WebLoyalty.com - Federal Court's Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement
Subject: Federal Court's Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement. Please Read.
Did you receive the email below from WebLoyalty.com, Inc., a Norwalk, Connecticut-based company that develops programs that provide subscribers access to money saving services and guarantees (loyalty programs). The email below began circulating in early March 2009.
If this email is legitimate (it appears to be, but it is hard to know for sure, because the email refers to events that will happen in the future, and there appears to be no independent publication of this "proposed settlement") then it may not be such a good deal, anyway.
It appears to say that you have the right
- to sue
- be paid off for the equivalent to two months of the amount that they
illegally charged you.
- wait for the final settlement
The second option is relevant, if you choose to "submit a timely and valid Claim Form (see http://www.webmarketingsettlement.com/claim.pdf )to receive a cash settlement payment in an amount equivalent to the cost of up to two months' membership in each Program". The link in the email provides this information:
"Settlement Class Members who submit a timely and valid Claim Form can receive a cash settlement payment in an amount up to the equivalent of the cost of one or two months' membership in each Program for which they were enrolled. The Claim Form also gives you the opportunity to cancel memberships in any of the Programs. A Claim Form may be obtained on this website, by calling 1 (888) 571-1765, or by sending a written request to the Settlement Administrator, c/o The Garden City Group, Inc., P.O. Box 9265, Dublin, OH 43017-4665."
In many cases, that would be $24 (when they charged $12/month).
The notice says that this is a proposed settlement. That would indicate that the judge has not yet accepted or approved it. If you sign up for it, it is possible that you will then be stuck with it (2 months worth), while those who wait could get a better deal from the final settlement.
We're not lawyers and this is not legal advice... but it just doesn't look like a good deal. We'd wait for the final settlement on June 30, 2009.
The email that was received in March 2009:
Subject: Federal Court's Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement. Please Read.
In Re Webloyalty.com, Inc. Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation,
MDL Case No. 07-01820-JLT, Lead Case No. 06-11620-JLT (USDC, District of Massachusetts)
A FEDERAL COURT ORDERED THIS NOTICE. THIS IS NOT A SOLICITATION FROM A LAWYER OR FROM WEBLOYALTY.COM, INC. ("WLI") TO PURCHASE ANYTHING.
YOU MAY BENEFIT FROM A PROPOSED CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT. PLEASE READ.
This email is a summary of the full Notice that is available on the Settlement website at:
You may be eligible to receive compensation from a proposed class action settlement if you enrolled in or were a member of WLI's Reservation Rewards, Shoppers Discounts & Rewards, Members Specials, Buyer Assurance, Distinctive Privileges, PC Protection Plus, Travel Values, Travel Values Plus, Classmates Rewards, and/or Wallet Shield program (collectively, the "Programs") from September 11, 2000 through September 30, 2008.
A federal court has directed that this Notice be sent to inform you of a proposed class action settlement. Records show that you were enrolled in or were a member of one or more of the Programs identified above from September 11, 2000 through September 30, 2008. The "Settlement Class" or "Class," however, shall not include: (1) those consumers who both were residents in the United Kingdom and enrolled in a Webloyalty International, Ltd. program, (2) those consumers who received a complimentary Program membership, and (3) those WLI employees who were members of a Program for purposes of fulfilling their job functions.
The Settlement will resolve a lawsuit in which claims are made that WLI, et al. (the "Defendants"), among other claims, failed to disclose Program enrollment details regarding monthly billing and transfer of billing information causing consumers to enroll in Programs without full consent in violation of state and federal law. Defendants deny any wrongdoing and the Court has not decided the merits of these allegations. The parties have agreed to settle and provide benefits to Class Members in exchange for a release of claims by Class Members arising out of any of the allegations in the lawsuit or Class Members' membership and/or enrollment in the Programs.
