Published on May 29, 2014
Posted in: News, Prepaid Credit Cards
TORONTO, May 28, 2014 – A proposed class action was delivered earlier this week, May 26 2014, against Peoples Trust Company and Peoples Card Services LLP on behalf of a class of consumers in Ontario. The Statement of Claim (which has not been proven in Court) alleges that the defendants breached the Ontario Consumer Protection Act by extracting unauthorized and illegal fees from prepaid credit cards they sold. The claim seeks damages of $100,000,000.00. A copy of the Statement of Claim can be found at www.prepaidcreditclassaction.com .
The lead plaintiff is Joyce Bernstein, who in September, 2010 obtained a prepaid visa card branded with the name “Vanilla Prepaid Visa”. The Vanilla Prepaid Visa card, which the defendants issued, stated on it that it was “valid thru to 04/14”. In September, 2013, and despite never having used her card, Ms. Bernstein learned that all the amounts on her card had been seized by Peoples.
Ms. Bernstein alleges, on behalf of the class, that Peoples’ seizure of funds from prepaid credit cards was illegal, and impermissible under the Ontario Consumer Protection Act.
The claim alleges that the defendants’ prepaid credit cards were governed by the Ontario Consumer Protection Act, which set out when certain fees could be charged against the cards, and the permissible amounts. The claim alleges that the charges levied against the Peoples prepaid credit cards were not permissible under the Consumer Protection Act.
Ms. Bernstein is represented by Jordan Goldblatt and Christine Davies of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP and Louis Sokolov of Sotos LLP. Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP and Sotos LLP are currently co-counsel in a $100,000,000.00 class action against Bell Mobility Inc. alleging that expiry dates on its pre-paid wireless services are illegal.
“We believe that people in Ontario are entitled to be treated fairly and transparently in all their consumer transactions,” said Mr. Goldblatt.
“The Consumer Protection Act exists to prevent companies from engaging in ‘unfair business practices’ that harm their customers,” said Mr. Sokolov. “We are asking the Court to decide whether the systemic practice of seizing money from prepaid credit cards is unlawful. If it is, then the practice must stop and the money must be returned.”
Information on this action, and for prospective class members is available at www.prepaidcreditclassaction.com.