In 2002, an 18-year old community college student named Joshua Endres signed up for a Wells Fargo credit card, allegedly based in part on the promise made by a sales representative that it could provide overdraft protection for his Wells Fargo checking account. He “does not recall” seeing any of the disclosures and disclaimers from the bank which explained to him that there’s no such thing as a free lunch — that he would be charged a fee if he overdrew his checking account.
A few months after signing up, he overdrew his account, and was charged this fee. He discovered this a few days later, when he received his credit card statement. He was so outraged by this unconscionable behavior by Wells Fargo that he immediately cancelled the card. No, not really; this isn’t April 1st. In fact, he immediately used the card for four more years, incurring at least fifty more overdraft charges. Then he filed a lawsuit demanding restitution, and compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that nobody told him that he would be charged a fee.
McCune admits Endres could have done a better job of tracking his charges. Endres once exceeded his limit 62 times in a year, causing him to pay $620 in finance charges so he could obtain $1,115 in cash.
“It took a couple of years before he sat up and noticed,” McCune said. “The information was available to him.”
That’s his own lawyer admitting that.
There are other problems with the lawsuit, related to the statute of limitations and federal preemption of California laws, but the larger issue here is that someone would fail to read his credit card agreement, incur fees for four years based on the terms of the agreement, and then try to sue on the grounds that nobody told him what the agreement said about those fees. (Oh, did I mention that Endres’s lawyer seeks to turn this into a class action lawsuit?)