Allianz, Jefferson Insurance, and BCS Insurance named in Hidden Fees Class Action Lawsuit
A Hidden Fees class action lawsuit was filed against Allianz Global Assistance, Jefferson Insurance Co., and BCS Insurance Co. for allegedly misleading and deceiving consumers who purchased tickets to events and travel arrangements by not disclosing to consumers that they have to pay additional fees related to their purchases charged as “informational assistance services.”
The lawsuit claims that the charging of hidden fees to online travel and event insurance buyers has been a longstanding practice of the companies involved. The consumers allege that the companies sued “secretly and unfairly” charge additional, undisclosed fees on top of the calculated premium that essentially only gives access to a toll-free customer service phone line.
You can find the case under the name: Elgindy et al. v. AGA Service Company et al., Case No. 3:20-cv-06304, N.D. CA.
Have you or a family member purchased from the companies in the class action lawsuit? Are you affected by these allegations? Contact us today if you have!
The ‘Informational Assistance Services’ Sham
According to the class action lawsuit, the hidden fees are intended to help customers with their travel, weather, and location information requests. In reality, however, paying customers are “unaware of any such service and they do not want it… and certainly do not want to pay what Defendants charge for it… as the companies are not authorized to collect fees for services constituting or arising out of the transaction of insurance.”
The class action further claims that “reasonable consumers who are quoted a single price for insurance reasonably assume that price is a lawful and approved premium and not a vehicle for hidden fees added to the insurance premium. If AGA were truly attempting to sell an informational assistance service, the company would likely offer it for free (using advertisements to cover costs) or it would charge a flat, low fee and highlight some competitive edge over the alternative free sources of information available.
Instead, AGA hides its agency fee and the assistance service from consumers at the point of purchase, uses a formula that increases the fee according to the purchase and risk at issue, and does not actually invest in providing a convenient informational assistance service. To minimize attention to the additional fees it charges, AGA sends contradictory messages to two different audiences: (a) suggesting to consumers (during the solicitation) that there is just a single insurance premium (to keep them ignorant of the additional charge), while (b) suggesting to regulators that the fee for assistance services is distinct from the insurance premium (to present a lower premium figure and to try to avoid further scrutiny of the ‘non-insurance’ fee).”
Editor’s note on the Hidden Fees Class Action Lawsuit:
This piece is written about the recent Hidden Fees Class Action. If you are considered eligible to be among the class of consumers described in the class action, you may eventually be able to participate in receiving any compensation the court may award.
If you believe that what is alleged in this piece has affected you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
We’d be happy to help you take a step in the right direction, fight this issue, and better enable you to join in on any potential consumer class action. If interested, please send an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com, find us on Twitter or Facebook, or even connect with us directly on our website! We look forward to hearing from you all.
Similarly, please check out our current list of Class Actions and Class Action Investigations, here.
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