Frequently Asked Questions
I THINK I'M A CLASS MEMBER. HOW DO I SUBMIT A CLAIM?
All Ontario consumers who were Peoples Trust prepaid Visa or MasterCard payment cardholders between November 29, 2011 and April 30, 2014 are eligible to submit a claim for compensation. No proof of purchase is required.
Simply click “Make a Claim“, and fill in the short claims form. You will be required to declare that the information stated in your claims form is accurate to the best of your knowledge.
WHAT INFORMATION DOES THE CLAIMS FORM REQUIRE?
In order to submit a claim, you are required to provide your contact information and select which prepaid card(s) you held during the class period. The information submitted through the claim form is used to pay compensation to eligible claimants.
The claims form requires each claimant to declare that the information in their claims form is accurate to the best of their knowledge. This is required in lieu of proof of purchase, to ensure that compensation is only paid to class members.
The distribution protocol entitles the Claims Administrator to collect information for the purpose of administering the claims of the Class Members. The information collection is pursuant to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, S.C. 2000, c. 5 .
HELP! I'M HAVING DIFFICULTIES WITH THE CLAIMS FORM.
Once you click “Agree and Submit”, please be patient. Only one claim is permitted per person. Multiple submissions will be disregarded.
WHAT IS THIS CLASS ACTION ABOUT?
This case alleges that Peoples Trust Company and Peoples Card Services LLP (“Peoples Trust”) breached Ontario’s gift card regulations by charging certain fees and seizing unused balances on prepaid payment cards. Click here to read the statement of claim.
The class action covers reloadable and non-reloadable payment cards.
In May 2019 the Superior Court of Justice allowed the plaintiff’s claim, in part, and awarded damages of $16.8 million, plus interest and costs to the class. The Court dismissed the balance of the plaintiff’s claim.
An appeal and cross-appeal of the Court’s judgment was scheduled to be heard in June of this year. Prior to the hearing of the appeal, the plaintiff and Peoples Trust reached an agreement to settle this case.
WHAT SETTLEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED IN THIS CLASS ACTION?
Peoples Trust has agreed to settle the class action for a total payment of $17,000,000. Click here to read the settlement agreement.
The settlement was subject to the approval of Justice Paul Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Justice Perell determined that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the settlement class members. The Court approved the settlement and distribution protocol on September 29, 2020. Click here to read the Court’s reasons for decision.
WHO IS AFFECTED BY THE SETTLEMENT?
You are affected by the class action and/or are a “member” of the settlement class if you are an Ontario resident who purchased or received a Peoples Trust prepaid payment card, as a consumer, between November 29, 2011 and April 30, 2014 (the “Class Period”).
Note: You will be considered to be a consumer if the payment card was purchased for personal, family or household purposes. Prepaid card purchases for business purposes are excluded from the class.
The following payment cards are at issue (the “Prepaid Cards”):
|Non-reloadable Prepaid Cards||Reloadable Prepaid Cards|
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MONEY PAID UNDER THE SETTLEMENT?
The settlement with Peoples Trust will conclude the class action.
On September 25, 2020, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held a hearing to decide whether to approve the settlement and whether to approve a protocol for distributing the aggregate settlement funds, plus accrued interest, less court approved legal fees and other expenses (the “Distribution Protocol”). On September 29, 2020, the Court released reasons approving the settlement and Distribution Protocol.
Settlement class members who purchased or received a Prepaid Card(s) during the Class Period will be able to complete a claim form and submit the claim form. A further notice will be published with the details and deadline for filing a claim under the Distribution Protocol.
The Distribution Protocol provides that the settlement funds will be allocated into two pools as follows:
- 29.2% will be payable to Class Members who possessed reloadable Prepaid Cards; and
- 70.8% will be payable to Class Members who possessed non-reloadable Prepaid Cards.
To value a claim, the claims administrator will:
- Review the settlement class member’s claim form; and
- Pay each claimant with a valid claim, on a per capita basis, up to the average amount of fees and expired balances incurred by Class Members who held either reloadable or non-reloadable Prepaid Cards, from the respective pools.
This notice only summarizes the Distribution Protocol. The entire Distribution Protocol is set out at section 9.1 of the settlement agreement, which is available here. If you have questions about the settlement or claims process, please contact the claims administrator, RicePoint, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at 1-866-723-8270.
WHY IS THE SETTLEMENT DIVIDED INTO TWO DIFFERENT-SIZED POOLS?
The allocation of settlement funds between reloadable and non-reloadable cardholders is based on the damages claimed in respect of each type of card.
Prior to the appeal and settlement, the claim on behalf of non-reloadable cardholders was successful but the claim on behalf of reloadable cardholders was unsuccessful.
The damages claimed in respect of reloadable cards represented 58.4% of the total damages claimed in this class action. A 50% discount was applied to this proportion in recognition of the fact that the claims of Class Members holding reloadable cards was dismissed on summary judgment and would only have been successful if the Plaintiff’s cross-appeal had been allowed.
Under the Distribution Protocol, the settlement funds may be reallocated between the two groups of cardholders depending on how many people in each group submit claims.
WHAT IF I DON'T WANT TO BE IN THE CLASS ACTION?
The deadline to opt out of this class action was August 15, 2017. There is no further right to opt out of this class action.
As a result:
- you will be eligible to participate in the ongoing class action, and
- you may receive money from the class action, but
- you cannot start or continue your own case against Peoples Trust regarding the claims at issue in this action.
WHO ARE THE LAWYERS WORKING ON THIS CLASS ACTION AND HOW ARE THEY PAID?
As an individual, you do not have to pay the lawyers working on this class action any money. The lawyers will be paid from the money collected in the class action. The Court will be asked to decide how much the lawyers will be paid.
The lawyers will be asking that the Court approve legal fees of up to 30% of the settlement funds, plus disbursements and applicable taxes. Any approved legal fees will be paid out of the settlement funds. All amounts paid to Class Members will be subject to a 10% statutory levy to be paid to the Class Proceedings Fund.
The law firms can be reached at:
|Sotos LLP||Goldblatt Partners LLP|
|Telephone (toll free): 1-888-977-9806|
Mail: 180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1200, Toronto ON M5G 1Z8
Attention: Karen Whibley
|Telephone (toll free): 1-800-387-5422|
Mail: 20 Dundas Street West, Suite 1039, Toronto ON M5G 2C2
Attention: Tanya Atherfold-Desilva