More or less often consumers face the various issues with companies: overcharging, false advertising, difficult return/exchange process of faulty products etc. Usually businesses solve these problems rather quickly leaving their customers quite satisfied.
But sometimes such minor issues, especially if they involve a lot of disgruntled customers who didn't get any help, can result in a huge class action suit because of company's negligence. Read and find out about the most vivid examples of 7 largest open class action settlements in 2018.
Retail Open Class Action Settlements
From unauthorized charges to product defects and false advertising claims, retail purchases are no stranger to class action settlements. Here are some open settlements affecting consumers.
Amazon (unauthorized in-app payments by minors)
Settlement Summary: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a case against Amazon in 2014 related to minors making in-app purchases tied to their parents' Amazon accounts (in otherwise "free" apps) without their parents' permission.
Are You Eligible? If a minor child (under 18) made unauthorized in-app purchases through your Amazon account from November 2011 through May 2016, you may be eligible for a refund.
Payment Amount: Claim amounts vary depending on the value of unauthorized in-app purchases made.
Claim Deadline: May 28, 2018.
File a Claim: Visit the following link and log into your Amazon account.
Sony PS3 ("Other OS" Settlement)
Settlement Summary: This settlement is related to a PS3 firmware update (3.21) that removed the "Other OS" functionality from systems that allowed users to run Linux from their PS3s.
Are You Eligible? To be eligible for a payment under this settlement agreement, you must meet the following requirements.
- You purchased a Fat PS3 (not the slim model) between November 1, 2006 and April 1, 2010 from an authorized retailer.
- You used the "Other OS" functionality.
- You knew about the functionality.
- You believe you lost value or desired functionality when "Other OS" was disabled in a firmware update.
You must be able to provide one of the following:
- Your PS3 serial number.
- Your PlayStation network sign-in ID for the account associated with your PS3.
- Your PlayStation network online ID tied to the account used with your PS3.
Payment Amount: Up to $65 (depending on the number of claims filed).
Claim Deadline: April 15, 2018.
File a Claim: You can begin the claim process at: https://secure.gcginc.com/ps3/Login
Finance & Credit Open Class Action Settlements
Financial institutions and credit reporting agencies can run afoul of consumer protection rules, from exposing personal information to unfairly charging customers. These open class action settlements are examples:
TransUnion ("Alert List" for rental applications)
Settlement Summary: When consumers fill out a rental application with a potential landlord, those landlords often run screening checks. One company providing these applicant screenings is credit reporting agency, TransUnion.
This class action suit alleges TransUnion provided information to landlords through their "Alert List" which mistakenly flagged over 10,000 rental applicants as being on a government terrorist watch list. TransUnion is also accused of refusing to let those individuals dispute this information in their reports.
Are You Eligible? You are a member of this class if you applied for a rental and were the subject of a TransUnion rental screening report containing at least one “Alert List” item reported about you between February 2012 and December 2013.
Payment Amount: $400.
Claim Deadline: The claim deadline to seek additional damages has passed. You do not have to file a claim for the $400 payment. If you were affected, you should receive a check automatically. The court approved the settlement at a fairness hearing on March 8, 2018.
File a Claim: Payments regarding this settlement are automatic, and you do not need to file a claim.
For More Information: Check pateltransunionclassaction.com or find out what other consumers did when they had faced these and other TransUnion issues on Pissed Consumer website.
Bank of America (extended overdrawn balance charges)
Settlement Summary: When a banking customer overdraws an account, the bank will generally charge an overdraft fee for them temporarily extending the credit to complete the transaction.
However, Bank of America would then charge another $35 "extended overdrawn balance charge" if a customer's account remained overdrawn for more than five days. The settlement requires BoA to refund those fees, as they didn't provide further services to justify them.
Are You Eligible? You may be eligible for reimbursement if you were charged one or more extended overdrawn balance charges on your Bank of America consumer checking account from February 25, 2014 to December 30, 2017.
Payment Amount: Payment amounts vary depending on the number of fees the consumer was charged.
Claim Deadline: No claim must be filed for relief under this settlement. Payments are contingent on the results of the scheduled fairness hearing June 18, 2018.
File a Claim: Current account holders will see an automatic account credit, while former account holders will receive a check.
For More Information: Go to eobcsettlement.com website or read similar Bank of America complaints on PissedConsumer to stay updated.
