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Monday, June 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

$89 ‘Regulatory Compliance Fee,’ Hey?

CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) - Harbortouch, a payment processor than handles more than $9 billion in transactions a year, charges a bogus "Regulatory Compliance Fee" of $89 a month, a dentist claims in a class action.

Dr. Suzanne Degnen sued United Bankcard dba Harbortouch in St. Louis County Court.

She claims Harbortouch charged her dental office $89 for the bogus fee in December 2012, automatically withdrawing the money from her bank account.

"Plaintiff had not entered into any contract under which defendant had the right to withdraw the Regulatory Compliance Fee from plaintiff's checking account," Degnen says in the complaint. "Defendant had no right to take the Regulatory Compliance Fee from plaintiff."

Degnen says in the complaint that "such a fee was not authorized by contract or by law."

Citing the Harbortouch website, Degnen says the company touts itself as "'a leading national supplier of point of sale (POS) systems, serving thousands of businesses across the nation' and '[a]s of the largest ... payment processors in the United States, Harbortouch currently handles the merchant accounts for over 110,000 business locations and processes in excess of $9 billion annually, with those numbers constantly increasing.'" (Parentheses, brackets and ellipsis in complaint.)

Speaking for the class, Degnen's office says it "wants-and it entitled to-the return of its money and an injunction prohibiting defendant's wrongful conduct."

The class consists of all people who had the fee automatically taken from their bank accounts by Harbortouch in the past five years. Degnen seeks money had and received, with interest, and punitive damages for conversion.

She is represented by Ronald J. Eisenberg, with Schulz & Associates, of Chesterfield, Mo.

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