Week Adjourned: 10.16.09

Whoops! You want that gold necklace back?Top Class Actions…Some biggies this week! 

If it sounds too good to be true…Cash4Gold got hit with a class action lawsuit this week. The allegations include fraud and making misleading statements…

For example, Cash4Gold and its parent company Green Bullion Financial Services, claim to have an ironclad 12-day return policy, however the suit alleges that they often melt the gold they get before the period has elapsed. And Cash4Gold is also quite fond of blaming the US postal service for losing jewelry, the suit claims, when in fact the company has received the jewelry and may already have melted it down. The lawsuit contains a laundry list of allegations around false and misleading claims, makes interesting reading… Maybe their slogan should read “Cash4Gold for Us….”

What do you get when you partner with a company called “Danger”? Some T-Mobile Sidekick folks have unfortunately found out. T-Mobile and Microsoft were also slapped with a class action this week, alleging that they lost “most all the contacts, appointments, photos and other data stored by as many as one million users of the popular T-Mobile Sidekick line of mobile phones.” Ouch.

Apparently, the T-Mobile Sidekick data service went down in early October, after which T-Mobile admitted that Microsoft’s Danger Inc subsidiary, which is responsible for the Sidekick data service, lost the data and that it was highly unlikely it would recover it. 

According to the lawsuit the whole marketing platform for Sidekick was based on the premise that it provided a backup for people’s personal data—you know—contacts, appointments, photos. The lawsuit claims that most Sidekick users have “suffered a complete and catastrophic” loss of data. Yes, I would think so.

AT&T mistakes plastic cards for checks? A disgruntled AT&T Wireless customer filed a lawsuit seeking class action status this week alleging the company’s rebate practices are deceptive. Really?

The allegations refer to rebate checks that the company said it would issue to customers during certain promotions. Instead of issuing rebate checks, however, AT&T issued Visa debit cards. Ummm. Nowhere near as useful as cash—that’s for sure. And that’s what the suit claims—cash and preloaded visa cards are not the same animal…

Top Settlements

Gettin’ the Lead Out? Mattel and its subsidiary Fisher Price agreed to a tentative settlement that could reach $50 million, and end litigation over its 2007 toy recalls. The toys, manufactured in China, numbered in the millions, and were contaminated with high levels of lead.

The proposed settlement would cover 22 lawsuits filed against the toy manufacturer and several retailers. According to a report on ABC News, “Mattel will provide toy buyers who are part of the class-action lawsuit either 50 percent of the total amount of vouchers Mattel has sent out following the recalls or $10, whichever is greater.”

The toys affected by the recall include certain Mattel toys, such as Polly Pocket, Batman, Barbie accessories, and Sarge cars, and certain Sesame Street toys such as Dora the Explorer and Diego toys made by Fisher-Price.

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