Automotive Open Class Action Settlements
A faulty part in any product can be an inconvenience to consumers. But faulty manufacturing in automobiles can be deadly. These open class action settlements might involve important auto recalls.
Settlement Summary: Takata is an airbag manufacturer whose products were alleged to have defects that could cause them to explode on impact. When airbags deployed in a crash, their inflator could "rupture and expel debris or shrapnel at the driver or passenger and/or otherwise affect the airbag's deployment," according to the class action lawsuit.
Settlements were agreed to with several auto manufacturers using Takata airbags including BMW, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota.
Are You Eligible? To find out if you are a member of this class, please enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the following page: autoairbagsettlement.com.
Payment Amount: Relief for members of this class varies depending on the automaker and whether or not cars need to be recalled for replacement parts. Settlements may also include the coverage of rental vehicles and out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the alleged problem.
Claim Deadline: According to the official settlement site, "the effective date and the final registration/claim deadline are not yet known, but will be posted prominently on [the] settlement website when they are known." This can vary from one automaker to the next. Please check the settlement website for updates.
File a Claim: To file a claim form, please follow the instructions for the appropriate auto manufacturer here.
For More Information: Visit autoairbagsettlement.com and check out other Takata airbag issues at Pissed Consumer.
Ford (PowerShift transmissions)
Settlement Summary: This settlement covers manufacturing and design defects in the PowerShift transmissions installed in certain 2011-2016 Ford Fiestas and 2012-2016 Ford Focus vehicles.
The problems reportedly caused vehicles to suffer sudden or delayed acceleration.
Are You Eligible? You are a member of this class if you reside in the U.S. and purchased or leased a 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta or 2012-2016 Ford Focus with a PowerShift transmission on or before April 25, 2017.
Payment Amount: Remedies for class members vary, but may include:
- The repurchasing of your vehicle through arbitration;
- Payments up to $2325 in cash;
- Up to $4650 in discount certificates toward a new car purchase.
You may also be eligible for reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses related to the alleged problems with the transmissions.
Claim Deadline: There is no claim deadline yet for this settlement. While the court granted final approval of the settlement on October 18, 2017 and class members can now file claims, those claims can't be processed and no money will be paid until a current appeal is resolved.
File a Claim: Learn how to file a claim here.
For More Information: Go to the following website fordtransmissionsettlement.com and our consumer advocacy site to find out about other transmission problems in Ford reviews and complaints.
Data Breach Open Class Action Settlements
One of the scariest things consumers can be subjected to is a data breach with a company they trusted. That could mean anything from financial to health-related information ends up in the wrong hands. And it puts consumers at risk of becoming victims of identity theft.
Below you can find open class action settlements related to data breaches to help you recover some of your potential losses.
Settlement Summary: Anthem is a U.S. health insurance company. They announced they had been a victim of a cyberattack in February 2015 which involved patients' personal information being stolen. The suit was brought as a result of Anthem failing to protect their customers' data.
Are You Eligible? You're a member of this class if you were contacted by Anthem about this breach, or if your information was otherwise compromised in the breach.
Payment Amount: Anthem provided free credit monitoring services to affected customers. (This benefit is already expired and further claims aren't being accepted.) If you became a victim of identity theft as a result of this data breach, Anthem will provide access to fraud resolution services through Experian after the settlement is finalized, with May 9, 2018 being the earliest possible effective date.
If you spent money out-of-pocket to resolve identify theft or resulting fraud, you may be able to file a claim up to a maximum of $10,000.
Claim Deadline: The claim deadline for free credit monitoring has passed. The deadline to file for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of this data breach is February 1, 2019. However, once out-of-pocket claims exceed $15 million, no further claims will be paid.
File a Claim: The following link will instruct you on filing a claim for out-of-pocket expenses related to the Anthem data breach.
For More Information: Check the website databreach-settlement.com or learn from other Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield consumers on Pissed Consumer.
These 7 examples show that class action settlements can be filed because of various reasons: from a failed firmware update to defective design of the transmission. But what unites them all is the lack of preventive actions that results in substantial settlement payments.
Such class action suits should remind the companies that there is no minor issue in services that doesn't deserve your attention. And should remind the consumers of the necessity to know their rights and that joint effort are more effective than individual.
Stay updated, read what people have to say about companies' products and services and share your experience as well on pissedconsumer.com. Because your experience drives decisions.
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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal, medical, accounting, investment, or any other professional advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.