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I got this in the email today

You have been identified as a potential class member in a class action litigation. Please read the Notice of Class Action Settlement below. To file a claim in this settlement, please click here http://www.greenbergclassactionsettlement.com. To assist in the processing of your online claim form please have your email address and Reference Number : XXXXXXXX available. Also be sure to enter the email address and Reference Number exactly as they appear in this email.
NIKKI GREENBERG, et al v.
E*TRADE FINANCIAL CORPORATION


Los Angeles Superior Court
Case No. BC 360152
NOTICE OF PENDENCY AND SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
I haven't heard anything either.

oscar10181988 (Jan. 11, 2010 @ 6:38p) |

Because it may have been illegal? Unfortunately these types of class actions are the only way to get companies to compl... (more)

drieendertig (Jan. 11, 2010 @ 8:17p) |

Well at least the attorney will make something.

Class action lawsuits most of the time suck. It is just a way for an att... (more)

aeiouy (Jan. 11, 2010 @ 10:30p) |

Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.
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I got the e-mail as well. Unfortunately, I don't believe E*Tard ever called me, and I've never dealt with the Beverly Hills branch. So I would not be eligible per their criteria and I consequently ignored the rest of the message.

I got it too. I called them and asked them how the hell would we truly remember if we were called. They said they could look it up. I wonder why they dont look it up in the first place.

I asked because after putting in the Reference # it showed me my name and address then asks for your social and etrade account # it seemed fishy to me.

I too got this e-mail.

Let me help by giving some background to try to establish some credibility with each of you. I work in the Information Security field and have for the past 15 years. When I see these e-mails I am VERY sceptical and do research (not google research) prior to clicking any links.

It turns out this one is LEGIT. The criteria for this class are "If you reside in California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, or Washington and (1) received a telephone call from E*TRADE FINANCIAL Corporation or its related entities (“E*TRADE”) during the period from September 3, 2003, to May 22, 2009, and/ or (2) you made a call to E*TRADE’s Beverly Hills, California branch office on August 15 or 16, 2006, and your telephone call was recorded without notice or consent (hereinafter, the “Settlement Class”), you are a Class Member and a proposed class action settlement (“Settlement”) could affect your legal rights." This is broad and covers just about anyone who had an account during that time period, and lives in the states specified.

My research led me to check on the company who runs the website. According to Internet registration the domain name "greenbergclassactionsettlement.com" is registered to (http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/greenbergclassactio... a company by the name of "Epiq Class Action Claims Solutions Inc". Epiq (http://www.epiqsystems.com/solutions.php?EngagementID=9) is a comapny in the Legal industry that designs websites for class action cases. Look at them as an outsourcing company for complex databases of information relating to legal class action cases.

I hope this helps clear up any confusion.

I don't understand what the big deal is about being recorded when calling a company? Who cares? Does anyone actually hang up after they hear the stupid "in order to acheive a high level of customer service, this call me be monitored or recorded for trainig purposes" Just another way for lawyers to make millions of dollars so a bunch of consumers can each get $7.46 in 4 years.

The site has an invalid SSL certificate.

tyrone3971 said: The site has an invalid SSL certificate.

No, your browser is reporting that erroneously because of the extra period at the end of the domain in the link above.

scotto777 said: I don't understand what the big deal is about being recorded when calling a company? Who cares? Does anyone actually hang up after they hear the stupid "in order to acheive a high level of customer service, this call me be monitored or recorded for trainig purposes" Just another way for lawyers to make millions of dollars so a bunch of consumers can each get $7.46 in 4 years.

That more than likely is WHY there is a lawsuit, because they ILLEGALLY recorded, without first TELLING you that they were recording.

And yes, Companies often hang up on ME, after they say that they are recording, and I say "So am I!".

scotto777 said: I don't understand what the big deal is about being recorded when calling a company? Who cares? Does anyone actually hang up after they hear the stupid "in order to acheive a high level of customer service, this call me be monitored or recorded for trainig purposes" Just another way for lawyers to make millions of dollars so a bunch of consumers can each get $7.46 in 4 years.

