Chicago, IL -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/21/2005 -- Hundreds of subscribers to the popular on-line DVD rental company, NetFlix, have banded together to object to a class action settlement, which they claim enriches the attorneys for the class and leaves the six million class members with virtually nothing of value.
In September of 2004, Frank Chavez brought a suit alleging that, although NetFlix promised "unlimited" movie rentals per month via "1 day delivery," it was often making its customers twice as long for their DVDs, thus depriving them of the benefit of their bargain.
One year later the lawsuit settled, promising to give Chavez’s attorneys as much as $2.55 million dollars and the members of the class promotional offers that, according to court papers soon to be filed, already “are generally available to the public.”
The settlement so enraged Chris Ambler, that he immediately set up a website – www.netflixsettlementsucks.com – in hopes of rallying other members of the class to his cause. “I'm doing this simply because, as a happy Neflix customer, I don't see a reason for a huge settlement over such a trivial matter.” Ambler explained. “If you consider what comprises the settlement, it just seems silly to me that there's a huge payday for the lawyers and a marketing campaign for Netflix. At the end of the day, the only winners here are Netflix and the lawyers, and the customers will end up bearing the brunt of any service impacts or increased fees.”
Within days, over 10,000 people visited Amlber’s site, sending in words of encouragement or volunteering their services. By week’s end, he had also enlisted Jay Edelson, a class action attorney at the Chicago law firm of Blim & Edelson, LLC, to draft an objection on behalf of himself and his growing congregation.
“All professions must police themselves, and class action attorneys are no exception,” Edelson explained. “Class actions wield enormous power; one lawsuit can reform an entire industry. But when class actions are abused, the price can be incredibly high.”
A draft form of the 29-page objection, which is posted on Ambler’s site, argues that the NetFlix settlement is so one-sided that if ultimately accepted by the court, its impact will far overshadow the harm complained of in Chavez’s original lawsuit. “Customers thinking they are signing up to receive a free NetFlix upgrade or a free month of service may be stunned to learn that these offers come with significant strings attached. NetFlix is allowed to automatically renew these service plans at its then-current pricing and is even allowed to collect claimed debt from former customers who are lulled into accepting NetFlix’s free offer” Edelson explained.
Class members wishing to join Ambler’s objection are asked to do so by Thursday December 22, 2005 by visiting www.netflixsettlementsucks.com or by contacting Jay Edelson at email@example.com.
The final fairness hearing is scheduled for January 18, 2006 in San Francisco.
Blim & Edelson, LLC is a Chicago-based law firm focusing on consumer class actions. Since its inception in 2001, Blim & Edelson has secured relief for its clients amounting to tens of millions of dollars.