Taking Classmates out back (and to court) for a lesson in deceptive marketing.
There are just some things you shouldn’t do in this life. As Jim Croce put it, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger” and, apparently, you don’t send a deceptive e-mail to Anthony Michaels, as Classmates.com learned last year when it had to settle a class action suit for $3.5 million.
Michaels filed suit after he received an e-mail from Classmates.com telling him that he had friends trying to get in touch with him through the site and the only way to find out who was to upgrade to a Gold membership and pay $15 for three months.
Like many people who fall for the spam scam, Michaels quickly discovered that he was about as popular now as when he was in high school and no one he knew was trying to reach him. (Apparently, they’re all on Facebook instead, where joining is still free.) So, he sued, won and got $2,500—his share in the $3.5 million class action settlement that Classmates.com had to pay.