Is Anyone Going to Try and Get $12.50 in Compensation From 23andMe?

Before I quit my think tank job in Washington, DC to move across the country under the misguided idea that I had found both true love and a music career, I sent my spit to 23andMe.

I wanted to know whether I was at risk for any potential illnesses or cancers, since I knew I was about to leave a pretty decent health insurance plan—that included both vision and dental!—for a significantly crappier health insurance plan. (I was moving to Los Angeles, which had plenty of health insurance options for the self-employed even pre-ACA, but they were the usual high-deductible low-benefit stuff.)

Anyway, I got my results and clicked all of the buttons that read “are you sure you want to know whether you’ve got this particular gene that might lead to this cancer/condition,” and 23andMe told me that I had none of those genes and I went happily off to California.

Since then, I’ve become vaguely aware that 23andMe might have been a little overambitious about what it could actually discern from a few drops of saliva, and from what I understand they’ve switched over to being a “find your relatives through spit” service, although it looks like the FDA let them start doing genetic disease testing again this spring? I don’t know.

All I know is that I got this email informing me that, since I bought a 23andMe test before 2013, I am now entitled to class action settlement compensation.

The 23andMe test cost me $113.95 when I bought it back in January 2012 (thanks, Gmail archives!), so I was delighted to hear that I could get some of that money back.

Until I read the class action settlement FAQ and learned that I could choose either $12.50 or a $40 coupon for a new 23andMe kit.

If I did nothing, the FAQ informed me, I would receive the coupon.

We’ve written about class action lawsuit compensation on The Billfold before; Meaghan O’Connell got $25.24 from the Bank of America overdraft class action lawsuit back in 2014. (That was when BofA was reordering your purchases in order to charge the maximum number of overdraft fees.)

But $12.50 hardly seems worth it. Right?

On the other hand, it took less than a minute to fill out the form.

Did anyone else get that email? Did you pick the money or the coupon? (Are you going to get the coupon anyway because you chose to ignore the email?)