Not being a Netflix subscriber, I was merely an onlooker to the excitement surrounding the class action settlement (now amended). Whining about lawyer's fees aside, the Netflix settlement award of a free month's subscription to people who no longer are Netflix subscribers, and a free month's upgrade that increases the number of DVDs current subscribers can have out, at least is somewhat congruent with the complaint that Netflix didn't really let people see an unlimited number of movies. Moreover, someone who is a subscriber to Netflix presumably is a repeat-user; the number of people who buy a month's subscription and then quit must be relatively small compared to the number of multi-month subscribers.
The ProFlowers settlement notice e-mailed to me (you think Netflix is e-commerce? These people aren't even sure where I live!) has neither of those virtues. I used ProFlowers once because they were offering a discount for first time users, and I don't understand how a $10 discount on a site with no products sold for less than $24.99 is a useful recompense for ProFlowers's alleged wrongdoing. Interestingly, the class action suit commenced the same day ProFlowers competitor FTD filed its response to the ProFlowers answer and counterclaim in a suit FTD filed August 23, 2005, and the class action suit essentially copies FTD's claims. FTD and ProFlowers settled their lawsuit in August, with neither admitting wrongdoing nor paying the other, though ProFlowers did agree to alter its advertising, which concession presumably is standard in false advertising claims. I wonder how much Theodore G. Phelps and his attorneys are getting?
The e-mail follows below the fold:
You are receiving this notice because you were a customer of ProFlowers between October 4, 2001, and October 26, 2006. Under a proposed class action settlement, you are entitled to compensation. Upon final court approval of the proposed settlement, you will qualify for $10 off any single purchase at ProFlowers between January 1, 2007, and June 30, 2007, ("Redemption Period"). Simply visit www.ProFlowers.com during the Redemption Period, choose any bouquet, gift basket or other product, and then enter the following "Gift Code" at time of check out: XXX.
The compensation is only valid for internet orders placed on www.ProFlowers.com and is limited to one $10 Gift Code per class member. The Gift Code cannot be used for phone orders, and cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions, and is not valid for redemption or delivery of products during the 7 days prior to major floral holidays (Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving).
Thank you for choosing ProFlowers as your trusted partner for your floral gifting needs.
Bill Strauss, CEO
A class action lawsuit entitled Theodore Phelps v. Provide Commerce Inc., dba ProFlowers was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court (case number BC340863) on October 4, 2005. The lawsuit alleges that ProFlowers made false and/or misleading statements concerning the shipment of flowers to its customers. ProFlowers denies these claims, and asserts that flowers ordered on www.ProFlowers.com are purchased directly from growers in the U.S. or internationally and expeditiously delivered to the recipient requested by each customer. The parties have reached a settlement that they believe is in the best interests of the company and its customers.
A final hearing will be held before Judge Peter D. Lichtman of the Los Angeles Superior Court, on December 20, 2006, at 10:30 a.m., to determine whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate, and should be finally approved. The hearing will take place at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Department 322, located at Los Angeles Superior Court, 600 South Common Wealth Ave., Los Angeles, California 90005. You are not required to attend the hearing in order to participate in the settlement.
IF YOU WISH TO BE PART OF THIS CASE and/or receive the benefits of the settlement, you do not need to do anything. Along with this notice, you have been provided with a “Gift Code”. Upon final court approval of the settlement, each Class Member, who does not timely opt-out of the settlement, shall automatically be entitled to use the “Gift Code” and shall receive $10 off one purchase at www.ProFlowers.com. In addition, the settlement provides that Proflowers shall make certain changes to its advertising practices in the future. The full text of the Notice of Proposed Class Settlement (the “Notice”), which explains the settlement terms and restrictions, appears at www.ProFlowers.com/settlement.
IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE PART OF THIS CASE, you may exclude yourself. To do so, you must mail a request to “OPT OUT,” postmarked no later than December 5, 2006. The request must state: "I wish to be excluded from the ProFlowers Class Action Settlement." Mail your request to be excluded to Plaintiff's counsel, Phillip R. Poliner, Westrup Klick, LLP, 444 West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 1614, Long Beach , California 90802. If you properly and timely exclude yourself from the settlement you will NOT be entitled to use the $10 off Gift Code. In addition, you have the right to object to the settlement. The procedures for objecting are set forth in the Notice which appears at www.ProFlowers.com/settlement.
Provide Commerce, Inc. 5005 Wateridge Vista Drive. San Diego, CA 92121