The lawsuit is 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. The Defendants include Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Bank of America, Bank One/First USA, Chase, Citibank, MBNA, HSBC/Household, and Washington Mutual/Providian.
Some of those defendants, you’ll note, no longer exist as separate entities. I mentioned later that year that I was turning in a claim form; the expected payback was somewhere around $25.
Four years (almost to the day) after that post, a check for $18.04 arrived. Says the fine print: “All refund amounts are reduced because the full amount of all the claims exceeds the amount in the settlement fund.” You may be absolutely certain that the attorneys’ fees were not reduced in the slightest.
Still, it’s eighteen bucks and change, which, given the usual pitiful settlements in class-action suits typically, $5 off something you wouldn’t buy in the first place counts as a legitimate win. And apparently there is a second suit, for which I may already be enrolled as a member of the aggrieved class, inasmuch as they sent me instructions on how to exclude myself from same. We’ll see if any more dollars drop on my doorstep in 2015.