Any merit to joining the class action suit against the expiration of Aeroplan miles ?

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by milchap, Apr 6, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I have to admit that this class action suit against the expiration of Aeroplan miles escaped my attention until the April Aeroplan newsletter received today . There is a link at the bottom of the newsletter that goes to the public notice of the lawsuit.

    I also found this link using Google https://www.merchantlaw.com/classactions/aeroplan.php

    Has anyone joined the class action lawsuit?

    Any merit to joining?
     
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  2. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    I hadn't heard of it either. But I would assume only if you have anything expiring? If you don't, I don't imagine that you could gain anything?
     
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  3. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Here are the details of the lawsuit as taken from the official notice.


    "The principal questions to be dealt with collectively are as follows:
    1) Is there a contract between group members and the respondents?
    2) If there is a contract, is it a contract of adhesion?
    3) Could respondents legally alter the terms of the contract unilaterally by
    changing the rules respecting the accumulation and expiration of “Miles”?
    4) Could respondents legally ascribe the date of December 31, 2006 to Miles
    accumulated by members for the purpose of the new expiration rule of 84 months
    adopted on January 1st 2007?
    5) Were respondents legally entitled to apply to Miles accumulated before July 1,
    2007, the new rule providing for the expiration of the Miles in the event of a
    member’s account was inactive for more than 12 months?
    6) Did respondents inform Aeroplan members of the new rules concerning the
    accumulation and expiration of Miles in an adequate and timely manner?
    7) Should these modifications be declared null?
    8) Did the respondents commit a fault giving rise to civil liability as a result of the
    manner in which they implemented and informed members of the modifications to
    the Aeroplan program announced in the press release of October 16, 2006?
    9) If so, are group members entitled to:
     reimbursement of repurchased Miles?
     restoration of the lost Miles?
     damages of $50 for trouble and inconvenience?
     exemplary damages by reason of respondents’ faults?
    5. The conclusions sought in connection with such questions are as follows:
    DECLARE null the modifications made by the Respondents on October 16, 2006
    to the terms and conditions of the contract between them and the Group members
    changing the rules concerning mileage accumulation and expiry of “Miles”;
    ORDER the Respondents to reinstate to Group members all “Miles” expired
    pursuant to the new “Miles” program rules or otherwise compensate them for the
    value of the expired “Miles”;
    ORDER the Respondents to refund Group members for any amount expended to
    repurchase lost “Miles” under the new accumulation and expiration rules;
    ORDER the Respondents to pay $50 to each of the Group members for the
    inconvenience caused by the adoption of the new rules;
    ORDER the Respondents to pay exemplary damages;
    THE WHOLE with costs, including the costs of any expert report and the
    preparation and publication of the notices.
    DECLARE that any member of the Group not having requested exclusion from the
    Group will be bound by the judgment to be rendered in the class action. The delay
    for exclusion is 120 days from the publication of the notice to members."
     
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  4. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I believe that this class action lawsuit affects all Aeroplan members.

    It challenges the legality of the expiration clause for our Aeroplan miles.

    I am sure that other loyalty and reward programs are watching this lawsuit.

    It could set a precedent if the expiration of miles is declared illegal in law.
     
  5. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    The sign up says you can either join the lawsuit or get info (though there is nothing in the signup to indicate how to select one over the other).

    The law firm is a class action specialist in Canada so it would be interesting to see the result.

    Personally, I have around 5K miles left. When they initially announced their changes, I decided to bank my miles elsewhere. The miles I had were over 100K, but redemptions for myself and family members has whittled that number down and I have only added small amounts every year to ensure I maintain activity within a 12 month period.

    Should the law firm win, there damage request would not be as much, unless the judge awards the $50/member (and dependent on who acts on it). The more critical effect would be the cost going forward for Aeroplan as they would have to cover any miles lost up to when they announced the new policy effective 2007. It would be interesting if they were also applying forward that the 7yr policy is illegal (tough one!)

    Of course, if the lawsuit goes against Aeroplan, the biggest winner will be the law firm for their legal costs!
     
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  6. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    The key to your initial question is in the last phrase, extracted above. If you are part of the group, you are automatically part of the lawsuit unless you request exclusion. So there's no need to join in any overt or official manner.

    The law firm's prinicpal, Tony Merchant, was outed this week as having a sum of money in an offshore tax haven. The class action business has been good to him.

    FWIW, I've been part of two groups that won class action suits. One involved CIBC Visa overcharging for foreign exchange, and the victory netted me a few dollars being credited to me account. The other, last year, had to do with Porter airlines, which gave me an opportunity to obtain a discount on a flight. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take advantage of that, as they don't fly out of YEG.

    And, yes, the real winner in these things is the lawyer.
     
  7. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Considering AE miles technically expired at the end of each year (and may still do) because the program did...but was renewed each year...I don't expect this law suit to go very far. In fact, it should never have been accepted to be heard. What should be heard by a court are:

    1. One-sided agreements which contain "change without notice" clauses; and
    2. Who's really responsible for (and keeps) the fuel and other "scam charges" AE adds to award tickets.

    As for the law firm, Merchant has been notorious for such suits and made a fortune off those that succeed, as well as native land and residential school related cases. He was a big shot in the Saskatchewan and federal Liberals during the Trudeau era.
     
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  8. Steanddun

    Steanddun Member

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    The fact that Aeroplan maintains the account while removing all the points would work against the company. The same as gift cards can no longer expire these "miles" are really still there. Aeroplan admits as much in that they will let you access them for a fee. The stealing of your earned benefit is punishment for not using your account, something which should not be allowed. As for whether the law firm is notorious, is not Aeroplan notorious? I think one of Aeroplan's problems here will be the fact that they sent out this information years ago, made a big production of announcing the ending of the 7-year scam and is now sneaking their customer's earned rewards out of their accounts without notice or warning. When my mother was in her eighties she would take a flight every couple of years, but back then Aeroplan had reasonable reward levels. Now, unless you fly for business you will never get anything from them.

    Stealing from their customers tells those customers what they really should know about the company with which they are dealing. Aeroplan is in the business of harming their customers, not helping.
     
  9. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Meh. Go to Esso or Sobey's once a year and your points will live for ever.
     
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  10. Steanddun

    Steanddun Member

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    Has anyone heard anything since about this class action suit? It was expected to take a few years, years which have now passed. I assume Aeroplan is still stealing its customer's property. When a country only has one real airline they can pretty much do what they want.
     
  11. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Maybe in Canada but not the US.
     

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