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The TJX Companies, Inc. has entered into a settlement agreement on customer class action suits relating to claims that arose from intrusions into its computer system that breached customers' privacy. The cost of the settlement is estimated at approximately $128 million.
While the settlement is still subject to court approval, it includes the following provisions:
- Customers who returned merchandise without a receipt to the company's stores, received letters from TJX saying that their drivers' license or other identification information may have been compromised. These customers will be offered three years of credit monitoring along with identity theft insurance coverage, paid for by TJX.
- TJX will reimburse these customers for the documented cost of certain drivers' license replacements and, if their drivers' license or other ID numbers were the same as their social security number, for certain losses from identity theft.
- Customers who show they shopped at TJX stores located in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico (excluding Bob's Stores) during the relevant periods and incurred certain costs as a result of the intrusion, will receive vouchers for use in TJX stores in the country in which they reside.
- TJX will hold a one time, three day "customer appreciation" event in which prices at all T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and A.J. Wright stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and all Winners and HomeSense stores in Canada will be reduced by 15 percent. The date of this special event will be advertised. It will be open to all customers and is expected to occur sometime in 2008.
The settlement is contingent on completion of an evaluation by the plaintiffs' independent security expert on the computer security enhancements made and planned by TJX and their acceptance of the plan. While TJX denies the claims and allegations underlying the class actions, the company has concluded that further legal activity would be time consuming and expensive, making it desirable that the actions be settled.
Carol Meyrowitz, TJX' President and CEO, said, "Our customers have always come first. We deeply regret any inconvenience our customers may have experienced as a result of the criminal attack on our computer system. Furthermore, we truly appreciate our customers' continued patronage."
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