TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa bride is “livid” after discovering a contract clause she claims allowed a limousine company to charge her an extra $500 just for questioning a previous charge.
Nancy Jennings tells Better Call Behnken that she discovered the new charge on her credit card last week, three months after she used the limousine service for her wedding in St. Augustine.
“I was livid, very angry,” Jennings said.
Jennings rented a limousine through Barnes Worldwide, affiliated with Barnes Professional Limousine Service LLC, based in Pennsylvania. She claims she was quoted $225 an hour to transport her wedding party and that she used the limousine for a little over an hour.
Her credit card charge was more than $900.
She then read her contract and discovered fine print that allowed for the fees and charges. She had not read the fine print, so she paid the charge.
But the charges didn’t stop.
Jennings said she thought her dealings with the company were over until the new charge appeared three months after her wedding.
Last week she noticed another credit card charge of $500. She also received an email from the company, pointing again to the contract language.
“If the purchaser charges back, disputes or inquires about any charge applied by the company to their credit/debit card, purchaser authorizes a charge of $500 per transaction to be charged to their credit/debit card to cover fees, penalties and/or administration costs applied to or bared by the company,” the email read.
Matt Barnes, a company representative, tells Better Call Behnken that customers agree to terms and conditions in writing when they sign their contract for services.
He said the $500 charge is for the company’s time to research and deal with customer inquiries and that the decision on whether or not to charge the $500 is based on a “case by case” basis.
He also pointed out that the company, a broker of limousine services, has been in business since 1999 and provides services “around the world.” He said fees collected allow the company to give back to the community, and he pointed out a recent donation of $13,955 to a Catholic school in Pennsylvania.
In an email, Barnes said, “We place a high value on our [company’s] time and are happy to be able to give back when we are able.”