A proposed class action alleges that Simmons Bank charges customers insufficient fund and overdraft fees without authorization and in violation of its service contracts.
The plaintiff, a Missouri consumer, claims the bank improperly applied multiple fees to one transaction, a gym membership payment, despite the bank’s terms and conditions allowing it to charge only a single $35 insufficient fund or overdraft fee on a particular transaction. In breach of this agreement, the defendant, the suit claims, penalized the man with both fees on a single charge.
The plaintiff goes on to claim that the bank repeatedly processed his declined gym membership transaction without his permission, hitting him with additional fees each time. In the end, the suit says, the plaintiff was supposedly charged $105 in fees for a single transaction of $24.84.
Also at issue in the case is the bank’s alleged practice of assessing multiple out-of-network ATM fees on withdrawals without adequately notifying customers during transactions. As the case tells it, Simmons exploits consumers’ reasonable expectations by applying numerous fees for various actions taken during the course of a typical withdrawal, such as a balance inquiry.
“Reasonable consumers like the Plaintiff do not, in sum, understand a balance inquiry to be an independent transaction worthy of a separate fee,” the case reads. “Simmons knows this—that in the absence of a prominent warning otherwise, consumers expect a balance inquiry to be an integral, included part of a cash withdrawal.”