I received a class action law suit notice a couple of weeks ago for my Palm Treo 650. Long story short: the settlement is worthless to the cosnumer and benefits only Palm and the Lawyers. Here’s a link to the official settlement site, here is my summary:
- You must provide proof that you sent your Treo 600 or 650 to Palm for repair and fill-out the claim forms.
- You wait for the settlement to be finalized.
- You then purchase a new Palm phone.
- You return your old Treo to Palm along with proof of purchase.
- You receive a $75 rebate.
Here are the reason I think the settlement is terrible:
- The rebate amount is market value for the old phone. Looking a prices of used Treos 650s on Ebay, $75 is somewhere near market value ($50 for a Treo 600). So basically, the settlement gives you market value for a used phone only if you purchase a new Palm phone. Where is the benefit to the consumer? Anyone can sell their used phone for market value, and you don’t even have to purchase a new Palm Treo.
- Most repairs were a very long time ago; receipts aren’t kept that long. I had a terrible experience getting my Treo repaired: post 1, post 2. They fixed my screen but flashed an old version of firmware that locked-up the phone and then blamed me for water damage. That was 32 months ago; I don’t still have a receipt. Palm should be providing proof of repair, not the consumer.
- Most people get new phones every two years and won’t have 4-year-old Treos to send back to Palm. Treo 600s came out much, much longer than 2 years ago. How many people are going to still have their old Treo 600s to send back to Palm? I replaced my first Treo 650 about 29 months ago and would have already gotten rid of my second one since my contract is up.
- Who wants to buy a new Palm phone anyway? I know I don’t. Compensate me for the problems with the old phone; don’t force a new one on me. Especially after the bad experiences people are apparently having. Most people want either a Blackberry or an iPhone to replace their Treo. Not a new Treo that looks and acts the same as their old Treo — it’s not as if they have some new, compelling products.
Here’s what we as consumers can do: Complain. We need a representative in court to complain about the fairness of this settlement. Here are the details from the official claim site:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Final Fairness Hearing, previously scheduled for May
2, 2008, has been continued to May 23, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. at the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, 280 South First Street, Courtroom Number
6, San Jose, California 95113.
At this hearing the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and
adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. Judge Whyte will listen to people
who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may also consider how much to pay Co-Lead
Class Counsel. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement.