Moorestown man's challenges notary convenience fee at The UPS Store – Courier Post
MOUNT HOLLY – A class-action lawsuit is seeking money for customers of The UPS Store Inc. across New Jersey.
The suit, filed on behalf of a Moorestown man, demands refunds of a $12.50 “notary convenience fee” allegedly charged by the chain of business-service stores.
It contends New Jersey law allows only a $2.50 fee for notarizing any document “that does not relate to the sale or financing of real estate.”
The suit says UPS Store outlets in New Jersey routinely charge both a $2.50 notary fee and the $12.50 convenience fee, bringing a customer’s total cost to $15.
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It contends the convenience charge “is unlawful in New Jersey.”
The UPS Store Inc., a San Diego-based chain of more than 5,000 outlets, did not respond to a request for comment.
The firm franchises shipping, postal, printing and business service centers, according to its website.
While the website describes the outlets as independently owned, the lawsuit asserts the convenience fee is a “uniform policy … followed by all UPS stores in New Jersey” at the franchisor’s direction.
“The law in New Jersey clearly sets a legal limit on any fees that can be charged for notarizing a document,” said Joseph Osefchen, a Marlton attorney who filed the suit Nov. 16 in state court in Mount Holly.
He asserted notary services provided at UPS Stores “are almost exclusively for purposes unrelated to the sale or financing of real estate.”
The lawsuit also argues the $12.50 fee “is plainly not even for any actual expense or service.”
It notes “the customer comes to the notary and not the other way around. Thus the UPS notary has no mileage or travel expenses.”
The suit seeks to represent customers who paid the convenience fee in New Jersey since November 2014.
The proposed class would represent fewer than 5,000 people, it estimates.
The suit was brought on behalf of Vincent Tripiccio, who last month was charged $15 to notarize a power of attorney document at a UPS Store on Route 38 in Mount Laurel.
The suit also seeks a $100 penalty for each class member, as well as an injunction to prevent The UPS Store from charging the convenience fee.
Among other claims, it alleges the chain is violating the state’s Consumer Fraud Act, an offense that would expose the business to potential treble damages.
Jim Walsh is a free-range reporter who’s been roaming around South Jersey for decades. His interests include crime, the courts, economic development and being first with breaking news. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or look for him in traffic.
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