BP Class Action Update: Class Notice

Finally. Class notice has started in our class action against BP. The case involves illegal debit card charges levied on Oregon gas purchasers. We’re suing under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act because BP violates the Oregon rules governing gasoline price advertising.

Here is a link to the class action notice website.

Trial is set to begin January 14, 2014. If we win, members of the class may be eligible to claim up to $200 for these illegal transactions. More detail as it becomes available. For those in the class, please visit the website. You might want to register there so that the administrator can contact you if that becomes important.

Want more information about the case? Go here and here.

Feel free to call us or email if you think you might be part of the class or if you have stories to share. I am lead counsel for the class.

 

David Sugerman

22 thoughts on “BP Class Action Update: Class Notice

  1. I first became aware of this issue a couple of years ago when money was very tight for our family. When I say very tight, I mean, we planned our budget down to the last penny. We had absolutely no “wiggle room” in our budget. I was not working and my wife’s income was barely enough to keep us afloat. I went to an ARCO station to purchase gasoline for my vehicle. I was, at the time, unaware of the debit card charge. I asked the attendant to put in $20 worth of gasoline. That is all the money I had allotted that week for gas. One penny more would throw our entire month’s budget out of balance. When I went into the store to pay with my debit card, the clerk asked me to slide my card through the machine. This I did. I was surprised to see a prompt which advised me that ARCO was going to charge me $0.45 for using my debit card. (They have since this event reduced the charge to $0.35) So my cost for the gas was now $20.45. Since I had no cash on me, I was forced to agree to the charges. I paid for the gas and left the station. Later that night, I informed my wife what happened so she could adjust the budget accordingly.

    Unfortunately, she had paid bills that day and we were down to a zero balance in our checking account. When that charge hit, we over-drafted our account. $120 in fees later, we got that straightened out. That $20 worth of gas ended up costing us $140.45! It also led to us making our mortgage payment late the following month which cost us additional fees.

    Needless to say, after that, we always take into account the “transaction fee” they charge if we have to use our debit card to purchase gas at ARCO. But, I have to say, I was a bit angry about that situation. A lousy $0.45 caused us several months of heartache as we worked to overcome the fees associated with that overdraft.

    Sad as it is, what they are doing is business as usual for many companies. Corporations are no longer interested in providing the best product or service to the consumers, but rather, figuring out how they can bilk them for every last penny they have. And, it isn’t as if this lawsuit is going to change anything. BP will continue to screw their customers, they will just figure out a different way to do it.

  2. Robert-
    Thanks for sharing your story. I think it’s easy to lose sight of how little things can have big impacts on families who are in tough circumstances. Your timely reminder helps us keep clear about what is at stake.

  3. It’s really frustrating when a person feels compelled to lie or fabricate a story such as Robert has.

    ARCO does not, will not, and has NEVER pumped gas for a debit card customer without first pre-paying for the fuel. As such, if Robert DID pay $20.45 for fuel, he knew about the charge prior to purchasing the fuel.

    I think the surcharge for the debit is ridiculous, and if it is found to be in violation of the law, then BP needs to be sorted out, but the TRUTH is what needs to be conveyed, not deliberate falsehoods.

  4. Actually, the vast majority of Oregon ARCO and am pm mini markets require that you pay inside, so yes, the great majority of gas purchases involve a debit card fee applied *after* the gas has been pumped. No station street sign tells you about a debit card fee or that the prices on street signs apply only to cash-paying customers.

    -David

  5. I can confirm they they *did* charge the fee after pumping gas. On 82nd and Fremont before they installed card readers at the pump, I had to tell them to fill it and then go inside and wait to pay the final amount. Only when it finished and the card swipe was in progress did the fee show up, way too late to change one’s mind. I avoided Arco until the pump readers showed up, and now know to factor the fee in. It still ends up cheaper almost every time (esp compared to the 76 across 83nd that is *always* 20c more per gallon!) and it might be less illegal now that card fee recovery at point of sale is allowed, but it’s still annoying.

  6. I too think these fees are a scam! Not only ARCO, but various small stores I’ve been to do this and I’ve pain up to 50 cents on each purchase…SCAM!!

  7. This is the first I’ve heard of this until the 11 o’ clock news tonight. ( 12-Nov-14 ). I’ve been filling up approx. every 4 days at the ARCO in Sandy Or. using my Debit card. This year it’s been closer to at least once a week, retirement is finally settling in.

  8. worked at tektronix 2008-2014, used arco at murray and tv highway and the am/pm arco on allen near lombard, used my first tech debit card all the time, didn’t want to because of this but those were the cheapest sources on my commuting pattern. Hope something is done about that! Jim Haworth

  9. Arco does pump your gas before you pay…or at least AM/PM on Glencoe rd/Hwy 26 does. They also require you to pay inside and wait for your number to be called before you pay. Then you walk up to the counter, swipe your card and then would get hit with that dreaded message…..there is a .35 cent fee to use your card, would you like to accept. That would be the first time a person would be told about it. I remember the day the fee dropped off….I was shocked LOL. My husband and I liked using AM/PM because of the inexpensive gas prices but we would always have to factor in the .35 fee, if we didn’t have cash on us… and at that point…it’s not so inexpensive compared to the other guys who don’t charge a fee.

  10. Thanks for your comments. Roughly 500,000 letters are going out this week to people whose names and addresses we recovered to confirm their claims. There should be more letters, but we do not yet know the total. If you do not get a letter, you can get more info or file a claim at the official website. Questions? Call me at 503.228.64674 or email at david@davidsugerman.com

    -David

  11. Thanks for your comments. Roughly 500,000 letters are going out this week to people whose names and addresses we recovered to confirm their claims. There should be more letters, but we do not yet know the total. If you do not get a letter, you can get more info or file a claim at the official website. Questions? Call me at 503.228.64674 or email at david@davidsugerman.com

    -David

  12. Thanks for your comments. Roughly 500,000 letters are going out this week to people whose names and addresses we recovered to confirm their claims. There should be more letters, but we do not yet know the total. If you do not get a letter, you can file a claim at http://www.debitcardclassaction.com You can get more information at http://www.debitcardclassaction.com You can also call me at 503.228.64674 or reach me by email at david@davidsugerman.com

    -David

  13. Ive been aware of the charge, but havent been happy with it. They were always the closest station and I frequently had no choice but to stop there.

  14. I purchased fuel and convenience store items at the Arco ampm steadily 2011-2013. I had to wait until my fuel was pumped and all payments were made inside the store after fuel was put in my vehicle, with the use of my personal debit card. I was unaware that I was being charged extra, and I believe this was their intent to trick and abuse consumers.

  15. Thanks Jennifer. We’ve heard many, many people tell the same story. But that is over now because Judge LaBarre ordered them to quit the illegal practice. No more debit card fees on gas purchases. I hope you received a notice or made a claim. Of you need help, feel free to call us after the holiday weekend at 503.228.6474.

    -David

  16. The Arco in tigard and beaverton does not make you pre pay nor is the fee posted or was it when I lived there in 2012. Just because yours doesn’t does not mean all are the, same.

  17. Hi Kimberly-Thanks! The evidence at trial was that you pay inside after you fill. No station had disclosures on street signs. Oregon law requires them. And every fee violated Oregon law because you can’t charge more for gas than the total price on the pump.

  18. Hi Linda-Thanks for your comment. BP has made it clear that they will appeal once the trial court enters judgment. Payment could take years.
    -David

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