When consumers purchase an item, they usually tend to forget about it soon afterward, even if there are some problems or malfunctions with what they have bought. The truth is that we do not always get the benefit of the bargain when we buy something. Manufacturers and sellers can often end up leaving us feeling short changed for one reason or another. The good news is that you do not have to simply feel ripped off and live with it. Instead, the law gives consumers powerful tools to get some of the money back that has been taken from them when they buy something that does not live up to their expectations. A class-action lawsuit allows class members to receive a class action rebate when they have bought something that is not what they paid for an expected. Read on to learn more about class-action rebates.
Every state has consumer protection laws on the books that protect you as a consumer. A manufacturer cannot make you a promise when you are buying a product and then what they have sold you breaks that promise. They are also not allowed to mislead you in the sales process.
Products Must Live Up to Their Express and Implied Warranties
When you purchase something, you have the right to expect that the product will work for its intended purchase. There are implied and express warranties that the product must fulfill. When something does not live up to the warranties or if the seller does something else wrong, they may be legally liable.
If a product does not work for you or if you have been shortchanged, chances are that this is harm that has been felt by many different people. In other words, there is a class of purchasers that have suffered physical or economic injury from a product.
When this happens, those who have suffered harm from a product have the right to sue. However, it is difficult for thousands or millions of lawsuits to all proceed at the same time. Especially, if a small amount of damages is at stake, it is not economically viable to sue. A class-action lawsuit allows a group of people who have suffered the same harm to band together into a larger lawsuit under a lead counsel. This leads to efficiency as one lawsuit argues all of the plaintiffs’ cases together.
Class-Action Plaintiffs Can Get Money
In a class-action lawsuit, the remedy that the plaintiffs often receive is money. Many settlements result in the defendant having to set aside a certain amount as a settlement fund. Then, eligible plaintiffs can join the class and file for their share of the settlement agreement. This is what is known as a class-action rebate. The consumer is getting part or all of the purchase price of their product back.
Usually, notice will be sent to the affected class. It will set forth the facts and details of the lawsuit and the settlement. Consumers will be told that they may receive up to a certain amount of money. This is their rebate, and the size of it depends on how many people end up filing a claim for reimbursement. A claims administrator will calculate how much money each class member will receive based on the number of claimants and the size of the settlement pool.
An example of a recent settlement that resulted in a class-action rebate was the case involving Ford Focuses and Fiesta. The 2013-2018 models of these vehicles used a transmission system that proved to be defective. Owners who needed more than a certain amount of transmission services were told that they could receive up to $2,325 from Ford. However, owners are required to submit their claim form by October 6, 2020. This is an example of customers getting a class-action rebate due to a defective product.
Some Customers Do Not Get Their Rebate
Not every consumer takes advantage of this opportunity to get money back for something that they bought. In fact, many consumers do not open the envelopes that arrive in the mail informing them of their ability to receive a settlement. Either the topic matter is complicated or they may simply be too lazy to open all of their mail. Perhaps they may even misread what the envelope is about and simply throw it out without reading it.
In any event, not filling out a claim when you are eligible for a class-action rebate is the same thing as leaving money on the table. These are funds that you are entitled to but are not claiming. When it comes to a class-action rebate, someone else has already done all of the work in filing the lawsuit. The attorneys have either tried the case or settled it, but the defendants already owe you the money. All you have to do is fill out the claim form and provide whatever proof is necessary to show that you are a part of the class. Then, you simply wait at home to receive your check in the mail. Even if it is not a large amount of money, it is an unexpected bounty that can cover some of your expenses.
In fact, from time to time, you should check listings of class action settlements to see if you may be a part of the class that is entitled to payment. You may find some pleasant unexpected surprises, even if you never experienced a problem with the product. For example, if you purchased Infant’s Tylenol at the premium price charged, you could qualify for a class-action rebate since it turns out that the Infant’s Tylenol, which multiples more expensive than Children’s Tylenol, is the same exact thing. Even if your rebate is less than $10, it is money that you did not have before and do not have to do anything to get other than to fill out a claim form.
Of course, if you have bought a product that has failed to live up to its promises and there is no existing settlement, you can always file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the purchasers of the item. If you become the named plaintiff in the case, you will receive a larger share of the settlement.