It's BS that lawyers will make millions on this. That being said, at least in Maryland it is very much illegal to record a phone conversation if both parties aren't informed. I don't think some slimeball lawyer (sorry for being redundant) deserves to get rich off of this, however this isn't some minor technicality either.

so has anyone done this?

scotto777 said: I don't understand what the big deal is about being recorded when calling a company? Who cares? Does anyone actually hang up after they hear the stupid "in order to acheive a high level of customer service, this call me be monitored or recorded for trainig purposes" Just another way for lawyers to make millions of dollars so a bunch of consumers can each get $7.46 in 4 years.

I agree.

I still joined the class for the heck of it. Etrade raped me with fees after september 11th, so I have no loyalty. (portfolio dropped and etrade responded by increasing their fee tiers)

Haha. Glad someone posted this. My dad and I received it the other day. At first, I thought it was a phishing attempt since it asked for personal information AND a SS#. Then I did some reading online and found out about the plaintiff and that it is a legitimate case but that still begged the question of the site. So I called the number provided only to have someone pick up and go "Hello" which made me very suspicious but after reading some more and getting a call from them today, I'm almost positive it's not a scam but I'll be damned if they didn't try to make it look like one.

BTW, reading the fine print, settlements are capped at $5,000 for California residents and $1,000 for residents of the other states mentioned. Bad news is that by default, California residents get a full settlement up to $5,000 - everyone else gets 1/5 of that. So if the settlement comes out to $2000 per person after fees, CA gets the full amount, everyone else gets $400. Still, not bad for "free" money.

I'm just not sure I ever received a phone call from e*trade but hoping I did.

I joined the class, how long before we know exactly how much the settlement is and when is the estimated month we should get it? Thanks!!

scotto777 said: I don't understand what the big deal is about being recorded when calling a company? Who cares? Does anyone actually hang up after they hear the stupid "in order to acheive a high level of customer service, this call me be monitored or recorded for trainig purposes" Just another way for lawyers to make millions of dollars so a bunch of consumers can each get $7.46 in 4 years.

I agree with scotto777 the last class action settlement i got was $0.79 for AMEX credit card Foreign transaction fee and that was after 2 years

The email is legit. I called one of the law firms to confirm. They've had a number of calls asking if the email was a phishing scheme (understandably).

KIESEL, BOUCHER & LARSON LLP
8648 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211-2910

Phone: (310) 854-4444
Fax: (310) 854-0812
Email: info@kbla.com

My email was filtered to junk immediately and I only found it by accident. I've already seen plenty of posts where people are refusing to enter their social security number, leaving them out of the settlement I assume. And there is apparently no way to file the claim on paper.

Someone should file a class action against this class action. If the idea is to distribute the settlement to anyone harmed, these bozos are guilty of serious malpractice.

I'm tempted to enter my SSN just because I'm sure I'll be splitting the settlement with, like, ten other people. To anyone who won't click a link on a message in their spam folder and then enter their social security number on the page that pops up: SEE YOU LATER SUCKERS! I'M A MILLIONAIRE!

The more I think about this, the more I think something should be done. I think I'll call my attorney. Anyone want to join my class?

I also received the email, but as soon as I opened the claim form and saw that they wanted me to type in my Social Security number, I was ready to head for the hills. Instead, I did some research and found this discussion (thanks to everyone for the information provided up until now). Then I called the Neville Johnson law firm mentioned in the July 25th post above and asked if there is any way to file a claim without having to give my SS#. They referred me to the settlement administrator's office at the following phone number:

Greenberg Settlement Administrator
(888) 236-1260
The phones are answered 24/7.

I suggest that you do your own due diligence to determine that the settlement is legitimate (you can even check it out through the Los Angeles court system). Then if you want to, you can call the settlement administrator and register your objection to having to enter your Social Security number on the claim form. I spoke to a very helpful woman at the settlement administrator's office and asked two questions: 1) Is there any way to file a claim without having to enter your SS# on the claim form?, and 2) Who will have access to the information on the claim form?

She said that as of now there is no way to file a claim without entering the SS# on the claim form, but she will find out whatever additional information she can about my questions and get back to me within 72 hours (which will be on Tuesday because of the weekend). She will also register my objection to including my SS#.

Meanwhile, in answer to a question asked in another post, I would guess that the reason the settlement administrator's office doesn't already have our SS numbers is that their database probably doesn't include them. While they need to be able to contact us to describe the settlement and tell us how to file a claim, usual contact information doesn't include Social Security numbers, and the only reason the settlement administrator's office needs to know them is to administer the settlement. And if we don't file a claim, we don't collect.

