fbpx

DHL Express Deceptive “Duty” Charges New Jersey Class Action

The Internet has enabled individuals to buy things from other countries, with shipping supplied by companies such as DHL Express (USA), Inc. The complaint for this class action alleges that DHL deceives customers by claiming to pay duty on their behalf, then adding a secret $17 service charge of its own on top of the duty amount.

The class for this action is all New Jersey resident who, since June 2, 2015, received a notice from DHL which was substantially similar to Attachment A to this complaint which demanded reimbursement of purported import duties.

DHL is a shipper who, among other things, delivers goods bought outside the US to purchasers inside the US. Normally, the complaint claims, the seller of the goods is the person who hires DHL, while the buyer “has no written agreement with DHL and no say in the hiring of DHL to ship the goods in question or the terms imposed by DHL.”

DHL has a policy, the complaint claims, of sending package recipients a notice that involves “both uniform written false and affirmative statements of fact and knowing omissions of material fact by DHL.”

The complaint quotes the notice as saying, “Import Duty Payment is Required,” and the claim that “DHL Express has paid the duty for your parcel” and demanding a specific amount from the recipient. It also threatens, “If the duty is not paid within 5 days, the parcel will be returned to the shipper.” A sample of this notice, received by the plaintiff in this case, was attached to the original filing of the complaint as Attachment A.

Recipients who pay the amount demanded get an “Import Duty Payment Confirmation” that the complaint quotes as saying, “Thank you for paying the import duty due on your DHL Express shipment of…” and then the amount that was demanded and paid. Attachment B is a sample of this confirmation.

But the complaint alleges that the characterizing of the amount demanded as “duty” is “false, deceptive, and misleading.” It claims that the amount has an added $17 charge “which does not actually consist of any import duty, tax or other government-mandated fee or charge whatsoever.” Instead, the complaint says, the charge “consists of what DHL internal documents admit is a $17 ‘service charge’ which is not paid to any governmental entity but rather is imposed by, and paid to, DHL as an additional, undisclosed, and totally unauthorized source of profit.”

The complaint contends that the recipients “have not agreed to, or authorized, this additional $17 charge by DHL. Nor does DHL ask the recipient/purchaser to agree, authorize or consent to the additional $17 charge by DHL.” It calls the policy “illegal and deceptive.”

Among the counts are violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and the New Jersey Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act, and breach of the implied contract of good faith and fair dealing.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

DHL Express Deceptive “Duty” Charges New Jersey Complaint

July 6, 2021

The Internet has enabled individuals to buy things from other countries, with shipping supplied by companies such as DHL Express (USA), Inc. The complaint for this class action alleges that DHL deceives customers by claiming to pay duty on their behalf, then adding a secret $17 service charge of its own on top of the duty amount.

DHL Express Deceptive “Duty” Charges New Jersey Complaint

Case Event History

DHL Express Deceptive “Duty” Charges New Jersey Complaint

July 6, 2021

The Internet has enabled individuals to buy things from other countries, with shipping supplied by companies such as DHL Express (USA), Inc. The complaint for this class action alleges that DHL deceives customers by claiming to pay duty on their behalf, then adding a secret $17 service charge of its own on top of the duty amount.

DHL Express Deceptive “Duty” Charges New Jersey Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Charge, Unfair Business Practices