The Dark Side of Netflix

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8/05/2008

Reporting Netflix Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Violations

If you are exercising your Netflix class action lawsuit settlement benefits and notice any potential violations of the settlement terms or anything unusual, you may wish to contact the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco (www.sfgov.org/site/courts_index.asp) in regard to the Frank Chavez vs. Netflix case (Case Number: CGC-04-434884). Judge Thomas Mellon was involved in the settlement.

The attorneys for Frank Chavez are Adam Gutride and Seth Safier of Gutride Safier LLP (www.gutridesafier.com).

Click here to read about your settlement benefits.

Click here to read the Frank Chavez vs. Netflix settlement agreement.


8/04/2008

Missing-DVD Pitfall in the Netflix Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

If you intend to exercise your settlement benefits from the Chavez vs. Netflix class action lawsuit, be very cautious about the missing-DVD pitfall in the settlement. If you accept DVDs from Netflix, you will have to make certain you return the DVDs within the allotted timeframe and that Netflix acknowledges the returns. Otherwise, you risk being charged for the missing DVDs.

Many former Netflix subscribers have complained their credit cards were charged for missing DVDs after canceling their Netflix accounts. The reports of this practice are so common that Netflix looks suspiciously as if they might be pretending to not receive DVDs from canceling subscribers just to squeeze extra money out of each departing subscriber. This practice has never been proven, but the occurrences raise suspicion.

If this dishonest business practice does exist, the Chavez vs. Netflix settlement beneficiaries are at a considerable risk of being charged for DVDs which Netflix does not acknowledge receiving. A beneficiary ending a three-out plan could easily be on the hook for $60 or more after his/her free subscription month. That is a lot to pay for one free month of DVDs.

If you are concerned that Netflix may fraudulently charge you for DVDs you actually returned, you may reduce your risk by taking some extra precautions. The steps below could help you dispute any illegitimate charges on your credit card from Netflix.
  1. A few days before your free subscription ends, delete every title from your queue. This should prevent Netflix from shipping more DVDs to you.
  2. At least one day before your subscription ends, use the Netflix Web site to report as missing any DVDs you have not yet received.
  3. Return all of your DVDs to Netflix within the allotted timeframe, mailing the DVDs using USPS tracking numbers and/or signature verification. This will provide proof of return.
  4. Save full documentation of your actions.
In the following months, carefully check your credit card statements. If Netflix still charges your credit card for missing DVDs (or makes any other unjustified charges), immediately contact Netflix to dispute the problem. If Netflix does not fully credit the unjustified charges to your credit card, contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. In many circumstances, your credit card company will reverse the charges, and you will not have to pay.

If you feel Netflix is a completely honest and ethical company who would never attempt to cheat you, then none of these precautions are necessary. However, if you think Netflix may be a shady and greedy company, which is always looking for ways to milk its customers, be cautious. If Netflix fooled you once, shame on them. If Netflix fools you twice, shame on you.