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surprise check! | by TheDamnMushroom
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surprise check!

The Court granted final approval of the settlement in a Memorandum and Order, dated October 22, 2009, and, on November 4, 2009, the Court entered a Final Judgment and Order of Dismissal in this case. Eleven appeals were filed challenging the Court's approval of the settlement. All of the appeals have now concluded. Ten of the eleven appeals were either withdrawn or dismissed, and one appeal was decided against the appellant after briefing and oral argument.


On October 5, 2011 the Court entered an Order authorizing the Settlement Administrator to disburse the available settlement funds. Participation in this settlement has been extraordinary, with more than 10,000,000 claims submitted. We request that you remain patient as the Settlement Administrator finalizes the procedures necessary to administer and mail checks for this enormous volume of claims. Please continue to monitor this website for updates concerning the refund process. If you have changed your address, you should send any updated information to the Settlement Administrator.


Any claim form postmarked after May 30, 2008 will be deemed untimely and, pursuant to the Court's October 22, 2009 Order, will be disallowed. Due to the large number of claims that were submitted prior to the May 30, 2008 deadline, refund amounts have been adjusted downward (or "pro-rated").



tl;dr version:

Four years ago a note came in the mail, saying there was a class action lawsuit "about the price cardholders of Visa-, MasterCard-, or Diners Club-branded payment cards were charged to make transactions in a foreign currency, or with a foreign merchant, between February 1, 1996 and November 8, 2006. Plaintiffs challenge how the prices of credit and debit/ATM card foreign transactions were set and disclosed, including claims that Visa, MasterCard, their member banks, and Diners Club conspired to set and conceal fees, typically of 1-3% of foreign transactions, and that Visa and MasterCard inflated their base exchange rates before applying these fees." In other words, people were overcharged on fees and the exchange rate for their purchases.


I'd done business with some Canadian and British music websites and had used a credit card to pay in that timeframe so I tossed my name in. After years of legal wrangling and 11 failed appeals by the credit card companies, the suit is settled and the payment issued. I'd forgotten about this suit because it'd been so long, so the check was a surprise! Ten million people got in on this action so the amount of settlement was prorated down to eighteen bucks, which I have no problem with since that's probably more than the total amount I was wrongly charged.

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Taken on November 10, 2011