Unlawful Fees Charged to Small Businesses

FRAUD ALERT – Kernan & Associates is currently investigating and pursuing cases against a number of rental, waste disposal, commercial food delivery, shredding/recycling, and other types of companies that deliver supplies or equipment.  Small businesses are being harmed by these big companies through the charging of a number of unlawful and misrepresented fees, including fees they call “fuel surcharges,” “environmental fees,” and “administrative fees.”  These customers are generally small businesses that have rented equipment or have a contract for delivery/pick-up service.

In many cases, these fees are not related to the costs that these companies claim justify the imposition of the fees. Also, these fees are sometimes not allowed by the pre-printed contracts. Ongoing and past successful litigation has established that the companies use these fees solely to increase their profits after locking customers into long term contracts.  We have also seen instances where companies enter into fixed-priced contracts with customers and then unlawfully increase the price during the term of the contacts.

We suggest our readers review their supplier contracts for these situations.  The charges typically occur on a pre-printed form, and the front and back of any invoices showing the fees being charged.  Kernan & Associates is willing to assist in reviewing the contracts of our small business readers if you believe you have been harmed in this way.