Thursday, December 06, 2007

Yes, I am suing Visa and MasterCard

In the winter of 2002 my wife and I took off for Europe to celebrate our new engagement. The trip was quit fun. The only thing that pissed me off was the when using our Visa card, they charged an abnormal fee that I believe was called "currency conversation fee," or something like that.

Anyway, I kind of forgot about it. That's common for me. Get all upset, then forget about what I got upset about.

Five years later I get a notice in the mail from the U.S. District Court Settlement Administrator from Philadelphia. It looks close to what we would call junk mail. Ironically enough though, I decided to read the lengthy document (they also have a website) instead of tossing it. Lo and behold some nice class action attorney's sued Visa, MasterCard, and Diners Club for the very thing I was upset about: "transactions denominated in a foreign currency or with a foreign merchant." I'm listed as a plaintiff.

The large credit cards settled for $336,000,000 of which I'll get $25. Being we were on a tight budget, and my wife still likes to use travelers' checks, this is about what we paid in "fees".

The attorneys in the deal are expecting to get about $86,000,000 of the settlement. That seems like a lot to me. But then again they did get back $25 dollars that upset me so in the past. Though we all know Visa, MasterCard and Diners will simply increase rates or transaction fees to recoup the losses. Then we'll sue them again for something else, pay our attorneys 30% and write a blog about it.

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