If the original settlement proposal between TJX and those customers affected by the massive data breach smelled like a marketing gimmick to you, you weren't alone.

Now, in an effort to get the courts to respond more favorably to the settlement, TJX has decided to offer victims either a $30 store voucher or $15 in cash as compensation for the computer intrusion. It seems consumer advocates thought TJX was not going to suffer - and instead benefit - by luring shoppers into their stores with the free vouchers.

Such a ploy did smell of something rank, but you have to hand it to the PR minds of TJX.

But now, customers can choose to take the cash - and never be forced to step foot in a Marshalls or T.J. Maxx again.

Of course, judging from optimistic sales reports from the Massachusetts discount retail chain, shoppers aren't staying away. It appears if TJX is to pay any price for the breach, it will come as the result of bank lawsuits.