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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Paypal to pay up to settle class-action suit

As legal cases go, this one may just land up making some money for me. This is how it all began. There is a class action lawsuit against PayPal, which is an internet payment gateway maintained by eBay.

The history
"In early 2002, plaintiffs Roberta Toher and Jeffrey Resnick filed separate lawsuits against PayPal, Inc. These two cases were later consolidated into one lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division. (entitled In re PayPal Litigation, Case No. CV 02 01227-JF (PVT)."

"The lawsuit alleges that PayPal violated the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act ("EFTA"), 15 U.S.C. 1693 et seq., including provisions requiring PayPal to supply customers with information about dispute resolution procedures and to follow certain procedures when investigating complaints of unauthorized or incorrect electronic fund transfers. For example, the lawsuit claims that PayPal did not provide account statements in the manner required by the EFTA. The lawsuit further alleges that PayPal has placed inappropriate restrictions or other limits on customers' accounts and engaged in other improper practices. Based on these practices, the lawsuit asserts claims under California state law for conversion, money had and received, negligence, and violations of consumer protection statutes."

Grievance speak
Given below is list of reasons that led to this lawsuit.
1)"If users have experienced or reported to PayPal an unauthorised or incorrect electronic transfer to or from your PayPal account including, without limitation, electronic transfers initiated by (a) you ; (b) PayPal in connection with, among other things, chargebacks,
refunds, buyer complaints, PayPal's Seller Protection Policy, Buyer Complaint Process and/or Buyer Protection Policy; or (c) any third party."

2) "Had access to your PayPal account improperly, incorrectly or erroneously limited or restricted, in whole or in part."

3) "Made a request for information in connection with PayPal's restriction or limitation of your PayPal account or regarding an incorrect or unauthorised electronic transfer to which PayPal did not respond at all or did not respond to your satisfaction."

PayPal is in the dock for the above alleged malpractices, which they have denied. And where do I come in, in this court case being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division. California by Judge Jeremy Fogel? Well, I woke up this morning (Sunday Aug 1) to find out I had a right to claim compensation! Yes, anyone who has read my "Access Denied" piece on this website will know what I'm talking about.

The rules of the game to claim a piece of this huge pie ($9.25 million) which PayPal is putting aside into a settlement fund are:

"All Persons who opened a PayPal account during the period from October 1, 1999 through January 31, 2004. Excluded from the class are any judicial officer to whom the lawsuit is assigned; PayPal and any of its affiliates; any current or former employee, officer, or director of PayPal; anyone who resides in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, or United Kingdom; and all persons who timely and validly request exclusion from the class pursuant to this notice."

"Thus, if you opened a PayPal account between October 1, 1999 and January 31, 2004, and are not one of the excluded persons listed above, you are a member of the class."

I opened my account in October 2003 and am not on that list of countries given above. I initially thought this was a big hoax , so I wrote to the lawyer-firms in charge called Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo LLP and Wolf Popper LLP and guess what, these guys are the Real McCoy! I'm still recovering from this one guys. Does winning a lottery ticket feel like this?!!!

Written for www.dancewithshadows.com

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