Accord Entitles Thousands to Computer Rebate

Thousands of consumers who bought computers between June 1, 1993, and Dec. 31, 1995, are eligible for a $25 coupon as a result of the recent settlement of a class-action suit against some of the nation's biggest PC retailers.

The settlement affects consumers who bought computers that came with software bundles from the following stores: Good Guys, Circuit City, Sears, Radio Shack, CompUSA, Best Buy and Fry's.

To claim the coupon, consumers are required to send a receipt and return address to Littau Class Action Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 51140, Phoenix, AZ 85076-1140, postmarked no later than Aug. 18. Fry's customers can submit their proof of purchase at the company's stores.

Details of the settlement and claims forms were printed in advertisements in The Times and other newspapers last week.

The suit accused the stores of overstating the value of software bundles that came with computers. Often, the real value was far below what ads claimed, attorneys said, and many of the programs were inferior versions that didn't come with manuals or technical support.

The coupons entitle consumers to 7% or $25 discounts, whichever is smaller, on purchases at the stores where they bought their PCs. The plaintiffs' attorneys came away with a bit more than that, garnering fees of up to $890,000, according to the settlement.

The suit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court in 1995.

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