Class Action: TD Bank Charges Improper Overdraft Fees for Uber, Lyft Rides

TD Bank is being taken to task by its customers who say they were improperly charged overdraft fees when they used their debit cards for Uber and Lyft rides.

Plaintiff Britney Lawrence filed the TD Bank overdraft fees class action lawsuit in New Jersey federal court Tuesday, claiming the bank violated its contract when it charged her two overdraft fees on non-recurring debit card transactions.

Specifically, Lawrence says that on March 14, 2016, she made a one-time payment with her TD Bank debit card to Uber in the amount of $7.53 for an Uber ride, and again the same day for $8.21 for another Uber ride.

Instead of declining the two transactions, TD Bank approved the transactions and Uber processed the payments, putting her account into overdraft. Then, on March 15, 2016, TD Bank charged Lawrence two $35 overdraft fees for the one-time debit card transactions with Uber and seized the $70 from the next deposit made to her account, even though such fees are only authorized under the TD Bank Agreements for “recurring” debit card transactions.

According to the complaint, debit card transactions can either be “one-time” or “recurring”. One-time transactions are unique transaction not scheduled to regularly reoccur, while recurring transactions are often automatically charged on a prearranged schedule. Examples of recurring transactions include gym memberships, cable bills, cell phone bills, utility bills, monthly magazine subscriptions, streaming content service memberships like Netflix, and insurance premiums.

But Lyft and Uber are considered one-time ride-shares and are not subscription services wherein customers pay a monthly fee, the lawsuit states. Yet, TD Bank “repeatedly charges overdraft fees for these one-time debit card transactions” even though the bank promises in its Personal Deposit Account Agreement (PDAA) that non-recurring debit card transactions that will lower a customer’s balance below zero will not be approved and overdraft fees will not be charged.

“When TD Bank customers use their debit card to pay for rides with Uber or Lyft – rides that are by their very nature one-time transactions and non-recurring – TD Bank approves the transaction regardless of the customer’s opt-in status.”

Lawrence is seeking to recoup the overdraft fees assessed by TD Bank, as well as damages and other relief arising from TD Bank’s alleged routine practice of charging standard overdraft fees on one-time debit card transactions with Uber and/or Lyft, in violation of its contract with accountholders.

She also proposes to represent a nationwide class of all TD Bank accountholders who incurred one or more overdraft fees on Uber or Lyft transactions while not enrolled in TD Debit Card Advance, as well as a Connecticut subclass.

Lawrence and the proposed classes are represented by several law firms including McCune Wright Arevalo LLP; Webb Klase & Lemond LLC; Kopelowitz Ostrow Ferguson Weiselberg Gilbert; Tycko & Zavareei LLP; Kaliel PLLC; The Kick Law Firm; Law Offices of Francis J. Flynn Jr.; Sullivan Law & Associates; and Consumer Protection Legal LLC.

The TD Bank Uber/Lyft Overdraft Fees Class Action Lawsuit is Britney Lawrence, et al. v. TD Bank, N.A., Case No. 1:17-cv-12583-NLH-AMD, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

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