Just about anyone who bought electronics in Canada between 1999 and 2002 can file for a minimum $20 rebate, thanks to the settlement of numerous class-action lawsuits involving the price-fixing of electronics.
The lawsuits stemmed from allegations that, between 1999 and 2002, manufacturers of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) had colluded to fix prices, driving up the costs of many electronic items to consumers. Some of the manufacturers pleaded guilty in the U.S. or Europe to price-fixing charges.
Among the companies involved were major electronics players including Hitachi, Hynix, Samsung and Toshiba.
Electronics that contain DRAM include desktop and latptop computers, mp3 players, DVD players, printers and numerous other items (see list below).
Anyone who purchased a product with DRAM can file a claim for a minimum $20 reimbursement at TheMoneyIsMine.ca, a website set up by four law firms representing Canadian consumers in the lawsuits.
According to the website, “no receipt or proof of purchase is required to claim the minimum $20 compensation,” but “some documents might be required depending on the size of your claim.”
"It's a great outcome for Canadian consumers," said lawyer J.J. Camp, a partner at Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman, one of the law firms involved.
"We've made it easy for them to get their money back. I also think it's an opportunity for all Canadians to show that they want healthy competition between consumer product companies."
Those who want to file a claim will have to do so before June 23, 2015, or “you will not receive any money from the settlements,” the website states.
A similar campaign has been running in the U.S. since last year, with Americans who bought electronics with DRAM between 1998 and 2002 being eligible for a minimum $10 payment.
Only one claim can be made per household, but multiple electronic purchases can be listed on a single claim.
While proof of purchase is not needed, the law firms involved urge claimants to produce “any documents that show your purchases or that we can use to calculate your purchases.”
Here is a list from The MoneyIsMine.ca of electronic products containing DRAM that could make you eligible for a cash payment:
- desktop computers
- laptop computers
- DVD players
- personal digital assistants
- graphics cards
- personal video recorders (PVR’s)
- digital video recorders
- video game consoles
- MP3 players
- memory modules
- computer based point of sale systems
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