Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Six Million Dollar Box of Chocolates

If you are an American Express card holder, you may already be aware of David Muransky vs. Godiva Chocolatier. I wasn't, until a Chicago law firm, via AmEx, sent me a polite request for a deposition relating to a transaction I had in March 2015 at a local Godiva store. After some cogitating and photocopying I remembered that was when K had visited, and I had bought her a box of raspberry stars with my AmEx. Coincidentally the next day, someone named "Jose Hernandez" used my card number to buy a ticket from Dallas to Santiago, Chile; and as I pointed out to AmEx a month later, when I received my statement, that this was unlikely-- as I have no acquaintance with Mr. Hernandez nor a working passport of my own. My money was refunded, I received a new card and I sort of forgot about it until the request for the deposition.

Meanwhile, AmEx looked around for someone who had lost their card number to fraud "because allegedly Godiva had printed up store receipts with the card numbers exposed", found Dr. David  Muransky in Florida, and brought suit against Godiva (which is owned by Campbells) because AmEx had been forced to make good on some number of fraud cases allegedly resulting from Godiva's folly. I figured this was just a clash of the titans and nothing would come of it, but no! Turns out that Godiva (while admitting to NO FAULT) is willing to pony up roughly 6 million dollars in a settlement to the afflicted card holders, Dr. Muransky, and the lawyers involved. That breaks down roughly to about 2 million for the various lawyers, about 10,000 for Dr. Muransky (who wants to donate it to a consumer protection agency) ( Godiva wants to donate the unclaimed settlement funds to Save the Children), and the rest of us who sign off on the settlement get maybe about 200.00, depending on the number of claimants. J asked "Can we get it in chocolate?"

I have to say the biggest question I have is "What did Dr. Muransky buy?" Those raspberry stars are Mighty Fine. I would still buy stuff from the Godiva store; I just pay cash now.

4 comments:

  1. Seems Chicago is keeping its rep alive as a town of crime! I had a similar experience at The Drake Hotel. I bought batteries for my Palm Pilot (STOP SNICKERING!) in the gift shop. The helpful employee help herself and her boyfriend to mine (and others) card numbers, used those to find some critical thinking challenged trainees at Marshall Fields to give them gift certificates without the charge plate. My Marshall Field’s charge came up to $6K! My partner at the time asked "Why did you spend $6K at Marshall Fields and what did you buy me?!" Since then, I have been in credit card security prison, making sure to let the credit card company know where I am traveling, just in there is 'suspicious activity' on my account.

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    1. It's smart to let them know when you are travelling, otherwise sometimes they will deny your card at a really inopportune time..like when you are trying to get a tow.
      Six thousand at Marshall Fields is a lot of stuff :o

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  2. We have our Chase Bank cards set to alert us when ever anyone spends over 25$, because we usually don't. We can set it as low as 1$ and get an email or text message asking us if we know anything about it. Then we can either ignore it or call them. Chase may be evil but they are the devil we know.
    I'd take it in chocolates! And yeah, the new chip cards that have to be signed for again like the old charge plate slide things really make me wonder what the advantage is. It's like hey, we have this marvelous new technology, here sign this. Ummmm.....
    Raj

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    1. That is a smart idea! AmEx now tells me whenever there is a transaction "when the card is not present", so I get a ping on a lot of online transactions, which is good. Sadly I end up using cash now often in person, just because I got tired of worrying about my cards and also because of the spamfest you get once you are a "recognized customer" of a company. It's also a challenge to weasel around ATM fees for the cash, but I do because ATMs were supposed "to save money" when they replace humans. Now they are vampires and replace humans.

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