Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lucky Case Lawsuit Targets "Deal Or No Deal" Rip-off

A reader alerted us to a lawsuit filed by four Georgia women against NBC for its "Lucky Case" promotion during the gameshow "Deal or No Deal." See articles here and here.

As we've noted in past posts, NBC has made a mint by charging viewers a premium $.99 text message fee to enter a lottery in which the viewer has an opportunity to win $10,000, sometimes more, in a drawing during the "Deal" show. Of course, since millions of viewers are entering the contest, sometimes multiple times (the commercial pitch encourages viewers to enter up to 10 times to increase their odds of winning), NBC is making a killing. (Advertising Age reports that NBC has had 57 million Lucky Case entries, with a payout of nearly $1 million--do the math and you see they're doing quite well, which is obvious by the fact that they spend several minutes of commercial time per show promoting the contest.)

We hope the lawsuit succeeds. (Evidently the suit also targets similar promotions during NBC's "Apprentice" and "1 vs 100" shows.)


John Martin said...

There is one point that you fail to mention in your post about this case.

Deal or No Deal (DOND) in their broadcasts tells the viewers that there are two ways of entering the Lucky Case game, through the text message service, as you said, AND, they can also enter for FREE on NBCs website for the show. Both entries give the player the same chances.

Also, no one is standing over these people saying "You HAVE to play this game". Common sense will tell you, if you can't afford the extra costs on your cellphone bill, don't play all 10 times, or don't play every show, whatever.

Next, like any other contest done on tv shows, by the time you pay production costs, costs for the judging services that award the prize(s), and the winnings to the eventual winner, the amount that the networks receive is, again common sense, reduced. Yes, they are still going to make money, but not at the levels that your post is implying.

This lawsuit is nothing more than some people who got their cellphone bills and seen the extra cost associated with playing a game too much, and now they want someone else to pay for their stupidity. Add to this, lawyers who see that by making this into a class-action status, can make a bunch of money off of it.

What do you think the people who played the game are going to get back? Are they now going to get anything like what was offered for the prize? I seriously doubt it. If I was the judge, and they DID win their suit, I would say, 'OK, here's .99 cents for each call that you made' and demand that they produce the cellphone records to show exactly how many times they called. 100 times = $9.90, and so on.

Lawsuits like this one are one of the reasons that so many people have lost faith in our legal and justice system.

John Martin said...

Ok, I stand corrected, you do mention about the website on one of your earlier posts, although, besides it being in the "small print", they also mention it during the show.

Point being, you don't like how the game is played, DON'T PLAY.