Frequently Asked Questions

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 is subject to the approval of the Court. The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the settlement in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice via video conference on September 25, 2020 at 10:00am. The Court will decide whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the settlement class members.

Update: 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
  • Vanilla Prepaid Visa;
  • Vanilla Prepaid MasterCard;
  • Shell Non-Reloadable MasterCard;
  • The Ideal Choice/Online Payment Card MasterCard;
  • House Points; and
  • Give and Go Prepaid Visa.

 

  • Nextwave Titanium+ Prepaid Visa;
  • Shell Prepaid Reloadable MasterCard;
  • EPIC Prepaid MasterCard;
  • Evolve Prepaid Visa;
  • HorizonPlus Prepaid MasterCard;
  • PTC Company US Dollar Prepaid MasterCard; and
  • YesCard Prepaid Visa.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MONEY PAID UNDER THE SETTLEMENT?

The settlement with Peoples Trust will conclude the class action.

On September 25, 2020, the Court will 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:

  1. Review the settlement class member’s claim form; and
  2. 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. Questions about the Distribution Protocol or any other matters related to this Class Action may be directed to Class Counsel at tatherfold@goldblattpartners.com or salleyne@sotosllp.com.

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?

The law firms of Sotos LLP and Goldblatt Partners LLP represent members of this class action. The law firms can be reached at:

Sotos LLP Goldblatt Partners LLP
Telephone (toll free): 1-888-977-9806

Email: salleyne@sotosllp.com

Mail:   180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1200, Toronto ON  M5G 1Z8

Attention: Sarah Alleyne

 

Telephone (toll free): 1-800-387-5422

Email: tatherfold@goldblattpartners.com

Mail:   20 Dundas Street West, Suite 1039, Toronto ON  M5G 2C2

Attention: Tanya Atherfold-Desilva

 

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.