judge for a class action suit for owners of the PlayStation 3 game console rejected a settlement after discovering that the proof required from plaintiffs proving that they owned or had installed Linux on their consoles was excessive.

The requirements for filing a claim in this class action suit against the manufacturers of optical disc drives (CD and DVD) are minimal. The suit settles claims that Panasonic, NEC, Sony, HLDS, Hitachi, and LG carried out price-fixing practices on the optical disc drives that they sold to computer manufacturers. Specifically, according to CNET, they gave each other bid information at those times when computer manufacturers were negotiating over bulk orders of drives, a practice that kept prices artificially high.

The costs would have then been passed to consumers, which is the point of the lawsuit. It means that anyone who bought a computer between April 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008 is eligible to file a claim. You don't need to provide information on the computers, their serial numbers, or even any receipts because you most likely do not have any such proof by now.

The settlement has been approved by a judge, so the slow process of class action lawsuits is now a bit closer to the phase where class members—the people who filed a claim—receive actual checks.

Members of this class action suit can get up to $10 per computer, and there is no stated cap on how many computers they can claim. Specific award amounts will depend on how many consumers file claims, which can be done either by mail or directly online here.

The affected computers might have had either an external or an internal drive, which—for that era of the devices—includes DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, and combination drives. If you file a claim, you do have to swear on penalty of perjury that you truly did buy the number of computers that you're claiming.

You are eligible to file a claim if you lived in the following states at the time you bought the computer:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Want to file a claim? The deadline is July 1, 2017.