About 10 years ago, my wife ran into the room and yelled, “Babe! I won a free cruise! All we need to do is take a phone survey and we get to go on a free cruise!”
Bless my wife. She’s gullible. It’s one of her many adorable qualities (and also probably the reason she married a fool like me.)
I hated to burst her bubble, but I said something like … “There’s no such thing as a free cruise, babe. When something sounds too good to be true like that, it’s usually a scam. If you want to go on a cruise, we can just buy one.”
She was heartbroken. She didn’t want to buy a cruise, she wanted a FREE one!
After a couple of weeks passed, my wife ran to me again. “The free cruise people keep calling me! Are you sure it’s not a scam? I’ve been ‘especially selected.’ We could go to Mexico or the Caribbean!”
Again, I had to be the bearer of bad news: “There’s no such thing as a free cruise! I promise, it’s a scam.”
If I recall, we went back and forth like this for a few months. She kept getting calls, I had to convince her they were fake, she’d get excited, then disappointed again, etc. Our frustrations continued to grow. I was mostly frustrated at the Do Not Call Registry because we somehow kept getting spam calls even though our numbers are private. My wife was mostly frustrated at ME, for being a big meanie and not letting her go on her free cruise.
Fast forward 5 years… It was now some time in 2017…
We received a random letter in the mail one day. It was from “Birchmeier et al v. Caribbean Cruise Line Inc.” It took me a while to decipher the legal jargon, but it turned out the free cruise calls were definitely a scam. A pretty big scam! The marketing group was really just trying to sell time-share packages. They violated some privacy laws, and now they were being sued by a bunch of pissed off people who wanted free cruises.
I ran over to my wife. “Babe! We’re part of a class action lawsuit. We’re gonna join in and sue those bastards who were trying to scam us years ago.” I was pretty excited. Mostly because after 5 years, I was holding written proof that I was right: There is no such thing as a free cruise!
My wife got excited, too. She asked, “If we win the lawsuit, does this mean they’ll give everyone the free cruise?”
Sadly, I had to burst her bubble again. I explained that most class action lawsuits result in everyone receiving about $12.50 in compensation, and they take years – sometimes decades – to reach a settlement.
Once again, our excitement turned to frustration. I was frustrated with the lengthy claims process, which required us to dig up phone records from 5 years earlier. My wife was still mostly just frustrated at ME, for still being that asshole husband who never takes her on free cruises.
Fast forward another 2 years… It’s now the middle of 2019…
We had almost forgotten about the whole free cruise saga. Then another letter arrived in the mail. This one had 2 big surprises inside…
The first surprise was a cashier’s check for $200! No questions asked, no forms to fill. Woohoo!
The second surprise was the letter. It read: “This is your first of two installments. At a later date, you will receive your final installment.”
This was awesome news! Not only was $200 WAY more than we were ever expecting, but we were also told to expect more.
I was over the moon! But my wife was still a little sad … “What about the free cruise?… They promised me a free cruise!!!”
Another 2 years went by… It’s now mid-2021…
I just received the final letter in the mail. It’s been almost a decade since this all started, and now our payday has finally arrived…
Here’s what I received…
BOOM! Our final installment check is $575. Wow.
$200 + $575 = $775 total. Not bad at all! I guess sometimes these class action lawsuits really do work out well. Thank you, Caribbean Cruise Lines.
I’m pretty happy!
… but not as happy as my wife is going to be…
Maybe we can take a “free” cruise now?
I may not be the smartest husband in the world, but I’m not a complete dumbass. If there’s one thing my wife wants more than anything out of this lawsuit, it’s a free cruise. She doesn’t care about money, revenge, corporations paying fines … she just wants a free cruise.
So before telling my wife about the final check, I went on the Carnival Cruise website to look at some deals. Here’s what I found…
This Mexican Riviera package will give us 5 days cruising from Los Angeles down to Cabo for $300 per person. Which with about $150 in fees and taxes, will equal about ~$750 total. Almost the exact same as the total settlement amount we received.
After finding this, I quickly ran to my wife. “Babe! We just got our final letter from the Free Cruise settlement! Guess what they’re giving us?”
“A free cruise?” she said sheepishly, fully expecting another let down …
“Yeah, babe. We got a 5-day cruise. Me and you, in Mexico. You won us a free cruise.”
Believe it or not, the story above is 100% true. Here’s the class action website if you’re interested in reading the legal side.
Have any of you readers received a decent sized class action settlement? How much and what for?