Not quite gone yet.
Which firm will be the first to file a class action against Microsoft over the New Year’s Eve Zune crash? Apparently every 30 gigabyte Zune in America is stuck on a loading screen, refusing to play music due to some bizarre Y2K-like programming error.
This would be a posterchild case of the sort that many advocates say is the merit of the class action. Millions (well, perhaps thousands – the Zune is also a good illustration of Microsoft’s inability to get things right the first time, or the second) of people have been injured, or at least inconvenienced, in some small fashion, all suffering the same injury, none of them able to obtain legal assistance due to small damages in each individual case, against a heavily lawyered, deep pocket defendant.
A settlement, if such an action is filed, would also illustrate the problems inherent in the form, with a few lawyers and an individual named class representative getting a bonanza of millions spread among a few people, while class “members” receive coupons good for one free download, assuming they’re willing to take the time to fill out a form and mail it to a Post Office box in Oregon.
All of this assumes that the problem, reported this morning, hasn’t already been fixed. Personally, if I owned a Zune, and Microsoft irrevocably “bricked” it, I would emulate my hero Mitchell Berns and get a default judgment in small claims court over my lunch hour, when Microsoft inevitably failed to appear.
Still, whether the inconvenience is permanent, or just one day’s duration, the Zune case is a perfect class action. I predict that in some plaintiffs’ firm, somewhere, an associate attorney’s New Year’s has already been ruined. Maybe I should upset my wife and do it myself tomorrow. Does anyone here own a 30 gigabyte Zune, and are you willing to be a class representative?
Thanks to Kip Esquire for the notion.