To determine if you are a Class Member eligible to receive compensation and to obtain a full Notice of the proposed Settlement, which includes the required procedures, the deadlines, your obligations, and your options, you must visit www.webmarketingsettlement.com. You may also obtain the full Notice by calling the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-571-1765, sending an email request to the Settlement Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org, or writing the Settlement Administrator, c/o The Garden City Group, Inc., P.O. Box 9265, Dublin, OH 43017-4665.
If you are an eligible Settlement Class Member you have rights, obligations and options under the proposed Settlement. You have until May 29, 2009 to make certain decisions and until September 2, 2009 to file a Claim Form. Your legal rights are affected whether you act or not.
SUMMARY OF SETTLEMENT BENEFITS AND YOUR OPTIONS
1. PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT AND SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM
Class Members who submit a timely and valid Claim Form can receive a cash settlement payment in an amount equivalent to the cost of up to two months' membership in each Program for which they were enrolled. Defendants will pay a Settlement Cash Amount up to ten million dollars ($10,000,000). If the amount of the claims submitted exceeds this amount, the amount of each individual cash settlement payment will be reduced proportionately so it does not exceed the maximum. The Settlement also provides for comprehensive remedial changes in the manner of enrollment in the Programs and the information provided to consumers concerning their enrollment and membership in the Programs.
The cost of Settlement notice, administration costs, and attorneys' fees and expenses will be paid by WLI separate and apart from the Settlement Cash Amount. These costs will in no way reduce the benefits available to Settlement Class Members from the Settlement Cash Amount.
The Claim Form also gives you the opportunity to cancel memberships in any of the Programs. A Claim Form may be obtained on-line at www.webmarketingsettlement.com, by calling 1-888-571-1765 or by sending a written request to the Settlement Administrator, c/o The Garden City Group, Inc., P.O. Box 9265, Dublin, OH 43017-4665. Your Claim Form must be postmarked no later than September 2, 2009. For more information regarding the eligibility requirements and the Settlement benefits, you may visit www.webmarketingsettlement.com. Please do not contact the Court.
2. EXCLUDE YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT
This is the only option that allows you to bring your own lawsuit against the Defendants for the same types of claims alleged in this matter. Your request for exclusion must be mailed to the Settlement Administrator and postmarked on or before May 29, 2009. The full Notice, available at www.webmarketingsettlement.com, explains how to exclude yourself. Please do not contact the Court.
3. OBJECT TO OR COMMENT ON THE SETTLEMENT/ATTEND THE FINAL APPROVAL HEARING
If you do not exclude yourself, you can write the Court and mail a copy to the Settlement Administrator and one of Class Counsel about why you do, or do not, support the proposed Settlement or any of its provisions or about speaking to the Court about the fairness of the proposed Settlement. The Court will hold a hearing on June 30, 2009 at 12:00 p.m. to determine whether the Settlement should be finally approved. Your objection or comments must be filed with the Court and served on or before May 29, 2009. You can also attend this hearing, but you do not have to. The full Notice, available at www.webmarketingsettlement.com, explains how to object or comment on the proposed Settlement and the procedures you need to follow if you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing.
4. DO NOTHING
If this proposed Settlement is approved, you will automatically be included in the Settlement Class and give up your right to be part of any other lawsuit regarding the same issues raised in this Litigation, and you will not be eligible to receive compensation from the Settlement unless you submit a Claim Form.
FINAL FAIRNESS HEARING
On June 30, 2009 at 12:00 p.m, a hearing will be held in Courtroom 22, 7th floor, of the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, Massachusetts 02210. The purpose of the hearing is for the Court to decide whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should be approved. The Court will also decide whether a final judgment should be entered dismissing this lawsuit, and the amount of attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses and incentive awards to the Settlement Class Representatives. This hearing may be postponed without further notice.
To get complete information about the proposed Settlement, copies of the full Notice and Claim Form as well as the deadlines, your obligations, and your options, you must visit www.webmarketingsettlement.com, call the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 1-888-571-1765 or send an email to email@example.com. Do not contact the Court.
Please do not reply to this message. We are unable to respond to inquiries sent in reply to this email. To contact us, please access the official Settlement website at www.webmarketingsettlement.com.
And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive. We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!