Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I receive a notice?

    The official Notice is to inform you of the proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit and about all of your rights and options before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement Agreement. It also describes the lawsuit, the proposed Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available and who can get them.

    Judge Gary Feinerman of the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois is overseeing the proposed Settlement in the matter of Douglas v. The Western Union Co., Case No. 14-cv-1741 (the “Litigation”). The proposed Settlement will resolve the claims made against Western Union in the Litigation. The people who sued are called the “Plaintiff.” Western Union is the “Defendant.”

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  2. What is this Litigation about?

    The lawsuit alleges that Western Union sent text messages to Plaintiff’s wireless telephone numbers without prior express written consent and in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (“TCPA”), and it seeks statutory damages under the TCPA on behalf of the named Plaintiff and a proposed class of all individuals in the United States who received one or more unsolicited text messages from or on behalf of Western Union between March 12, 2010 and November 10, 2015.

    Western Union denies each and every allegation of wrongdoing, liability and damages that were or could have been asserted in the Litigation and further denies that the claims in the Litigation would be appropriate for class treatment if the Litigation were to proceed through trial.

    The Settlement resolves the lawsuit. The Court has not decided who is right.

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  3. What is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act?

    The TCPA is a federal law that restricts telephone solicitations and the use of certain automated telephone equipment, such as automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines.

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  4. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, Plaintiff Jason Douglas) sue on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated people. Together, all the people with similar claims are members of a “Settlement Class.”

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  5. Why is there a settlement?

    The Court has not decided in favor of Plaintiff or Western Union. Instead, both sides have agreed to a settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the Parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and, if the Settlement is approved by the Court, Settlement Class Members will receive the benefits described in the Settlement Agreement. The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Western Union did anything wrong. Western Union denies all legal claims in this case.

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  6. Who is included in the Settlement?

    The Settlement includes all persons in the United States who received one or more unsolicited text messages sent by or on behalf of Western Union between March 12, 2010 and November 10, 2015. These people are called the “Settlement Class.”

    Excluded from the Settlement Class are (a) Western Union, its officers, its directors; (b) Class Counsel; and (c) the Judges who have presided over the Litigation and their immediate family members.

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  7. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?

    If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class or have any other questions about the Settlement, please email info@WesternUnionTCPASettlement.com or call the toll-free number 1-877-841-8156. You also may send questions to the Western Union Text Settlement at Western Union Text Message Settlement Administrator, C/O Epiq Systems, Inc., PO Box 3145, Portland, OR 97208-3145.

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  8. What does the Settlement provide?

    Western Union has agreed to pay $8.5 million to create a “Settlement Fund.” The Settlement Fund will be used to pay all Settlement costs, including Notice and Administration Costs, the Attorneys’ Fee Award, and Incentive Award to the Class Representative. The remaining “Net Settlement Fund” will be distributed as cash payments to Settlement Class Members who submit Valid Claims. The cash payments will be approximately $250 or an equal share of the Settlement Fund, depending on the number of Valid Claims received. For example, if 1% of the Settlement Class submits Valid Claims, each Settlement Class Member would receive approximately $706. If, however, 5% of the Settlement Class submits Valid Claims, each Settlement Class Member would receive approximately $140. These are only estimates. The total amount of each cash payment will be determined after all Valid Claims are processed, Notice and Administration Costs are finalized, and the Court awards attorneys’ fees. Each Settlement Class Member may only file one claim and receive only one cash payment.

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  9. How do I file a claim?

    To get a payment, you must submit a claim using your 12-digit, unique identifier provided in the postcard or email notice you received. If you qualify for a Cash Award, you must complete and submit a valid Claim Form. You can submit your Claim Form online here. The deadline to file a claim online is 11:59 p.m. PST on February 22, 2016.

    You may also submit your Claim Form via regular mail. Claim Forms submitted by mail must be postmarked on or before February 22, 2016 to:

    Western Union Text Message Settlement
    C/O Epiq Systems, Inc.
    PO Box 3145
    Portland, OR 97208-3145

    No matter which method you choose to file your Claim Form, please read the Claim Form carefully and provide all the information required. Only one Claim Form per Settlement Class Member may be submitted.

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  10. When will I receive my payment?

    Payments to valid claimants will be made only after the Court grants Final Approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved (see FAQ 19). If there are appeals, resolving them can take time. Please be patient.

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  11. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    If you do not want benefits from the Settlement, and you want to keep any right you might have to sue Western Union about the issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called excluding yourself or “opting out” of the Settlement Class.

    To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter or other written document by mail to:

    Western Union Text Message Settlement
    C/O Epiq Systems, Inc.
    PO Box 3145
    Portland, OR 97208-3145

    Your request to be excluded from the Settlement must be personally signed by you and contain a statement that you are a member of the Settlement Class but desire to be excluded from it.

    Your exclusion request must be postmarked no later than February 22, 2016. You cannot ask to be excluded on the phone, by email, or at this website.

    You may opt out of the Settlement Class only for yourself. So-called “mass” or “class” opt outs, whether filed by third parties on behalf of a “mass” or “class” of members of the Settlement Class or multiple members of the Settlement Class where no personal statement has been signed by each and every individual member of the Settlement Class, are not allowed.

