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Old 03-31-2010, 05:07 PM   #1
advocate2
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Seeking Class Action Lawyer for suit against Fictionwise

I post this in the hope that some reader knows a Class action law firm which might be interested in bringing a contingency lawsuit against Fictionwise, a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, related to false representations made to folks who purchased memberships in the last 6 months. I, for one, volunteer to be a class representative.

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 04-03-2010 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Title Clarification per OP
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:20 PM   #2
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Yep, you've certainly provided enough information there to start engaging lawyers
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:26 PM   #3
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Bilbo,

The UK and the US have a major difference in allocation of legal fees. In the UK, if a party brings a lawsuit and does not prevail, the plaintiff is liable for the Defendant's legal fees. In the US such is not the case, hence the full docket's with contingency matters. The US has specific rules for Class Action cases.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
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Bilbo,

The UK and the US have a major difference in allocation of legal fees. In the UK, if a party brings a lawsuit and does not prevail, the plaintiff is liable for the Defendant's legal fees. In the US such is not the case, hence the full docket's with contingency matters. The US has specific rules for Class Action cases.
I pretend no knowledge of legal matters, particularly in the US. I would expect a plea for help in a legal matter to contain a modicum of detail is the point I was making.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:31 PM   #5
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The difficulty with this is at the moment you don't know that you are being disadvantaged by Fictionwise. Assuming they continue to provide discounts for the customers already in the Buywise scheme then you have no complaint. The fact that Fictionwise, along with all the other sellers, are being forced to raise some of their prices doesn't have a bearing on this.

At present it looks as though club discounts are being offered on the remaining stock. If, when the 5 agency publishers' catalogue returns, we find that no discounts are offered on those titles, and if this represents a large proportion of the books you might normally buy, in that case then you will have a reasonable complaint.

Graham

Last edited by Graham; 03-31-2010 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:36 PM   #6
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I just sent this to FW Customer Service:

Yesterday I checked my wishlist and had many titles. Today my wish list has collapsed and the titles available for purchase have been reduced dramatically. Prices on titles remaining, even with the Club discount, exceed the price available at the Sony EReader Store. Please explain this disruption at your earliest opportunity.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advocate2 View Post
I just sent this to FW Customer Service:

Yesterday I checked my wishlist and had many titles. Today my wish list has collapsed and the titles available for purchase have been reduced dramatically. Prices on titles remaining, even with the Club discount, exceed the price available at the Sony EReader Store. Please explain this disruption at your earliest opportunity.
They will explain that they are doing what they have been asked to do. Remove the titles while those publishers sort out the new pricing structure. All sellers have to do this over the next 24 hours. Sony are just a little later at implementing it than Fictionwise.

The fact that an existing title is priced cheaper on Sony is a different issue, I imagine, as that should be one of the titles unaffected by agency pricing, and just relates to Sony undercutting Fictionwise on that one.

EDIT: Or it could relate to the introduction of sales tax, with Sony lagging behind. Does someone have more information on the requirements that are being imposed there?

Last edited by Graham; 03-31-2010 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:39 PM   #8
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Oh please. Class action lawsuits are scams that make lawyers rich and nothing else. Every "successful" one nets the supposed hurt people some piece of crap like a $10 phone card while the lawyers rake in millions.

If they stop the discounts you can charge back any remaining balance on your cc if Fictionwise won't refund it. That's what I will do for the 4 yrs and 8 mos I have remaining on my membership. If they don't stop them, you're still getting the benefit. I'm pretty sure you still have a legitimate claim to charge back or request a refund if the discounts don't apply to the books you're interested in, even if you can still get them on other books.

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Old 03-31-2010, 05:41 PM   #9
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Question Any lawyers out there? Can we discuss price fixing?

Is this 5 publisher thing possibly price fixing? And isn't that illegal?

Are there any lawyers on MR who can shed some light?
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:44 PM   #10
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Is this 5 publisher thing possibly price fixing? And isn't that illegal?

Are there any lawyers on MR who can shed some light?
This has been discussed in other threads here, with the consensus being that as it is being done very openly it can't be regarded as price fixing.

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Old 03-31-2010, 05:55 PM   #11
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Marcy,

For those who purchased memberships with Paypal, how do you suggest a chargeback?
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:56 PM   #12
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The Fictionwise Buywise page now includes the benefits again:

http://www.fictionwise.com/help/buywise_message.htm

This states that the Buywise 15% will continue to apply to all eBooks purchased for the remainder of your membership, so you may find everything's OK.

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Old 03-31-2010, 06:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Marcy,

For those who purchased memberships with Paypal, how do you suggest a chargeback?
I suggest you wait to see what actual changes have occurred before attempting to take legal action.

Contacting FW right now, if they reply at all, is going to get an answer of "changing coding; bear with us." Which doesn't mean that Buywise memberships are going to be worth less than they were before. Maybe the books on wishlists will all come back tomorrow.

It's possible that the 5 agency publishers will be removed from FW entirely, in which case Buywise won't be as useful, and they might be planning on offering pro-rated refunds to anyone who requests them, but keeping them for the customers who aren't affected by the changes. (I used to have a Buywise membership, and I only buy Multiformat.)

Threatening legal action before you know what happened, other than "some book listings are missing," is pointless.
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:03 PM   #14
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Contacting FW right now, if they reply at all, is going to get an answer of "changing coding; bear with us." Which doesn't mean that Buywise memberships are going to be worth less than they were before. Maybe the books on wishlists will all come back tomorrow.
In fact, if you think about it, with the price rises on the agency books, those 15% discounts would end up being more valuable, not less.

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Old 03-31-2010, 06:07 PM   #15
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I just received this from Sony:

Beginning April 1st some major publishers will be instituting a change in the pricing of eBooks, which puts decisions on eBook pricing firmly in their hands. As a result, prices of bestsellers and new releases from these publishers will be changing on the Reader Store, and during the transition time, some titles may be unavailable. Although most of these eBooks will be priced from about $12.99 to 14.99, there will not be a broad pricing change across the Reader Store. In fact, new releases and bestsellers from other publishers will still be priced at $9.99.
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