Hidden Charges Fraud

El Segundo Attorneys serving Los Angeles, Long Beach & Orange County

More and more, with on demand services becoming the new noramal for merchandising, consumers must be aware of any hidden charges included by the merchant, or by those delivering the merchandise.  Today, savvy app and internet users can get food, groceries, or even guitars from local stores almost immediately with the help of  deliveryservice companies.  Like a modern day pizza delivery service, but instead of pizza, the customer can purchase nearly anything.  However, instead of working for the pizza company, the driver works for the delivery service company.  Typically, these companies will charge the user the price of the item they are purchasing from the store, a delivery fee, and tax (tip optional). 

Understandably, these on-demand delivery service companies earn their profits by charging a delivery fee to the consumer.  For example, at check-out the customer will see the itemized charges for the cost of the item the customer is purchasing, tax, a delivery-fee, and typically an option for a tip.  Consider the following example:

A customer wants to purchase a salad listed on the delivery service website (or app) for $10 from a nationally recognized restaurant.  Satisfied, the customer clicks the “check-out” box and is brought to the “check-out” page where the breakdown of the final price is shown.  The customer sees $10 for the salad, a $5.99 delivery fee, and $1.00 for tax (just to make the math simple) for a total of $16.99.  The customer believes that $10.00 for the salad is going to the restaurant; the $5.99 is going to the delivery service company and $1.00 for tax.

However, this may not be the case.  Unbeknownst to the customer, the delivery service company may be actually charging more for the items that the restaurant actually charges.  As a result, the customer is actually paying the service delivery company more than the $5.99 they agreed to pay for the delivery. 

Accordingly, the advertised price on the check-out page may inaccurately reflect the true price of theitemand inconspicuously hide the extra fee the delivery service company is receiving. 

This type of fraud is unfortunately becoming more common place.  Customers should be aware of the price they are charged for any service and make sure they are not paying one or more “hidden charges” to those involved in the transaction.

If you have been charged an amount for any service that you did not know you were paying, or believe you over paid, for something advertised at a different price, please call or email us today for a free consultation on your case.