Managed Care Advisory Group, LLC: Visa/MasterCard Settlement Offers Cash to
Millions of U.S. Merchants
Ohio Company Helps Merchants File Claims into Complex Settlement
TOLEDO, Ohio -- October 16, 2013
Over the past month, the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement has drawn
considerable attention among U. S. merchants. (In re Payment Card Interchange
Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation | MDL No. 1720). Since the
opportunity is almost unprecedented, there is considerable confusion and
misinformation regarding the settlement, its terms and provisions designed to
provide cash and various forms of relief to merchants. Although final approval
of the settlement is still pending, there is no better time than the present
for merchants to educate themselves about the opportunity and their options.
The Payment Card Settlement arises from allegations that merchants paid
excessive fees (interchange fees) for accepting Visa and MasterCard because of
an alleged conspiracy among the Defendants. It also alleges that merchants had
to follow unfair rules that limited their ability to steer customers to other
payment methods. The Settlement originally provided $7.25 Billion in relief
for merchants, but the amount was reduced after a group of large merchants
opted out of the fund in May. The Settlement still has funds totaling nearly
$6 billion for merchants, before legal and administrative expenses are
withdrawn. The Settlement was designed to provide cash and other relief for
all merchants that accepted Visa and MasterCard purchases between January 1,
2004 and November 28, 2012.
Merchants can file a basic claim on their own and receive a cash award based
on an estimate of their sales and fee volume for a nine-year period. The
estimate will be provided by the Settlement Administrator based on data they
have accumulated from VISA and other sources. However, if a merchant wants to
file an accurate and timely claim supported by actual historical sales and fee
volume, it can be a tedious and complex process. Most merchants had various
Merchant IDs and probably used multiple card processing companies over the
last decade, making it very difficult, if not impossible, to consolidate and
collect accurate data for the majority of the claims period.
An Ohio company, Managed Care Advisory Group, LLC (MCAG), www.mcagvmc.com, has
contracted with more than 20 of the top 50 payment card processors, and over
100 ISO’s and Agents, in order to provide assistance to merchants who want to
file a claim using their actual historical financial data. Since using real
data is the only proven method that is valid and effective for increasing
recoveries, MCAG has spent over a year building a vast data set, including
current and historical data for an estimated 40% of all active merchants.
Relying on over a decade of class action settlement filing experience, MCAG
maintains an intricate knowledge of the Settlement documents and the claims
filing process required to maximize their clients’ cash returns. In recent
settlements, MCAG increased their clients’ cash awards by an average of 52%
over the default or estimated award that would have otherwise been provided by
the settlement administrator. MCAG clients received a cash award that averaged
44% more than other class members who filed claims into these settlements.
Tim Schmidt, CEO, explains, “MCAG uses actual merchant data when negotiating a
claim; we don’t rely on guesswork or estimates. In order to submit a timely
and complete claim that is supported by actual data, MCAG triangulates the
current, historical and settlement provided data, wherever possible, for each
of its merchant clients. Many other competing service companies simply accept
the Settlement Administrator’s estimate, or plan on trying to obtain data
after the claim period has opened, leaving little or no time to contest a
claim or to ensure that an accurate and comprehensive claim is submitted for
merchants. MCAG’s technology and access to data is unique and unprecedented in
the marketplace. The goal is to maximize our client’s cash return from these
MCAG specializes in assisting merchants of all sizes and complexities. Their
Settlement Recovery Service is performed on a contingent fee basis – if there
is no recovery, there will be no fee. Merchants that process with one of
MCAG’s many partners may be offered a substantially discounted fee.
It is strongly recommended that merchants take the time to educate themselves
about this historic opportunity. For those interested in assistance in
maximizing the cash award from these funds, more information about MCAG and
its Settlement Recovery Service can be found by visiting mcagvmc.com.
Peter Schmidt, 800-355-0466 Ext 2401
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