An Ohio consumer has filed a proposed class action in which he claims Columbus Outlets, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers and Brooks Brothers have added improper fees to customers’ purchase prices without disclosing such. According to the case, the defendants added an undisclosed $.76 fee, labeled as “NCA Charges,” to purchases made at a Brooks Brothers store and other retailers in the Tanger Outlet in Sunbury, Ohio.
The lawsuit alleges that Columbus Outlets is required to pay a monthly remittance to a “community authority” based on a percentage of retail sales at stores in the Tanger Outlet mall. The plaintiff claims that to meet this obligation, Columbus Outlets, rather than pay directly, requires retailers like Brooks Brothers to collect and pay forward NCA charges on in-store transactions. Columbus Outlets then uses the money collected from NCA charges to take care of its obligation with the so-called community authority, according to the case.
“In other words, [Columbus Outlets] charges Plaintiff and other consumers the NCA charges, through Brooks Brothers and other retailers, and retains and uses these charges to its own benefit to satisfy its financial obligations to third parties,” the lawsuit reads.
For its part, Brooks Brothers, the suit claims, charges NCA fees as a condition of its lease with Columbus Outlets.
The lawsuit looks to cover a class of consumers who, at any time during the statute of limitations period, made a purchase from any retail store located within the Tanger Outlet and were charged an undisclosed fee. The case also seeks to cover a class of anyone who made a purchase from Brooks Brothers at the Tanger Outlet and were charged an undisclosed fee.