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Ask Audible > Class Action Lawsuit Settlement for Lost Audible Credits

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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura | 47 comments I received the following email regarding a class action settlement for lost Audible Credits [posted in 2 parts - very long, per request]: PART 1

NOTICE OF PENDING CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT
A FEDERAL COURT AUTHORIZED THIS NOTICE. THIS IS NOT A SOLICITATION FROM A LAWYER.

If you have used Audible services, your rights could be affected by a class action settlement. Please read this notice carefully. Your legal rights could be affected depending on whether or not you act in response to this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.



This notice relates to a class action settlement preliminarily approved by the Court in the following lawsuits: Grant McKee et al.v. Audible, Inc., Case No. 2:17-cv-01941 (C.D. Cal.), and Eric Weber and Bryan Rees v. Amazon.com, Inc., and Amazon Services LLC, Case No. 2:17-cv-08868 (C.D.Cal.). These two lawsuits, as well as two similar lawsuits pending in other courts, challenge the sufficiency of information provided to Audible customers about how membership credits work, claiming that customers may not understand that unredeemed credits are lost upon cancellation of a membership plan or upon reaching rollover limits and, for gift memberships, that credits expire following the end of the gift membership term. The lawsuits also challenge the adequacy of information provided to Audible customers related to Audible’s practice of charging other credit or debit cards on file with a customer’s Amazon account if a customer’s primary card is declined. Audible and its parent company, Amazon, dispute the claims by the Plaintiffs in each of the lawsuits and believe that their business practices, and the information provided about them, are clear and understandable to customers and comply with all applicable laws.



Why is there a settlement? No court has decided in favor of either side in any of the lawsuits. Plaintiffs and their lawyers believe that the claims they have made against Audible and Amazon have merit, but that the proposed settlement is fair and in the best interest of the class because it provides appropriate recovery for class members now, while avoiding the risk, expense, uncertainty, and delay of continuing to pursue the lawsuits. In reaching this conclusion, Plaintiffs and their lawyers considered the possibility that one or more of the Plaintiffs and many of the class members might be required to bring their claims individually in arbitration, and the possibility that the lawsuits might ultimately result in no recovery whatsoever. Audible and Amazon do not believe that the claims against them have merit. They are settling because they believe that it is in the best interests of both the Audible business and Audible’s customers to enter into the proposed settlement.



Who is in the settlement class? In the preliminary approval of the settlement, the Court has decided that everyone in the United States who fits one or more of the following descriptions is a class member for purposes of the proposed settlement, defined as follows:



“Regular Class Member” means any individual consumer of Audible in the United States who, between March 10, 2013 and August 17, 2018, lost any unredeemed Paid Membership Credits based on rollover or cancellation. A “Paid Membership Credit” means any credit received as part of a paid Audible membership but does not include a credit received for free, as part of a gift membership, or as a part of any action taken by Audible or Amazon customer service units in the ordinary course of business to address one or more customer complaints.
“Gift Class Member” means any individual consumer of Audible in the United States who, between August 11, 2011 and August 17, 2018, purchased or redeemed an Audible Gift Membership that resulted in unredeemed Audible gift membership credits being lost.
“Payment Card Class Member” means any individual consumer of Audible in the United States who, between March 10, 2013 and August 17, 2018, incurred charges from Audible to a credit or debit card other than the card originally designated as the primary payment card for the customer’s Audible membership.


The settlement will result in additional disclosures from Audible regarding how credits work and its payment processes. In addition, Regular Class Members and Gift Class Members (as defined above) are eligible to receive one or more audiobooks from a settlement catalog of audiobook selections, according to the following:



Credit(s) Lost from Rollover Limit. Every Regular Class Member who lost one or more Paid Membership Credit(s) from March 10, 2013 through August 17, 2018 due to rollover limits will be eligible to select one audiobook from the settlement catalog.
Credit(s) Lost from Cancellation. Every Regular Class Member who lost one or more Paid Membership Credit(s) from March 10, 2013 through August 17, 2018 due to cancellation of the member’s Audible membership will be eligible to select one audiobook from the settlement catalog.
Lost Gift Membership Credit(s). Every Gift Class Member who lost one or more Audible gift membership credit(s) from August 11, 2011 through August 17, 2018 will be eligible to select one audiobook from the settlement catalog


In addition, any class member who lost five or more credits in the aggregate under any of the circumstances identified above will be eligible to select one additional audiobook, for a total of up to four audiobooks. The settlement catalog will have at least 200,000 audiobook titles, will consist of titles that have the same general list pricing as Audible’s overall library, and will include certain celebrity narrations, exclusive content, award winners, and best sellers.



Additionally, Payment Card Class Members may be eligible to receive reimbursement for any Qualified Payment Card Expense that they submit to Audible along with proper documentation within 60 days of the notice of final approval of settlement. A “Qualified Payment Card Expense” means an overdraft fee or similar fee for exceeding an available balance incurred by a Payment Card Class Member between March 10, 2013 and August 17, 2018 as a direct result of Audible having charged a backup payment card instead of the Payment Card Class Member’s primary payment card. To be eligible for reimbursement, a Payment Card Class Member must submit documentation sufficient to confirm that the expenses submitted for reimbursement are Qualified Payment Card Expenses. If you are a Payment Card Class Member, you will receive an email from Audible after final approval informing you of how to request reimbursement for documented Qualified Payment Card Expenses.



