Week Adjourned: 11.20.09

Hey—is it Revenge of the Geek week?It's Geek Week at Week Adjourned

Top Class Actions

Microsoft Boxing Out Gamers? Microsoft got hit with a possible class action this week, over allegations that it unfairly banned Xbox Live Servicefrom subscribers with modified Xbox consoles.

The issues relate to modifications made to Xbox consoles by tens of thousands of Xbox owners, which are against the terms of use for Xbox/Xbox Live, and Microsoft’s decision to ban those consoles. The lawsuit—which is now seeking lead plaintiffs—alleges that the timing of the ban was designed to avoid revenue losses that would have resulted had Microsoft implemented the ban prior to the release of the blockbuster Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 game, or less than two months after the release of Halo 3: ODST.

The class action includes anyone who has had their Xbox console modified and banned from Xbox Live, and did not receive a refund for the prorated time left on the Xbox Live subscription.

YoCash is OurCash Now? Facebook and Zynga are also facing a class action, alleging that they operated a ‘scam advertising’ strategy related to online games including Farmville and Mafia Wars.

According to information from the law firm that filed the suit, “Users of these games may have been charged without their consent for “special offers” that result in unauthorized bank, credit, or phone charges, sometimes through the use of phone text messages and auto-recurring SMS subscriptions. Many of these companies and advertisers making “special offers” then make it very difficult—or impossible—for users to get their money refunded.”

One poor woman actually got billed more than $165 for stuff after she accepted a ‘free’ ad offer in exchange for YoCash usable in Zynga’s YoVille virtual world. She’s so pissed off she’s signed up as lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Top Settlements

Mismanaged Mobile Media? A global settlement agreement was reached this week between plaintiffs in numerous separate class actions and mQube, over allegations that the company was charging people illegally for mobile content.

The settlement, entitles wireless customers across the country to receive refunds for unauthorized mobile content charges.  FYI—mobile content refers to products such as ringtones, games, graphics, news, and other alerts that generally are received via text messages on mobile phones and are charged directly to customers’ mobile phone bills. FYI#2—mQube was recently sold by Verisign (yes, of the “secure site” logo fame); new owner: Mobile Messenger.

And a victory for folks working overtime but not getting paid for it…

O.T. B.S. over at BJ’s? A $9.3 million settlement of the overtime pay class action lawsuit against BJ’s Wholesale Club was reached this week. The lawsuit alleged that BJ’s misclassified certain Mid-Manager employees as exempt from receiving overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. How’d they do that, you ask? See if this sounds familiar:

The plaintiffs claim that they were misclassified because their primary responsibilities included hourly duties such as loading and unloading materials, stocking shelves and other activities which are not exempt under federal and state overtime laws.

Under the settlement, approximately 1,500 current and former Mid Managers employed by BJ’s since November 2007 will be entitled to make claims to share in the recovery, based on the number of weeks they were employed by the company.

That’s all folks…see you at the bar…


2 thoughts on “Week Adjourned: 11.20.09”

  1. Microsoft DID NOT get hit with a class action law suit today, do your homework.

    A legal group is trying to get it going, but they will find through discovery that they have no case and no way to beat Microsofts EULA.

    So bad article . . . bad journalist, bad journalism.

    1. Hi Jonathan, Thanks for you comment–and we'll take this one on the chin; while we did not state that the class action had been filed, the wording is misleading. Yes, indeed Microsoft is getting "hit" with a class action; yes, there is a lawsuit–but the law firm involved is seeking lead plaintiffs at present. Whether or not there is a case or what will be found via further discovery, remains to be seen. We'll clarify our post to ensure it is not misleading. Btw, you must've been pretty busy last night commenting around the web as many, many sites reported this lawsuit in a similar regard…

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