Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Classless Action

Burlington Coat Factory has wronged me. Apparently. At least, a law firm just sent me a letter telling me they did.

It seems that at some point during the period of time from February 14, 2010 through January 28, 2015 I used a credit card to purchase something at a California Burlington Coat Factory, and when I did, those no-good bastards requested my telephone number, which obviously violated California Civil Code 1747.08.

So, much to my relief, a bench trial was held in the Orange County Superior Court from January 12th through January 28th of this year, of which I was an unknowing member of a class action lawsuit brought against those lousy, four-flushing, phone number-collecting coat monkeys.

Justice was swiftly served on April 14th, and I and the other hapless victims of this heinous coat monger’s phone number collection spree have been made whole again. The options, however, for our restitution from this (anywhere from one to five year) period of living hell are unfortunately fraught with more peril.

We have been given two choices to compensate us for the mental anguish this unbearable situation has caused:
1) Receiving a cash award voucher for ten dollars, redeemable at any Burlington Coat Factory retail store for cold, hard cash.
2) A merchandise voucher for twenty-five dollars, good at any Burlington Coat Factory location in the United States.

What the hell kind of settlement is that? Either way, you are forcing me back into the lion’s den. Who knows what the BCF will try to take from me next. The last time I allegedly went in there they made off with my entire ten-digit telephone number for goodness sake. What’s going to happen next time?

They might get a hold of my four-digit house number. They might even get my five-digit zip code, or worse yet, they might use sorcery and get my nine-digit zip code, with the extra four digits that I don’t even know.

And what if I have something shipped from them? They might gain complete access to my twenty-two-digit tracking number. The horror.

If I feel like I can muster enough nerve to brave the terrifying BCF long enough to collect my just reward, I’ll need to sign and return my “Election of Class Award” form, stating under penalty of perjury that I actually made the transaction, and the phone number I gave those jackals belongs to me.

Hmm... It’s within the realm of possibility that I went to Burlington Coat Factory at some point in the last five years, although I don’t remember it. But seriously, sometimes I don’t remember what I had for breakfast by the time I eat lunch.

The phone number on the other hand... I have never seen this phone number in my entire life. And I don’t go around making up fake phone numbers. My wife did that the first time we met, and I certainly didn’t appreciate it.

And the class action notice was sent to an address that I haven’t lived at in seven years, so why did they have that as my address from five or fewer years ago?

Something stinks...

Unfortunately, this is not the first class action lawsuit I’ve been Shanghaied into. There was the time I owned a Toyota at some point during a ten-year period, and as a result was sent a check for $16.27 to compensate me for the carmaker’s wrongdoing of some kind.

Or the time I got a check in the mail for $0.51 from a soda company lawsuit, because I may or may not have bought soda at one point in my life, and the soda company was blamed for that in some way.

There have been others, and I never cashed any of the checks, and I’m not about to make the nice folks over at Burlington Coat Factory “pay” for something I don’t care about and they probably didn’t do anyway. They sell clothes. I’m just fine with that and don’t feel they need to be punished in any way for doing so.

What I want to know is can I start a class action lawsuit against class action lawyers, for illegally collecting, storing, and using my personal data - or it seems in this case, simply making it up - to force good businesses to pay for the opportunity to send me pennies while the lawyers themselves reap billions and billions of dollars from them, fundamentally driving up the price of every good and service in the United States of America?

Probably not.

It’s nice to have a dream, though.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2015 Marc Schmatjen

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