If you purchased an optical drive last decade, you may be entitled to a class-action settlement

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,526   +132
Staff member

Optical disc drives are a dying breed. Thanks to the Internet and its ability to transfer large amounts of data relatively quickly, optical drives are destined to suffer the same fate as the floppy drive before it. More than a decade earlier, however, they were far from obsolete.

As it turns out, a handful of optical drive makers – Sony, Panasonic, NEC and Hitachi-LG – allegedly colluded to artificially inflate the cost of their drives. This meant companies like Dell and HP ended up paying more for the drives, likely passing the cost on to consumers.

Word of the price fixing eventually got out, leading to a class-action lawsuit. After roughly seven years, a settlement was reached this past December and odds are, you’re entitled to a portion of it.

As CNET points out, if you purchased a computer with an internal optical disc drive or even a standalone drive between April 1, 2003, and December 31, 2008, meet a few other requirements and wish to participate in the settlement, you’ll want to file your claim by July 1, 2017.

The settlement allocated $124.5 million for class members with each member set to receive up to $10 per drive they purchased. This appears to be going by the honor system so, you know, be honest.

Image courtesy Expert Review

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Greg S

Posts: 1,607   +442
Also only in less than half of the US. I'm not even eligible if I cared enough to file the paperwork.
 

Reehahs

Posts: 1,278   +948
If the price-fixing ran for 5 years than they should at least give 5-10 years for claiming back, its only fair.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,003   +6,323
I don't think I'll bother. Filling in the paperwork is more of a hassle than what the payout is worth.
Yeah seriously, that is 10 dollars worth of headache.
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The drives that I bought were only priced at around 20. I'm having a hard time picturing half (at least a third) the cost artificially inflated, without wondering about all the other products (aka for one: HDD). But yet they bring out lawsuits when this product is near death, and no longer worth leaching off of. And yes even 10 years ago people knew optical media was a dying breed.
 

Ben Myers

Posts: 152   +64
Yes! Another tech class-action lawsuit to benefit the lawyers! How much work is needed to claim a lousy $10, a check that may arrive in 6 months? The only beneficiaries of this lawsuit are the lawyers and the megacorporations who can present documented evidence of the purchase of thousands of computers. For the rest of us, it just ain't worth it.
 

skribat

Posts: 10   +2
Yes! Another tech class-action lawsuit to benefit the lawyers! How much work is needed to claim a lousy $10, a check that may arrive in 6 months? The only beneficiaries of this lawsuit are the lawyers and the megacorporations who can present documented evidence of the purchase of thousands of computers. For the rest of us, it just ain't worth it.

so .. who benefits from this? .. couldn't be the nefarious legal profession I suppose.
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,226   +800
This is a pretty poor attitude to what has happened. The fact is collusion was occurring. What system is there in place to deal with this? A class action. It is what it is. One half of the equation was at least dealt with - the companies doing bad. The customers - were they really out of pocket more than $10? It's not the worst settlement ever in that context.
 
D

DelJo63

Too bad as the technology was great - - one enclosure and you could use many platters for various purposes.
 

gusticles41

Posts: 505   +604
How much work is needed to claim a lousy $10, a check that may arrive in 6 months?

Literally takes less time than it did for you to post this comment :p

I've done a few of these. It's all honor system, usually. Punch in your name, email, and how many drives you bought. They email you a few months later for your address, then send a check eventually.
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,854   +2,225
On the LCD one, I got around 100 bucks.
I figure I had about 8 cd/dvd's during the class period.
Couple seconds, click click...if I get 80 bucks, it was worth a couple
seconds. If I don't, it was only a waste of a few seconds.
 

cartera

Posts: 379   +120
I'm assuming companies can't claim? Could you imagine some of the big firms with thousands of PC's claiming $10 per PC they have purchased over that period.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,442   +6,175
I honestly can't remember the las time I paid more than $15.00 for a DVD drive, I keep 3 or 4 around for spares all the time.

FWIW, you people may imagine they're dead, but I have no use for that streaming nonsense, music or video. If it's something I really enjoy, I'll buy a CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray..

Call me a Luddite, but I don't worship at the black obelisk, I'm not an ape, you know.

2001space037.jpg

So, it was a desktop, (full tower), who knew?
 
R

Raoul Duke

An integral part of my 2016 home assembled computer was a LG Blu-ray reader/writer. I use it quite regularly. Rip CD's to hard drive, watch Blu-ray, DVD, burn music CD's to give away, long way from being useless or like floppies.
 

Bluescreendeath

Posts: 244   +348
Yes! Another tech class-action lawsuit to benefit the lawyers! How much work is needed to claim a lousy $10, a check that may arrive in 6 months? The only beneficiaries of this lawsuit are the lawyers and the megacorporations who can present documented evidence of the purchase of thousands of computers. For the rest of us, it just ain't worth it.
How much work did you do to help this lawsuit? Zero. You get a $10 refund for every drive for doing zero work. The lawyers did all the work for 7 years so why wouldn't they get paid?
 

Bluescreendeath

Posts: 244   +348
Another gimme for the lawyers not the consumer.
The consumer gets a refund for doing zero work. I paid between $10-$15 for the optical drives I bought on newegg, so this would be almost a full refund. The lawyers did all the work here for 7 years. Not sure why you're complaining about consumers (who did no work) not being paid as much as the lawyers who did all the work. Class action lawsuits are contingency fee based so they wouldve been paid nothing for 7 years of work if they lost.
 

hk2000

Posts: 165   +86
As is always the case with class action lawsuits, its just a money grab by law firms. They prey on the sheep who get fooled into thinking they're actually exacting revenge on big corporations. TBH, it is more acceptable to be screwed by corporations who at least are producing something tangible than to be screwed by law firms whose whole existence is no more useful than a parasite's.
 

Fimbulvetr

Posts: 34   +39
Just a note - it looks like you're only eligible to receive the settlement if you lived in one of the 25 or so states listed on the settlement between 2003 - 2008. Wonder why that is so?
 

mailpup

Posts: 7,690   +769
TS Special Forces
Just a note - it looks like you're only eligible to receive the settlement if you lived in one of the 25 or so states listed on the settlement between 2003 - 2008. Wonder why that is so?
If you read further down in the FAQs, you will see:
Why is my state not included?

If your state is not listed, it may be because it does not provide standing for indirect purchasers of price-fixed goods, or has a state law that differs materially from the federal antitrust laws, whereby the Court declined to include residents of that state in the class.