I receive several emails each month from Classmates.com, advising me that someone has visited my profile, signed my guestbook, or even was just thinking of me (which somehow is the most poignant of all). The first time this happened, I was instantly time-warped back to my high school years, and eagerly clicked on the proffered link, breathless to learn whether Somebody Really Liked Me.
But what's this? When I clicked the link I learned that I have to pay to upgrade my account to find out who from my past has been passing me these digital notes. This of course drags me instantly back to the present, where my need for an upgraded Classmates.com account that I have to pay for ranks right up there with my need to buy an electric zither.
Well, my fellow Classmates.com user Anthony Wallace didn't share my fiscal sensibilities -- nothing wrong with that, of course -- but now he alleges that, after he'd paid for his upgraded account in response to one of those enticing emails, NOBODY HAD SIGNED HIS GUESTBOOK! This could mean one of two things: either Mr. Wallace was the hapless victim of the cruel continuation of a high school-era prank, or Classmates.com had unfairly enticed him in to parting with his hard-earned cash for an account upgrade.
Mr. Wallace, as a representative of a putative class of similarly-afflicted potential plaintiffs, has sued Classmates.com and related entities for misrepresentation and other torts.
More here from Wired; a copy of the complaint can be found here.