All of this doesn't mean that class members who do file a claim are automatically going to get thousands of dollars - like others, I'll be surprised if we get more than 50 cents and a gift certificate to McDonald's.

drp328 said: The email is legit. I called one of the law firms to confirm. They've had a number of calls asking if the email was a phishing scheme (understandably).

KIESEL, BOUCHER & LARSON LLP
8648 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211-2910

Phone: (310) 854-4444
Fax: (310) 854-0812
Email: info@kbla.com
Did they record you call?

I looked through the settlement doc on the site and here's a summary of what I found.

The settlement specific states how the former account holders are to be notified. Via email contact info received from E*TRADE and via a 1/4 page ad in the USA Today for people who were not customers of E*TRADE. If additional requirements for giving notice to the class are imposed, E*TRADE has the option to terminate the Agreement. Etrade is responsible for the notification costs.

The lady(Class Representative) that brought up the settlement is getting $80K, The lawyers get $1,875,000 which is 25% of the "Common Fund" used to make the settlement payout. The Common Fund is $7.5 million

To share in the settlement, the claim form must be filled out completely and electronically signed by the Class Member.

Regarding when you might get your $.53. After the claim period ends on September 25th, The Claims administrator will send the info to Etrade who has 30 days to decide whether or not they want to review the information for accuracy. If so, E*trade has 180 days from the end of the claim date to review. Then the class members who didn't file the forms properly will have 30 days to fix their form. The claim Administrator then has 45 days after that to produce a final list of claimants. The payments have to be paid within 30 days of receiving the final list. So I'd say it could be up to a year before the claimants get paid.

If 200 people decide to exclude themselves from the class of the settlement, the whole settlement is null and void. Opting out must be done within 105 days of Jun 12, 2009.

Transalation: If 200+ E*TRADE employees (whom probably had accounts with themselves and got a call from work/E*TRADE within the last 6 years) decide to opt out, nobody gets anything. So I think nobody's going to get anything. 'Cept maybe a pat on the back for those employees who decide to save the company $7.5 mil.

For those interested, here's the link to the settlement document.

I went ahead and filed a claim. I'm in California so I might get $2.65 instead of the $.53 everyone else is getting.

Test Message

Test Message

I saw this posting when I saw the requirement of a SS number and became suspicious. I am an L.A. lawyer and proposed class member.

I think this is legit and the request for SS is just an idiotic way the court works. Go to: Los Angeles Superior Court and look for the link for "case information" under the "civil" heading and enter the case number "BC360152". You can then look at the entire history of the case. This would be an elaborate phishing scheme where a bogus lawsuit is included. A very valid objection someone might want to make would be against the court or parties allowing social security numbers of class members to be made public.

Re: When the settlement pays: The final "fairness" hearing is set for October 16, 2009, so the payment of settlement will be sometime after that and probably by the end of the year (although it could be later). If you have a strong opinion on this stuff, you may want to attend the hearing as you will likely get a chance to voice your opinion to the judge (although it might very well be a crazy scene as the courtroom is relatively small and number of potential claimants extremely large). In my experience, most judges are willing to listen to any party in interest.

Re: How much will you get? This depends on two factors: How much money remains to be distributed to common class members and what state you lived in. The proposed settlement is $7.5M, and class representative Greenberg gets $80K and the plaintiffs attorneys will undoubtedly take $2M or more, which leaves at most $5M. Additionally, anywhere from 50K to 500K will file in this "opt-in" process. These numbers are my own rough estimates. The second factor is the "California multiplier" which ensures California participants get 5 times (5x) the amount of non-California participants. This may very well be because strict California privacy laws are implicated or some other legit purpose, but it sure feels like a homer decision in a case filed in California court by California counsel. As the proposed settlement agreement indicates, the maximum amount is $5K for California claimants and $1K for non-California claimants. If you do the math though, California claimants could get up to a couple hundred dollars and non-California claimants are pretty much screwed (less than $100 each).

Re: Verification of your claim. I anticipate there will be minimal verification. Given the shear volume of likely class participants I doubt anyone will verify whether claimants actually either received a call or called on the dates specified, much less whether your call was recorded. They'll likely just let people make claims until the claim deadline (Sept. 25, 2009), engage in some threshold verification (presumably claimants should have had an etrade account during the period in question), and then distribute the proceeds. Please don't take this as encouragement to commit perjury.

