San Francisco, CA: Plaintiffs Holly Barker and Brian Carness have filed lawsuits against defendants Skype Communications, S.a.r.l. ("Skype Communications"), Skype Technologies S.A., Skype, Inc. and eBay Inc., on its own behalf and as successor by merger to Skype Delaware Holdings, Inc. (collectively, the "Defendants") challenging the Skype Credit expiration policy.
The plaintiffs allege that Skype User Accounts and Skype Credit constitute "gift certificates" cannot expire or be subject to inactivity fees under various states' laws and that Defendants unlawfully applied the Skype Credit expiration policy against their Skype Credit balances after 180 days of inactivity in supposed violation of these various states' laws, including applicable "gift certificate," consumer protection and/or unfair and deceptive practices laws.
The defendants deny that they did anything wrong whatsoever, and contend that plaintiffs' claims are meritless. No court has decided which side is right, and both sides have agreed to resolve the cases and provide relief to the Settlement Class instead of litigation.
There is a proposed settlement on behalf of a nationwide class of current and former United States resident purchasers of Skype Credit from Skype Communications, which, if approved, will provide that Skype Communications shall discontinue its Skype Credit expiration policy and implement a Reactivation Policy whereby Skype Credit will no longer expire after 180 days of inactivity, but rather be deemed "inactive" and subject to reactivation.
In addition, Skype Communications, on behalf of itself and the other Defendants, has agreed to pay a Settlement Amount of $1,850,000 in full and complete settlement of the Released Claims, which shall include: (i) attorneys' fees and costs and named plaintiffs' incentive awards not to exceed $1,000 each, which collectively shall not exceed 25% of the Settlement Amount subject to Court approval; and (ii) availability, on a claims made basis, of an electronic voucher for $4.00 of Skype Credit per claimant from the Net Settlement Amount.