Valerie has become addicted to Naked Juice's Berry Veggie. So much so that she lines them up and drinks them in succession, much the way William Powell lines them up in The Thin Man. She sees them the way Ray Milland sees alcohol in this still from The Lost Weekend.
Actually, that's not really true: a single 15.2 ounce bottle of Naked is $2.99 at Whole Foods (on sale), $4 and change at her local grocery store, $4.99 at her corner deli and $5.44 at her local sandwich joint. So Berry Veggie is a treat to be savored. But it's soooo hard to resist when the first ingredient is listed as
(photo from Nourition.com)
Recently, there was a big brouhaha when a class action suit was filed, challenging Naked Juice's claim that it used only natural ingredients. Readers who have nothing better to do with their time can read all about it here and here, but what most interested Valerie can be seen, in a nutshell, here (double click for a better view):
A REFUND! Of up to $75, with proof (or up to $45 for those with enough nerve to submit claims without proof), to come from a $9 million pool set aside for the purpose. Valerie, who had certainly contributed her fair share to the financial health of Naked Juice, figured she would have no trouble rustling up receipts, since she saves them for everything she charges, just to keep an eye on her credit card company. (Funny things do show up now and again.) So Valerie went through her box of receipts, which is full to bursting. Here's just the left side of the receipt box. The right side is no better.
Readers who keep receipts know that this is a roll-up-your-sleeves procedure. Receipts are only microns thick, and a whole boatload of them can fit in a single box. Ask Valerie if you're not sure about that. Not content to look through the box, she also looked through her collection of recyclable plastic bags, and found more receipts in those. This whole process probably took more than an hour, possibly two, over the course of a few days. All told, Valerie found $56 in receipts, and bemoaned the fact that she had foolishly thrown away receipts for everything bought with cash, since that would easily have put her up to (and beyond) the $75 limit. After all, there was almost always a bottle in the refrigerator.
It was a time-consuming process, but money gurus consistently chide us for throwing money away, so there was something close to a sense of civic responsibility in reclaiming these funds. Here's one of the two pages Valerie submitted, first taping all the receipts to a page, circling the amounts so her final figure wouldn't be questioned, and then scanning them to send via email. Readers probably know how much fun that is, but ask Valerie if you're not sure.
As specified in the Naked Juice Settlement terms, Valerie sent in her claim in November, way before the December deadline, smugly thinking that people without proof could submit as many claims for $45 as they pleased, but no one could deny her her $56.16, because she had proof. Then she settled in for the long wait as the wheels of justice turned.
Seven months later, the wheels of justice finally ground to a halt, and after waiting and wondering and occasionally checking to see if she had her copy of the receipts, lest anyone say her claim wasn't received in time, Valerie got this check (again, double click):
The check number has been blotted out, just in case, as has Valerie's address, but the check amount has been circled (several times!). Yes, you're reading that right. Seventy-six cents. And "NO dollars". The fine print says "Because of the large number of Claims by Class Members, the awards to each Settlement Class Member have been reduced on a pro rata basis". Boy, they sure have!!!!
If you read the settlement information, you may have seen that Naked offered either a settlement or the right to sue later, but not both. Valerie thought $56 was a reasonable price for giving up her right to sue, so when she saw how little she'd actually renounced that right for, she was more than a tad miffed. Charlie Brown and Lucy immediately came to mind.
Oddly, so did hardware.
Valerie isn't good at math, so she plugged the figures (.76 / 56.16) into Google just for the amusement of seeing what percentage of her claim she received. Here's what Google says:
Yes, that's less than 1.4%.
And Valerie says what Queen Victoria would have said -
WE ARE NOT AMUSED.
Valerie is wearing an unlabeled vintage pink feather hat and a Pleats Please dress with digital prints of fruit. That's a Radio City Music Hall martini glass, with Rockettes legs in gold tap pants and tap shoes.