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  12. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue the Defendant for the same thing later?

    No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right you might have to sue Western Union for legal claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class in order to try to maintain your own lawsuit. If you start your own lawsuit, you will have to hire your own lawyer, and you will have to prove your claims.

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  13. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?

    Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Western Union about the issues in this case, including any existing litigation, arbitration, or proceeding. Unless you exclude yourself, all of the decisions and judgments by the Court will bind you. If you file a Claim Form for benefits or do nothing at all, you will be releasing Western Union from all of the claims described and identified in Section IX of the Settlement Agreement.

    The Settlement Agreement provides more detail regarding the Release and describes the Released Claims with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate legal terminology, so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firm seeking to represent the Settlement Class (see FAQ 15) for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the Released Claims or what they mean.

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  14. If I exclude myself, can I still get a payment?

    No. You will not get a payment from the Settlement Fund if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.

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  15. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

    The Court has appointed Joseph J. Siprut of Siprut PC as “Class Counsel” to represent all members of the Settlement Class.

    You will not be charged for this lawyer’s services. The Attorneys’ Fee Award will be paid directly from the Settlement Fund. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.

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  16. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel intend to request up to thirty-five percent (35%) (approximately $2,891,000) of the value of the Settlement for attorneys’ fees, plus reimbursement of reasonable, actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the Litigation. The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund. The Court will decide the amount of fees and expenses to award.

    Class Counsel also will request that an Incentive Award of $5,000 be paid from the Settlement Fund to the Class Representative for his service as representative on behalf of the whole Settlement Class.

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  17. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

    If you are a Settlement Class Member (and do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class), you can object to any part of the Settlement. To object, you must submit a letter or other written document that includes the following:

    1. A heading that includes the case name and case number, Douglas v. The Western Union Company, Case No. 14-cv-1741;
    2. Your name, address, telephone number and, if represented by counsel, the name, bar number, address and telephone number of your counsel;
    3. A signed declaration stating, under penalty of perjury, that you are a member of the Settlement Class;
    4. A statement of all your objections to the Settlement including your legal and factual basis for each objection; and
    5. A statement of whether you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing, either with or without counsel, and if with counsel, the name, bar number, address, and telephone number of your counsel who will attend.

    You must file your objection with the Court and mail or email your objection to each of the following postmarked or emailed by February 22, 2016:

    Settlement Administrator Class Counsel Defendant’s Counsel
    Western Union Text Message Settlement
    C/O Epiq Systems, Inc.
    PO Box 3145
    Portland, OR 97208-3145
    Joseph J. Siprut
    Siprut PC
    17 N. State Street
    Suite 1600
    Chicago, IL 60602
    Mark S. Mester
    Kathleen P. Lally
    Latham & Watkins LLP
    330 N. Wabash Avenue
    Suite 2800
    Chicago, IL 60611

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  18. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.

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  19. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court has scheduled a Fairness Hearing on April 25, 2016 at 2:00 p.m., at the Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, located at 219 South Dearborn Street, Courtroom 2125, Chicago, Illinois 60604. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the home page for updates. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will also consider the requests by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and for an Incentive Award to the Class Representative. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at that time. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. It is unknown how long these decisions will take.

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  20. Do I have to attend the hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you submitted your written objection on time, to the proper addresses, and it complies with the other requirements set forth above, the Court will consider it. You also may pay your own lawyer to attend the hearing, but it is not necessary.

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  21. May I speak at the hearing?

    You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, your filed objection must include a statement of whether you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing (see FAQ 17).

    You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.

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  22. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you are a member of the Settlement Class and do nothing, you will not get benefits from the Settlement. And, unless you exclude yourself, you will be bound by the judgment entered by the Court. This means you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit or proceeding against Western Union about the claims at issue in this case.

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  23. How do I get more information?

    The official Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. For a complete, definitive statement of the Settlement terms, refer to the Settlement Agreement. Plaintiff’s Complaint and other important documents are available here.

    You may also write with questions to the Settlement Administrator at Western Union Text Message Settlement, C/O Epiq Systems, Inc., PO Box 3145, Portland, OR 97208-3145, or call the toll-free number, 1-877-841-8516.

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NOTICE: This website provides a summary of the Settlement and is provided for informational purposes only. In the event of any discrepancy between the text of this website and the original text upon which it is based, the text of the original document shall prevail.


Questions? Contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-877-841-8156 or by email at info@WesternUnionTCPASettlement.com

Important Dates

  • Settlement Class Period
    March 12, 2010 through November 10, 2015
  • February 22, 2016
    Deadline to Exclude yourself from the Settlement
  • February 22, 2016
    Deadline to Object to the Settlement
  • February 22, 2016
    Deadline to File Online Claim
  • February 22, 2016
    Postmark Deadline for Claim Filing
  • April 25, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
    Fairness Hearing
    Everett McKinley Dirksen
    United States Courthouse
    219 South Dearborn Street
    Courtroom 2125
    Chicago, Illinois 60604