A paltry 750,000 of my fellow Californians have filed a claim with Microsoft to get some of the $1.1 bn that the software company promised to pay in a legal settlement.
In total 14 million people qualified for the settlement. Anyone who still wants to make a quick buck should hurry: time runs out on January 8.
The deal was designed to undo the grave injustice that was done to the people of California by evil monopolistic schemes of the software company from way up north.
Settelment Recovery Center, the company responsible for managing the settlement claims, promises as much as $150 per user for companies or consumers who have upgraded their Windows and Office software twice between 1995 and 2001. But they aren't as nice chaps as they claim to be.
The company has a good reason to urge Californians not to miss out on this hand out: it will be paid a 20 to 30 percent fee of any settlement paid out.
Hoping to tag on with the holiday spirit, the company on 16 December asked a San Francisco Superior Court Judge to allow people to donate the money to charity. It sounds like a kind thing to do, but in the end is just aimed at persuading more consumers to join in on the claim, which makes SRC more money.
The feeling of foul play is strengthened by the fact that SRC conveniently fails to mention what will happen with the funds that remain unclaimed: two thirds of it shall be donated to local schools as vouchers that they can use to buy hardware or software. But that of course will leave SRC out of the profit-taking loop.
I have kindly declined SRC's offer. It's not that SV Sleuth can't use a few dimes in extra pocket money during the holiday season, but I feel that SRC's offer has a stench hanging around it. Besides, I only moved to the golden state in fall 2001.
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