Today, April 12, 2012, the Hawaii Attorney General David M. Louie filed
lawsuits in against seven major credit card companies in the First Circuit
Court. The lawsuits allege that they deceptively charged their Hawaii
customers for products that did not actually provide the benefits claimed
or for products not requested by the customer. The seven credit card companies
that have been named in the suit include Barclays, Bank of America, Chase,
Capital One, HSBC, Discover, and their subsidiaries.
An example of an improper charge is when the credit card company bills
a customer for a “payment protection” plan or some other similar
service, which is supposed to pay the minimum monthly payments for a cardholder
to protect their credit in certain circumstances. Customers have been
signed up for these programs without being made aware of the many restrictions,
or without even qualifying for it in the first place. The companies use
telemarketing calls and predatory tactics in order to sign customers up
for services they don’t qualify for or want. According to the lawsuit,
credit card companies are unlike other telemarketers in that they already
have their customers’ credit card information, and can thus charge
them without their consent or knowledge.
The state of Hawaii is being represented by Rick Fried, a local attorney,
together with Baron & Budd of Dallas, TX and
Golomb & Honik, P.C. of Philadelphia, PA.