What's the class action against Microsoft?


Thread Starter
Sep 17, 2002
(I have no idea what topic this belongs in)

I'm thinking it might be a hoax of some kind, but not sure.

I got something today, in snail mail (meter stamped 30 cents) that says I can be involved in a class action suit against Microsoft. If I bought software from 1995 (another place says June 1998) and now. Because the courts found Microsoft to be a monoploy and had done things to keep competiters from selling products. Mainly WINDOWS (all versions) It seems to be only for the state of VT (where I live) and going through one of their county courts.

The forms are photocopied and have bar codes on top, like IRS forms do.


Then gives the name of the judge and court.

The HOnorable Karen R.Carroll
Superior Court Judge
Windham County Superior Court
Newfame, Vermont

In one section it says if I DO NOT want to be part of this class action suite I have to write and tell them this in writing to take me off it, and I will then not be intitled to any benefits.

I was going to just throw it away when I first saw it.

I think it's odd that it says not to ask the court anything about it.

It's from Settlement Administrator
PO Box 2730
Portland OR 97208-2739

Even though it's a suit for Vermont people.

The names are Richard L. Elkins and Ronald Rodjenski (Plaintiffs)

And Microsoft Coprporation a Washington Corporation (defendant)

I put Richard Elkins Microsoft in google and found a VT class action suit (with a different name with Elkins) but it looked like it had been dropped.

It's all official looking and legal talk, hard to figure out and follow.

There's also a page for "redemption certificates" (you can send in and they will redeem up to $950...(?)

It wants the serial numbers (and seller) of all products like this. Even if it came with a computer and not bought on it's own.

I don't want to bother even finding my serial numbers and filling it out (one computer I bought from a private party (new, in the box), Maybe if I was going to get 2-3,000 from it which I doubt :)

and I don't plan to write and ask to be removed.

Just curious if this is legit or not?

~ Carrie


Always remembered in our hearts
Apr 17, 2002
BURLINGTON, Vermont, and REDMOND, Wash. -- July 1, 2004 -

The law firms of Johnson & Perkinson and Potter Stewart Law Offices, P.C., counsel for a proposed class of Vermont consumers, and Microsoft Corp. jointly announced today that a settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit alleging that Microsoft Corp. violated Vermont's consumer fraud act.

The settlement, which received preliminary approval on July 1, 2004 from the Superior Court for the County of Windham, Vermont, will make vouchers available to class members that may be used to buy any manufacturer's desktop, laptop and tablet computers; any software available for sale to the general public and used with those computer products; and specified peripheral devices for use with computers. The total amount of vouchers issued will depend on the number of class members who claims vouchers, and the maximum value of the vouchers that may be issued to class members will be $9.7 million.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Microsoft will provide one-half of the difference between $9.7 million and the value of vouchers issued to class members to Vermont’s public schools in the form of vouchers that may be used by the schools to purchase a broad range of hardware products, Microsoft® and non-Microsoft software, and professional development services. The vouchers will be made available to public schools in which 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for reduced-fee or free meals under the National School Lunch Program or distributed as determined by the judge presiding over the settlement.

"We're pleased with the judge’s decision, and think it's a great settlement for the class and for needy Vermont schools," said Jake Perkinson, attorney for the plaintiffs. "We're pleased that the case now moves forward to final resolution."

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas expressed his support of the court's adoption of the settlement proposed by the parties. "This settlement will be a benefit to Vermont schools and the children that attend them," Governor Douglas said. "Technology is a wonderful tool for teachers and helps to improve student learning by providing a well rounded curriculum. Using technology also encourages students to be engaged and invested in their work far beyond the walls of the classroom, and they have fun while they're doing it."

"We're pleased by the opportunity to help schools all across Vermont get the computers and software they need," said Brad Smith, general counsel for Microsoft. "This settlement allows us to focus on the future and building great software, and avoids the cost and uncertainty of litigation."

Details of the settlement are set forth in a settlement agreement filed in the Superior Court for the County of Windham, Vermont. Under the settlement, consumers and businesses that, between March 31, 1995 and December 31, 2002, resided in Vermont and purchased certain Microsoft operating system, productivity suite, spreadsheet or word processing software for use in Vermont and not for resale will be eligible to apply for the vouchers.


Thread Starter
Sep 17, 2002
I'm still confused (nothing new)

The names on the papers I got are different, for one thing. And it doesn't say anything about Burlington VT. And why can't we contact the court, like to verify it's legit?

If I send in the information about my WINDOWS software (serial numbers) then Microsoft will send vouchers to the schools?

One of the papers says vouchers can be sent to this place (in Portland OR) to be redeemed.

Even if there really is a suit, and the schools will get new computers from it how do I know this (I got in the mail) is really from it, or a scam?

I've gotten wary from all the online and email hoaxes.




Always remembered in our hearts
Apr 17, 2002
starchild said:
And why can't we contact the court, like to verify it's legit?
Carrie: I bet it's because there are so many people named in the class action suit. Since you never filed to be part of it..maybe they got names off those who registered the MS product they bought included in the suit? :confused:
starchild said:
Even if there really is a suit, and the schools will get new computers from it how do I know this (I got in the mail) is really from it, or a scam?
The article I posted is from MSN...so it certainly isn't a hoax. I read some other states are giving customers vouchers from $9 to $23 depending on the MS product purchased. The case sounds misleading in the articles online as they don't really say how a consumer can get a voucher for themselves and not the school district. Since you know it is a legitimate suit that has been settled, if I were in your shoes I'd send in the info requested. I received letters like that for class action suits from one of my utilities and from a drug company and received what pittance I was to get when I sent in the paperwork....I didn't even know there were the suits! ;) Follow your first impressions Carrie! :) Take care! angel :)
Jul 7, 2004
There is a similar class action suit for Paypal that I received in my e-mail a month or so ago, but there was a link in it to their site with details about the suit and how to do a claim.

Jun 5, 2004
Welcome to Tort lawyering. MS will settle for a couple million (they would spend more defending suit even if it proved illegitimate), the lawyers will skim off 40%, the state will inherit any funds not distributed, you will pay a couple bucks more for the next"improved" version of Windows,get pizzed off and download a freeware equivalent. Stock price will drop again, offshore programmers will get more cheaper business, Republicans will get blamed.
See? its all very logical !
Nov 25, 2001
I have received a very similar thing in the mail this last week.

Basically it involves Microsoft and a class action here in Arizona. In it is a bunch of forms and such, and then a bit of a packet explaining the case, what has happened, what my rights are, etc. The cover page of the 'info' packet I got basically details the below. Anyone else received something like it?


Consumers and Businesses May Claim Microsoft Settlement Benefits.

A court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.

* A proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit against Microsoft will provide up to $104.6 million of vouchers that people and businesses can use toward the purchase of computers, computer products, and software.

* The settlement applies to consumers and businesses that, while residing in Arizona, "indirectly purchased" certain Microsoft software between January 12, 1996 and December 31, 2002 for use in Arizona, and not for resale.

* The settlement will resolve private lawsuits about whether Microsoft violated Arizona antitrust and unfair competition laws.

* Your legal rights are affected whether you act or not. Read this notice carefully.

* Submit a Claim Form
* Object
* Exclude Yourself
* Go To A Hearing
* Do Nothing
The packet I received has a number of firms mentioned, phone numbers, addresses, etc. It even has "Questions? Call 1-800-XXX-XXXX" at the bottom of every page. I'll be honest to saw it seems a little odd that your told not to call or anything like that.

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