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gzt



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#115021 11-Mar-2013 12:28
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NBR: "Three of Australasia's biggest law firms will announce the class suit to reclaim the fees, according to a statement. The fees are charged when customers overdraw their accounts, pay credit card bills too late, or bounce a cheque, it said. A press conference is being held in Auckland at 1pm to make the announcement". This action will seek the return of unreasonable fees collected over the last 6 years.

I've seen a few commenters on Geekzone saying class action type suits are not possible in NZ so I wonder about the difference there. It also says the justice minister is working on changes to make class actions easier.

I might be due for about $20 over the last six years. Not looking forward to checking my statements lol : )

Edit: Stuff published a history of recent class actions in Australia which had an impact on NZ late fees: "Westpac, for example, cut exception fees on all credit card and accounts from $25-$30 to $9, a move that cost it about $50m each year. While most default fees now fall in reasonable ranges, the class action is expected to extend back six years, the maximum length of time for a claim under the statute of limitations"

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  #777999 11-Mar-2013 14:24
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Check this Australian webpage out.

http://www.choice.com.au/consumer-action/money/better-banking/unfair-bank-penalty-fees/page/reclaim-your-fees.aspx

Pay particular attention to step 3 and see the letter template.

I used this letter template successfully with Westpac about 2 years ago. I edited out the bits that weren't relevant and I entered a line specifically mentioning that Westpac New Zealand is a subsidiary of Westpac Australia, thus implying (but not stating) that Australian law applies. They never argued and a few weeks later i got a refund of every credit card late payment penalty that I had ever been charged, which amounted to a few hundred dollars. WIN!

It is definitely worth doing and costs nothing but a sheet of paper and a stamp to try. When I get home I will find the actual letter I sent and copy it here so everyone has it word for word if that helps.

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  #778059 11-Mar-2013 15:59
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Thanks I might do that. More information is out. An full article at the Herald after the launch and the website of the group taking the litigation forward:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10870518

https://www.fairplayonfees.co.nz

 
 
 
 


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  #778073 11-Mar-2013 16:44
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Aren't the fees though disclosed by the bank. Although $1 billion going back into the NZ economy will help the NZ economy due to the drought.

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  #778130 11-Mar-2013 18:09
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The only real winners here will be crafty lawyers behind the suit.




Keep calm, and carry on posting.

 

 

 

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  #778138 11-Mar-2013 18:15
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if I was charged say $50 in my entire life what compensation do I stand to gain?




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  #778145 11-Mar-2013 18:24
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75% of $50. The rest belongs to the lawyers.

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  #778148 11-Mar-2013 18:29
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Only if the lawyers win (I mean win the case, either way the lawyers win), and are awarded enough to cover 100% of what they seek.




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  #778167 11-Mar-2013 19:20
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gzt: 75% of $50. The rest belongs to the lawyers.


hmm ... no thanks!




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  #778172 11-Mar-2013 19:44
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Hmm I don't get anything since I don't get overdrawn on my account and I don't bounce cheques and I pay my credit card bills on time! Damn being financially responsible. Shafted again!

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  #778356 12-Mar-2013 09:19
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As noted the only winners here are the lawyers. This speaks of ambulance chasing to me

The figure mentioned is $1B in fees. If the suit is successful, the lawyers get 20% of that. Not too bad, whereas each person who signs up for the suit might get 80% of the fees they paid. Now one would assume that most people would not continually pay late fees or dishonoured cheque fees so over that period they might have paid $20-$40. That's hardly worth the effort.

I think a good outcome, assuming the banks see the writing on the wall, is to admit culpability before any court action, setup a web site for people to register and document their fees and then make reparations. The act of doing that also then excludes them from taking part in the court case.

Given if the case was won each plaintiff would have to find some way to express their interest, this seems like a way to resolve the dispute and cut the lawyers out.

IMHO of course.




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  #778359 12-Mar-2013 09:27
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I signed up.
Why not? A refund for doing nothing myself....

I have had the overdraft fee - never mind if I had money in other accounts and it was only a $1 or $2. So that's unfair...

Also, I have a internet banking account, no monthly fees, no transaction fees.
Unless we bank over the counter  - in which case it's $3. Every few months for years, they charge me this $3. I ring and explain I have not made any over the counter transactions and usually they just refund it. Once they insisted though, and named the branch. So I asked to see the video footage of us doing this - at which point I got the refund.

Once when I had debt on the credit card, I accidentally moved some money into it, online, reliased and moved it back into the correct account.
Immediately the bank said because I had made a cash withdrawal from the CC account, I now had double the interest.

I killed that off pretty quick too, took a few threats....
So stuff them, they try to extract as much as possible for every little thing...

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  #778413 12-Mar-2013 10:55
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when they take interest from my close to limit credit card and which then puts me over limit they then charge me $20 extra to as my account is now over limit. So im more than happy to get some of this money back.

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  #778579 12-Mar-2013 15:07
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I too have been charged $35 for going a couple of dollars into "unarranged overdraft", even though I had specifically requested that the account not have the facility to go below $0 balance (and there was money in another account).
Unfortunately it was more than 6 years ago (and I think I got it refunded). I hope the banks get hammered.

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  #778595 12-Mar-2013 15:15
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shrub: when they take interest from my close to limit credit card and which then puts me over limit they then charge me $20 extra to as my account is now over limit. So im more than happy to get some of this money back.

Really? If that's true I'm pretty sure the board has a special get together for an evil laugh at that time of the month.

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  #780935 13-Mar-2013 10:03
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To join this law suit do you have to be able to show how much you've been charged in fees for being overdrawn?

I've definitely been charged, usually because I pay my credit card off monthly and sometimes I forget to transfer the money from my savings account into my transaction account so it's there for when they want to take it. My transaction account then goes into overdraft and they ping me a $20 fee. Or sometimes I do transfer the money but my account still goes into overdraft because some other payment comes out that I wasn't expecting. This hasn't happened for the last couple of years as I'm with the ASB and they set up a text warning system that I now use.

Unfortunately I can't prove the times when I was charged for being overdrawn as I don't have any of those old bank statements, I haven't received any printed statements for several years now as everything is done online and the banks encourage you to not have printed statements sent to you. The ASB's online system only lets you look at statements going back two years.

I've just looked at my statement online, going back two years, and I've been charged five times for "Unarranged Overdraft Fee", $10 each time. That's weird, because I'm sure I've received text alerts which tell me that if I put the money in before midnight that day then they won't charge me a fee, and I always try to do that (although I've had alerts arrive at 10.30pm, so they don't give you much notice!)

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