Are you a Victim of Hidden Fees?
Some companies make extra money by oppressing consumers with hidden fees. Most of the time hidden fees appear in transactions that include contracts such as charge cards, loans, hotels, student fees, and telecommunication services like internet, television, and phones. Hidden fees also commonly appear in tickets for sporting events, concerts, and shows. There are laws, such as the Truth In Lending Act (TILA), that are aimed at eliminating hidden fees to protect consumers from over paying. The lawyers at Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. have experience working on lawsuits involving the TILA and understand how hidden fees can disadvantage a consumer.
The TILA forces loan companies and credit card companies to tell consumers about all fees and other important information before a consumer signs a contract. Interest rates, late fees, due dates, overdraft charges, and the total amount expected to be paid on a loan is valuable information lenders and creditors must explain to consumers. Essentially lenders and banks who provide auto loans, home mortgages, credit cards, and debit card services must clearly provide consumers with a contract that explains all fees so that there are no hidden fees. If a lender or bank does burden a consumer with a hidden fee, the consumer has the right to cancel under the TILA and may be eligible for a refund. This is called a rescission and the bank or lender would be required to pay back the consumer all their money.
Hidden fees are also apparent in student fees, hotels, tickets, and in telecommunication services. Colleges are making students pay more by automatically placing stadium fees, technology fees, counseling and advising fees, and gym recreational fees in a student’s tuition. Sometimes students can bargain with colleges and universities to have these fees removed from their tuition. For example, if a student already has a gym membership, there may be no reason for the student to pay for a gym membership at the school. Hotels have also been known to burden consumers with hidden gym related fees. When signing a contract for a hotel, it is important to read the fine print to see if there are any extra services you are going to be charged for. Extra services may include dining, gyms, room service, and other amenities like coffee and popular refrigerated mini bars.
For event tickets, there are hidden processing and service fees apparent in online transactions. Today many venues, theaters, and stadiums sell tickets online using third party companies, and these third party companies are the ones slamming consumers with processing and service fees. Hidden processing and service fees are also apparent in telecommunication services like cable, internet, and phones. It is important before signing a contract for a telecommunication service to clearly discuss with the provider how much monthly payments will be and if there are any installation or activation fees. Also, be aware that many telecommunication services will offer promotional discounts, but these promotional discounts do not last forever. Which means your monthly payment may increase when the promotional discount ends.
If you are the unfortunate victim of hidden fees and you think your TILA rights have been violated, contact Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. at (614)944-5219 for legal assistance. You can also learn more about the TILA on our website by clicking here, or you can send us a message online if you would like for one of our lawyers to prepare and present a one-hour presentation for you about the topic.