The claim process has started in our consumer fraud class action against BP for illegal debit card fees at Oregon ARCO stations. We’re getting a lot of calls, emails, and questions on our Facebook page.
And on top of it all, ice and snow have moved into Portland. So it looks like I may not be able to get to my office to answer calls today.
A few details and updates.
1) One common question is “How do I make a claim?”
There are two ways. If we recover your name and address, you’ll get a notice that says you’re in. If you get a letter, you don’t have to do anything more to make your claim.
The notices are starting to go out this week and will continue as we get more names and addresses. We have about 500,000 letters going out this week. I’m hoping that we’ll get another million names and addresses.
To keep your data secure, I do not have direct access to it, so I can’t look up whether we’ve recovered your data.
For those people whose records we do not recover, you will need to file a claim form. Very important: We can’t file for you because you need to fill out the form.
2) More information
FAQ’s on the official website are here.
If you want more of a flavor of the history of this fight, you can read blog posts collected here.
3) What will consumers who make claims get?
The jury verdict means a maximum of $200 for each consumer who paid the illegal debit card fee between January 1, 2011 and August 30, 2013. The court may deduct up to $40 from each claim to contribute to fees and expenses. We’re asking the court to order BP to pay all the fees–we don’t know how the court will rule. Bottom line: Depending on the court’s ruling, each person who makes a valid claim will get $160-200.
4) When do I get my money?
Great question. Don’t go spending it yet. BP tells us they will appeal. That may well take years. If BP wins on appeal, we may not collect a dime. (And by “we,” I mean you and me!) But if we keep winning, you also get interest at 9 percent on your claim.
5) What’s next?
We hope to finish the claim process by December 31. There is an attorney fee hearing in February. (Sorry, I don’t have the date at fingertips but will make sure it gets posted on the official site.)
We’re pleased with our progress, but there is far to go. My promise to you: Our legal team will keep fighting until we see this thing through. We’ll also do our best to answer questions and get back to you, but we’re buried in this, so please be patient.
Best contact for me is firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 503.228.6474. Thanks for you patience and your support.