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If you live in Minnesota, you will not be eligible for a partial refund. Their Attorney General decided not to take part in the settlement. If you are eligible for a refund, chances are you know it already. E-book vendors have been proactive and contacted customers. However, if you feel you may have slipped through the cracks, you are eligible for a partial refund if you purchased an e-book from one of these publishers between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.
Keep in mind, if you qualify for the settlement, don’t expect to get paid anytime soon. The courts have still not adjudicated this issue. There may be appeals. Payments are expected to sometime in 2013, but if there are appeals it could drag on for some time. Those qualified for the settlement can expect $0.30 – $1.32 for each book they purchased. Don’t spend it all in one place! Actually, if you are an avid reader, it could add up. In my opinion, however, the settlement doesn’t come close to make up for the gouging, compounded with interest. As usual with these settlements, the lawyers have gobbled up most of the money. This is how many things are regulated in America — by lawsuits and settlements. The lawyers win and everyone else gets pocket change. The truly disgusting thing is that the publishers denied any wrongdoing. Do they think we’re that stupid? If they did no wrong, they would not put forth a $69 million settlement. No wonder Americans have grown weary of corporations.
I had a similar issue with my ISP. They promised great service, and it was truly awful. Unfortunately, it was better than anything else I could get. We have truly awful Internet service in America, at least for most people. It’s so bad, Steve Wozniak is moving to Australia! My ISP capped bandwidth for users who they felt were using too much, while advertising an “unlimited” plan. The settlement is peanuts, but I must admit the service has vastly improved. Unfortunately, that’s how these things are regulated. You often have to put up with poor products and services, marketed with dishonesty, until the company is sued. Everyone I know has problems with their ISP — even in the heart of the Silicon Valley. If ISPs were forced to provide some standard of service, like any other utility, it would be a boon for online businesses. But I digress…
Customers can also take matters into their own hands. Everyone who qualifies is given a settlement ID. If they refuse to take the refund, other courses of action can be taken. You can go all Clarence Darrow on them and sue them yourself! For further information, please visit the official e-book settlement website.
I will be following the Apple case until the bitter end. Make sure to follow me on G+, Twitter, or Tumblr for updates…
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