- Important: All passwords were reset on 06/15/11. Old passwords will no longer work. Click here to retrieve your password.
- Subscribe to Our Free Dewsletter
We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Retirement, by Way of Class-Action Lawsuit
I have a new retirement scheme.
As a UGA professor, I’m a part of the state’s optional retirement system, one separate from the teacher retirement plan. As an untenured assistant professor a million years ago, I couldn’t risk not getting tenure and thus losing money put into the account should I have to leave UGA for another university.
In other words, my TIAA-CREF account relies heavily on the stock market to pay for my golden years. If you have a sore neck from watching the ups and downs of the market lately, you understand how disconcerting this can be.
At UGA, “optional” means you have only the option of retiring, not actually doing so.
In a few years I’ll waddle to class behind a walker, an IV stuck in my arm to keep myself properly medicated. Or I can turn to an exciting new supplemental retirement plan that involves me as a member of several class action lawsuits that I wasn’t even aware that I was participating in to begin with. Until recently, that is. To explain, in the past couple of weeks I’ve received three emails giving me the good news – I’m part of a class action decisions that will mean money in my pocket. They are:
- Ticketmaster. Apparently I attended a concert sometime in my past. In this case, I’m part of “a nationwide class of consumers” (known as the “Class”) who bought tickets through Ticketmaster’s web site (known as “the Website”) between Oct. 21, 1999 and Oct. 19, 2011 (known as the “Class Period”) and followed by a crapload of other legalese that tells me Ticketmaster is accused of deceptive and misleading tactics in hiding costs. What do I get? A buck-fifty for some concert I don’t remember, probably in Atlanta.
- iTunes. Yep, like everyone else I’ve bought an iTunes card or two (or a million as safe holiday gifts for nephews and nieces I barely know). Some of the cards were labeled as “songs for 99¢” when songs often sold for $1.29. Bad Apple. Rotten Apple. In this deal, I get a $3.25 iTunes Store credit to buy, I suppose, songs for more than 99¢. This is a “top settlement” according to one site that tracks this stuff.
- Classmates.com. My favorite. You may have seen this online site, and my high school reunion used it, which led to me in a moment of weakness to foolishly create an account there. Among other things, the lawsuit claims that “Classmates sent e-mail to subscribers of www.classmates.com that violated the law and the privacy rights of subscribers.” In less legal terms, they annoyed the hell out of you with stuff they made up and they wouldn’t go away, no matter how often and how nicely you asked. This is a big score. I may rake in as much as $10.
If there’s a lesson here, it’s that you have to spend money to make money. Spend enough, spread it around, and somewhere somehow, some sleazy company will get caught doing dirty and you’ll reap tens of dollars in future settlements. That’s enough to help fund a retirement plan based largely on me stealing from a bowl whatever food the cat doesn’t eat.
It’s a plan.
- Photo licensed by LikeTheDew.com from iStock.com © BanksPhotos
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
What's a dynamic dune? It's a reference that was changed to just "dunes" in the law, perhaps because it left too many people confused. Or perhaps the idea that dunes change and move was upsetting to people who want their environment to stay the same. In any event, it's hard to deny that the purveyors of entertainment on Sea Island, Georgia, are bound and determined to "fix" their venue, even though it means breaking the law to do so. Pictures don't lie. All summer long the toys have languished in the dunes, forgotten and unused. It's almost sad. So many toys and Read on →
About five years ago a lovely phenomenon took hold in Europe. Couples wrote, etched, painted, and scratched their names onto padlocks and latched them to fences and railings on bridges. They hurled the keys into the river, canal, what have you. “Nothing can break our love.” In particular, the Pont des Arts footbridge over the Seine in Paris gained renown for this ritual. Only an intrepid scuba diver or bolt-cutting interloper could destroy their love, and that would take some doing. Just imagine all the keys resting on the bottom. People love to join a movement. In the City of Lights, so Read on →
The mass killers came as stowaways aboard ships about the time the Wright brothers first took to flight along a North Carolina beach. Although these assassins were merciless, they probably did not even know themselves the great destruction they were to bring. Thus began the near complete killing of all the American Chestnuts in this country. The pathogens that had probably slipped into the country on infected nursery stock consumed relatively little time in destroying the forests of American Chestnuts ranging from Maine to the southern Appalachians. It took fewer than forty years. This past weekend I had the privilege of Read on →
The birthing of several new suburban towns around Atlanta has had an impact on Gwinnett, something you might call an "unintended consequence." One of these has been the hiring by these new towns of members of the Gwinnett County police force, taking officers trained by the Gwinnett Police Academy to fill the ranks of the newly-formed police departments. Other areas big enough to have their own police academies, Atlanta, DeKalb, and Cobb counties have also been targeted as place to hire fully-trained officers. One factor in this hiring: the new cities are paying more, often significantly more, in annual pay to fill Read on →