And the leftovers were duly divided

You may remember this from early 2007:

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.


  1. Tatyana »

    2 December 2011 · 12:36 pm

    Now you can spend it on anything your heart desires. For instance, pay for the hosting of this here blog

  2. CGHill »

    2 December 2011 · 1:02 pm

    Well, I’m paid up through 28 November 2012, though I could always use it for domain renewal, whenever that comes up.

  3. Bill K »

    2 December 2011 · 2:23 pm

    Yeah, I got one of these checks too, although I’ll be darned if I can remember making any purchases in foreign currency. Maybe my identity has been stolen and the check really belongs to the other guy.

  4. CGHill »

    2 December 2011 · 5:23 pm

    It appears I have a ready recipient for this windfall: the city. Alarm permit is up for annual renewal at $17.

  5. Tatyana »

    2 December 2011 · 5:53 pm

    Alarm permit? what is that – a permit for a smoke detector?

  6. CGHill »

    2 December 2011 · 6:50 pm

    I have a security alarm with remote monitoring, with motion sensors and door triggers and all that jazz, the sort of thing they market to scared suburbanites in TV commercials. The police department, since they’re in the loop, requires an annual permit; I must display their sticker at the entrance. (Commercial customers get a similar permit, at a higher price; then again, their hardware is presumably a bit more sophisticated.)

  7. Tatyana »

    2 December 2011 · 8:02 pm

    strange..I’d say they have to pay you! you are taking extra precautions, improving their burglary statistics; you invested a lot of money basically to alarm them on time.
    well, that’s of course if we assume that their goal is to serve the public…

  8. CGHill »

    2 December 2011 · 8:13 pm

    I don’t think I’m improving anyone’s burglary statistics, except my own: should a perp be discouraged by what he finds here, he’ll simply go a bit farther down the street. (Well, probably not this street: this is a fairly common feature hereabouts.)

    OCPD has about 1000 officers to cover 620 square miles. They can’t be everywhere at once.

  9. Jeffro »

    2 December 2011 · 8:14 pm

    I got a dividend check from my little phone cooperative (also my ISP) the other day for almost $250. Try that with AT&T or Cox.

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