Sorry for the multiple postings.

Can anyone who has gone through the web form summarize all of the personal information the web site wants? Normally, its good manners to summarize upfront the information needed, but I guess that's too much to ask from a fishy looking tort website. I am in two minds whether to add my name to he claim. Its irritating to discover that the original plaintiff looks like a very litigious person. She has filed a number of cases.

Can anyone who has gone through the web form summarize all of the personal information the web site wants? Normally, its good manners to summarize upfront the information needed, but I guess that's too much to ask from a fishy looking tort website. I am in two minds whether to add my name to he claim. Its irritating to discover that the original plaintiff looks like a very litigious person. She has filed a number of cases.

I ended up filing a claim, and my husband did too. If this is a scam, it's one of the most elaborate ones ever, including running a fake case through the L.A. court system, setting up a fake settlement office, and having two fake attorneys' offices answering phone calls.

So, in answer to Nniicckk's question, besides your name and SS#, they want to know your E*TRADE account numbers. Then the following questions are asked (not necessarily in this order -- and they're all separate questions):

1. Did you receive a call from a representative of E*TRADE during the period in question (from September 3, 2003, to May 22, 2009)?
2. Did you place a call to the Beverly Hills E*TRADE office on August 15 or 16, 2006?
3. Were you informed that the call was being recorded (or might be recorded -- I'm not quite sure of the wording)?
4. What state were you in?

With questions 1 and 2, this can be an either/or -- you only have to answer yes to one of them. So if you received any marketing calls from E*TRADE during that period and the person who called didn't say the call might be recorded, you qualify. You don't have to provide dates.

I think that's it. If anyone else can amend or correct my post, please do so.

I also don't think we should have to put in our SSN's over the web. Doesn't E*Trade already have that in their records? The plaintiff presumably got our names from the plaintiff; they should be able to get the SSN's as well with court permission. Maybe they want to send IRS a 1099 or something showing we got this income from the settlement.

Also, the note above about the phone number:


Greenberg Settlement Administrator
(888) 236-1260
The phones are answered 24/7.

Is answered 24/7 but you only get pre-recorded info unless you call between 6 am and 6 pm, I think its Pacific time. I couldn't get past the recorded stuff. Finally, about the lawyers fees: If it weren't for class actions, things like these recording phone calls without permission (a pet peeve of mine) would continue without interruption without class actions. Who is going to sue E*trade for $1,000 or even $5,000? It can hardly be done without investing huge amounts of attorney's fees on your own. And now you've to prove your case. That would take some serious digging. You'd probably have to invest $25K just to get a low level legal effort going at a giant like E*Trade. No, I am a firm believer in class actions. They are the only remedy for correctly wrongs such as this. Without a significant payment to an attorney, no one will represent the class. It's a bit of a windfall, but big fees for the lawyers to me is a lesser evil than letting the bas$&^%** get away with breaking the law.

I have 6 accounts at eTrade. Is there any advantage to disclosing other than one low balance checking account? I also have a retirement plan with its own tax ID, is that a separate entity? What about joint accounts, can both parties file?

they need ss# so they can report your settlement as income to the IRS

they need the ss# so they can report the settlement distributions as income to the IRS

Anyone heard anything?

According to the website the final order was entered several months ago. If not distributed by now, I would have expected some sort of update on the website.

Just wondering if it's still in legal limbo, or if for some reason my claim wasn't accepted. (Not that I actually expect it to amount to anything substantial...)

I haven't heard anything either.

scotto777 said: I don't understand what the big deal is about being recorded when calling a company? Who cares? Does anyone actually hang up after they hear the stupid "in order to acheive a high level of customer service, this call me be monitored or recorded for trainig purposes" Just another way for lawyers to make millions of dollars so a bunch of consumers can each get $7.46 in 4 years.

Because it may have been illegal? Unfortunately these types of class actions are the only way to get companies to comply with the law, unless the government wanted to go after them. Fighting over a couple dollars in damages isn't politically sexy, so...

Well at least the attorney will make something.

Class action lawsuits most of the time suck. It is just a way for an attorney to settle with a company and get some people a coupon.

Once in a rare moon does an actual real settlement for a real issue every come about.



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