Go rummage around your junk drawers, garages, or wherever else you put the old technology you haven’t thrown out because you don’t know how to dispose of it. Then come back here.
If you bought a PC between 2003 and 2008, that old machine could be worth $10 today. CNET reports that Sony, NEC, Panasonic and Hitachi-LG settled a 7-year-old class-action lawsuit in December over colluding to keep the price of disk drives in computers high. As a result of the settlement, if you have a PC made in that timeframe, you might be entitled to a payout of $10.
Many companies, such as HP and Dell, purchased DVD drives from the companies in the lawsuit, according to CNET. The only brand of computers explicitly excluded from the settlement is Panasonic. PCs purchased directly from the other companies in the settlement are also out, but they qualify if they were purchased from third-party vendors.
How to submit a claim
- Head to the lawsuit’s website
- Click on “Submit a claim”
- Fill out your name, computer brand, and email address
- Press submit—that’s it
While you don’t need to have a receipt on hand for your potentially 14-year-old computer, the lawsuit’s website does say the administrators of the settlement have the right to ask for more information on the purchase you claim. So if you somehow still have the receipt, hold onto it a little longer.
One final caveat: The settlement only applies to computers bought in the U.S., and specifically to the following states:
Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin
So if you read this post and excitedly remembered you purchased a Panasonic laptop in 2004 from a Best Buy in South Carolina, I’m very sorry.
Those who believe they have a claim have until July 1, 2017 to file online. That $10 would be perfect to cover the cost of a new CD to play in a computer being claimed in the settlement—if anyone actually still bought those.