A proposed class action filed against QuickBooks developer Intuit Inc. claims a recently added one-percent transaction fee for ACH transfers violates the company’s agreement with QuickBooks users.
According to the 19-page case, QuickBooks historically processed ACH payments within seven business days for free and in March 2021 notified users via email that future ACH payments would be processed in one business day “with no extra fees.” Despite these representations, the defendant began charging a one-percent transaction fee with a $10 maximum for all ACH transfers, the lawsuit alleges.
The case argues that QuickBooks has breached its agreement with users by unilaterally imposing the new transaction fee while representing that no such charge would be incurred.
“Indeed,” the complaint reads, “QuickBooks intentionally misled users into processing these costly transfers, knowing that many users would not make ACH transfers through QuickBooks if they were aware that such transfers would be subject to a fee.”
Per the suit, Intuit’s transaction fee scheme has allowed the company to “generate ill-gotten profits from unsuspecting clients who relied on the company’s misrepresentations.”
QuickBooks, the lawsuit explains, is an accounting software package marketed toward self-employed individuals and small and medium-sized businesses. Per the case, the product allows users to process business payments, pay bills and run payroll.
Prior to March 2021, QuickBooks allowed users to receive ACH payments in two to seven business days for free, while next-day payments could be processed for a one-percent transaction fee, the lawsuit explains. On March 11, however, QuickBooks users allegedly received an email from Intuit E-Commerce Service in which they were informed that “starting today, deposits for bank transfer (ACH) payments go to your account next business day” for “no extra fees.”
Despite these assurances, QuickBooks “that very same day” began charging clients a one-percent transaction fee for all ACH transfers with no option to opt out, according to the suit. The case, citing a slew of online complaints, claims many QuickBooks users were “taken aback” by the “unexpected charges,” which the suit notes were “especially insulting” given many business owners’ finances have been significantly impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The case goes on to claim that QuickBooks posted a message on its online support page on March 20 noting that the mandatory transaction fee would be “[s]tarting in April 2021” while acknowledging that customers were “now being charged transaction fees.”
“Clearly, QuickBooks’s incorrect and misleading communications extend beyond its e-mail communications,” the complaint scathes.
According to the suit, QuickBooks has refused to reverse any transaction fees or change its fee policy despite receiving a “multitude of user complaints.”
The lawsuit looks to cover U.S. residents who used QuickBooks to process ACH payments and were “automatically switched” from the free two- to seven-day transfers to the one-day transfers with a one-percent transaction fee.
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