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Dollarama will pay out $2.5 million in class-action lawsuit settlement over 'oversight' in EHF price display

Canadians who shop at Dollarama may be entitled to part of a $2.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit against the retailer

Canadians who shop at Dollarama may be entitled to part of a $2.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit against the retailer for not properly showcasing the price on certain electronic products.

The plaintiff in the suit, Montreal firm LPC Avocat Inc, alleged that Dollarama was displaying certain electronic products subject to the Environmental Handling Fee (EHF), with one price in large bold font, and the EHF in smaller font on the product labelling.

The lawyer in the case says that’s considered a technical violation under the Quebec Consumer Protection Act.

“Essentially the law says you have to show the full price,” Joey Zukran tells Yahoo Canada. “And this wasn’t money that Dollarama was keeping in their coffers. They were remitting to the environmental authorities.”

He says that consumers have the right and merchants have the obligation to display the full price in large font. In this situation Dollarama split up the two prices.

While Dollarama denied all liability or claims to damages, they were able to arrive at a settlement, which will be paid to claimants in gift cards of up to $15 each.

A Dollarama store is pictured in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 5, 2018.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A Dollarama store is pictured in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The settlement is open to those who have bought a product from Dollarama that was subject to an EHF, such as batteries, electronic products, light bulbs, or toys with batteries, in Quebec between December 11, 2019 and July 4, 2023, or elsewhere in Canada between May 29, 2021 and July 4, 2023.

A proof of purchase such as a receipt isn’t necessary.

Shoppers who believe they might be entitled to part of the settlement must fill out a form with their email address before April 5, 2024, at the website: dollaramaehfsettlement.com.

Zukran says he doesn’t think Dollarama was trying to be sneaky, but simply made a mistake.

“I think there was an oversight for a technical provision of the law and they’re going to pay for it and make it right by the Canadian public and reimburse those who submitted claims,” Zukran says.

The next hearing for a judge to approve the settlement takes place on April 9, 2024.

What is Canada's EHF — Environmental Handling Fee?

An EHF, sometimes called an eco fee, is placed on certain electronic products to help cover the costs of the recovery and recycling of the items at the end of their life cycle.

Each province and territory has its own regime of EHF and is responsible for collecting the fee. The fee is not considered a tax, as none of the funds go to the government.

According to the Recycling Council of British Columbia, in B.C., EHF funds go toward recycling programs such as depot operations, shipping and storage of collected electronics, and public education.