LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner admitted in May that the social networking site was guilty of “sending too much email” to some users. “That needs to be corrected and improved, and it will be,” he told Buzzfeed.
But it seems those improvements may have come a little too late for the company.
On Friday, LinkedIn announced that it is establishing a $13 million fund as part of a settlement in a class-action lawsuit to compensate users for sending out too many emails related to one of the website’s services. Affected members may be entitled to a compensation amount determined by how many individuals submit a claim.
The company made the announcement in an email.
As NBC Chicago reports, the lawsuit was aimed at LinkedIn's “Add Connections” service that lets users import contacts from their email accounts and send invitations to connect on the site.
The suit claims, however, that LinkedIn repeatedly "spammed" those contacts with unwanted emails .
The way the "Add Connections" service works is that an email invitation is sent out by LinkedIn to the contact. But if the person does not respond to the invitation within a certain amount of time, LinkedIn follows up by sending them two more reminder emails.
According to the lawsuit, LinkedIn members did not consent to the additional emails when they chose to use the feature.
LinkedIn said in an email to users Friday that anyone who used the service between Sept. 17, 2011, and Oct. 31, 2014, is eligible to file a claim. The filing deadline is Dec. 14.
The amount that each user will receive will depend on how many people come forward, but LinkedIn said each person could earn up to $1,500. (This amount will likely be much less, however.)
(Click here to file a claim. A Claim ID was sent by LinkedIn to users in the email.)
According to KTLA-TV, the suit was filed against LinkedIn in 2013.
The company did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, but said in a statement that it “decided to resolve this case so that we can put our focus where it matters most: finding additional ways to improve our members’ experiences.”
LinkedIn says it has revised its disclosures to clarify that two reminder emails will be sent as part of its "Add Connections" feature. The company says it will, by year's end, also offer an option to users to cancel a connection invitation, thereby halting any additional reminder emails from being sent out.
Clarification: Following reporting at BuzzFeed, this article did not distinguish between claimants and plaintiffs in the suit. A correction posted to Buzzfeed's article notes that plaintiffs could be entitled to as much as $1,500. Claimants, however, would receive an amount determined by the total number of individuals who submit a claim.
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