We’ve been ticked off at credit card companies for a long time, haven’t we? The high interest rates, the late-payment fees, and the propensity to jack up the rates at the drop of a hat. Congress finally called the credit card companies to the carpet and forced them to reign in some of their practices—although critics have always maintained there will be other ways found to make up for any lost revenue.
And that’s just for us—the schmucks who use credit cards. What about the merchants?
Well, according to a proposed class action lawsuit filed Monday in Canada, merchants aren’t happy with the status quo, either…
Mary Watson is a retailer who operates a furniture store in British Columbia. She has since 1990. And like most merchants who sell big-ticket items, she can understand that most people would rather use plastic to buy that pricey leather sofa, than pull out a wad of hundred-dollar bills.
No, she’s okay with that. What Mary is upset about are all the fees charged to her business when a consumer uses plastic. The fees are hard to track. What’s more, she’s not allowed to promote, or suggest that her customers use an alternative form of payment, such as cash or debit.
She’s not exactly required to suggest her customers use their credit cards. But at the same time, Read the rest of this entry »
So—just when you think that banks and credit card companies cannot—could not—would not?—come up with or instigate any further deceptive business practices, they have. Are you sitting down?
A man and a woman in Illinois have filed a class action this week against VISA, Services Credit Union and 1st MidAmerica Credit Union alleging that the companies failed to disclose administrative fees for gift cards. Now, before you blow this off because it doesn’t sound like a big deal—let me tell you, it stinks.
Short version—Karen Rhodes bought her father-in-law, Gene Rhodes, a gift card with a stated value of $50 valid through several months. However, by the time her father-in-law went to use the gift card it was only worth $2! Why? Undisclosed fees charged against the gift card.
The complaint states: “Defendants placed the valid thru date conspicuously on the front of the GiftCard with the intent that plaintiff and all those similarly situated will rely on the valid thru date when, in fact, defendants knew that, due to defendants’ application of Administration Fees, the GiftCard would not retain its stated value through the valid thru date.”
And “On information and belief, and unknown to Ms. Rhodes, at the time of her purchase of the GiftCard, the actual cash value of the GiftCard was only $35.00, due to the Defendants’ application of administrative fees of $2.50 per month prior to the date of purchase.”
In other words the ‘undisclosed fees’ are deducted from the value of the gift card on a monthly Read the rest of this entry »