Compensation for class representatives and class counsel: As an award for the work performed on your behalf by each of the class representatives in these two lawsuits and two related lawsuits, Defendants have agreed to pay each Class Representative $5,000, with the final approval of that payment to be decided by the court. Jamin Soderstrom of Soderstrom Law PC has been approved by the court as class counsel for the settlement class. You will not be charged for this lawyer. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense, but it is not necessary. Class counsel will ask the court for payment of attorneys’ fees and the expenses that they have incurred in this Lawsuit, of up to $1,500,000.00. Defendants have agreed to pay up to this amount, which will not reduce the benefits made available to the Class under the Settlement. The court, however, may award class counsel less than this amount.



Additional information and documents related to the Settlement and the being settled are available at www.mckeesettlement.com.


message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura | 47 comments PART 2:

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT
The purpose of the notice is to inform you of the proposed settlement agreement and, if you are a class member (as defined above), of your options. Each option has consequences, which you should consider carefully before making your decision. Your options as a class member are summarized below:
DO NOTHING If you do nothing in response to this Notice, you will give up your right to object to the settlement or be excluded from the settlement if it is approved. However, if the settlement is approved, you will automatically become a class member. If you are a Regular Class Member or Gift Class Member, you will receive an email from Audible within 90 days of approval indicating whether you are eligible to select audiobooks from the settlement catalogue as part of the settlement, and if so, the number of audiobooks you are eligible to select and providing instructions on how to select them and Audible will also send you an email between 15 and 30 days before the settlement catalogue closes (which will be at least one year after you receive the original email) to remind you about your selection rights. If you are a Payment Card Class Member, you will receive an email from Audible within 90 days of approval informing you of how to request reimbursement for documented Qualified Payment Card Expenses.
OBJECT You may write to the Court about why you object to (i.e., don’t like) the settlement and think it should not be approved. Filing an objection does not exclude you from the settlement. Even if you object, you will still become a class member if the settlement is approved. To object to the settlement, you must send a letter saying that you object to the Audible settlement in the McKee class action. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, signature, and the reasons you object to the settlement. Any objection and supporting papers must be filed with the Court no later than May 23, 2019, either by (1) mailing them to the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Central District of California and sending a copy by fax, U.S. mail, or email to Class Counsel and Defense Counsel at the addresses listed below; or (2) by filing them in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, except that if you are represented by counsel you must file your objection through the Court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system under the case number for the McKee Case as set forth above. If you fail to object in the manner specified above you will be deemed to have waived any objections and will be prohibited from later making any objection (whether by appeal or otherwise) to the settlement agreement. Deadline:
May 23, 2019
EXCLUDE YOURSELF You may exclude yourself from the settlement, if it is approved, by submitting a written request for exclusion to KCC LLC, P.O. Box 404099, Louisville, KY 40233-4099. Your request for exclusion must include your name; your current address; the email address associated with the Amazon.com account you used to sign up for your Audible membership; a statement indicating that you would like to be excluded from the settlement in McKee v. Audible, Inc., Case No. 2:17-cv-01941 (C.D. Cal.); and your signature. If you exclude yourself from the settlement and it is approved, you will not receive any audiobooks under the settlement and you will retain your right to file your own claims in arbitration or court against Audible or Amazon. Deadline:
May 23, 2019
GO TO THE “FAIRNESS HEARING” The Court will hold a “Fairness Hearing” to consider the settlement, the request for attorneys’ fees and costs by the lawyers who brought the lawsuits, and the Plaintiffs’ request for incentive awards for bringing the Litigation.

You may, but are not required to, speak at the Fairness Hearing about any objection you filed to the settlement. If you intend to speak at the Fairness Hearing, you must also submit a “Notice of Intention to Appear” to the Court and the parties’ attorneys, indicating your intent to do so. To do so, you must send a letter saying that it is your “Notice of Intention to Appear in the McKee v. Audible, Inc. Class Action Settlement Fairness Hearing.” Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, signature, and the reasons you object to the settlement. Mail the notice to the Court, and send a copy by fax, U.S. mail, or email to Class Counsel and Defense Counsel at the addresses listed below. Hearing Date:
July 8, 2019
8:30 am


COURT
Clerk of the Court
United States Courthouse for the Central District of California
350 West First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012



CLASS COUNSEL
Jamin S. Soderstrom
Soderstrom Law PC
3 Park Plaza, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92614
Telephone: (949) 667-4700
Fax: (949) 424-8091
jamin@soderstromlawfirm.com


DEFENSE COUNSEL
Jedediah Wakefield
Fenwick & West LLP
555 California Street, 12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
Telephone: (415) 875-2300
Fax: (415) 281-1350
jwakefield@fenwick.com


message 3: by D.Ann (new)

D.Ann | 1 comments I received this as well.


message 4: by CatBookMom (new)

CatBookMom | 995 comments Thanks for posting this info. I never lost any credits, but if there was a class-action suit like this, clearly I am in the minority.


message 5: by Robin P (last edited Apr 05, 2019 09:52PM) (new)

Robin P | 1036 comments I think it only takes a few complaints, or even one, to start a class-action suit. What generally happens in the ones I've seen is each person gets some tiny amount, like 1.00, which is hardly worth cashing. But often, you don't need to have been inconvenienced by the problem, you just need to have been a customer during the time the problem occurred. In this case, they say it is only those who really lost credits, so they may get credits back. This kind of thing is why it is silly for companies to be stingy with tricky rules. The bad experience of some people and the bad publicity of a lawsuit greatly outweighs giving a few extra credits or refunds over the years to those who felt the rules were unclear.


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura | 47 comments Usually for class actions, it starts out with one complainant or a lawyer who searches for a complainant and then files suit. In order for the suit to be a class action - there must be a set number of individuals who suffered the same damages and are willing to "represent the class." The court then must certify the suit as a "class action." Did you notice that the lawyers can request up to 1.5 million in costs/fees for their services? That's the incentive to pursue these types of suits and to settle - not so much that they are fighting for justice.


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