U.S. accuses FleetCor of charging hundreds of millions of dollars in hidden fees

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. fuel card company FleetCor Technologies Inc (FLT.N) charged customers hundreds of millions of dollars in hidden fees after promising to help them spend less on fuel, the Federal Trade Commission said on Friday.

In a court filing, the FTC asked a federal judge in Georgia to stop FleetCor and its CEO, Ronald Clarke, from charging hidden fees and to disgorge ill-gotten gains.

FleetCor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In its complaint, the FTC said that FleetCor had marketed payment cards to companies with fleets of vehicles, promising that they would save money, that there would be fraud controls, and that there were no membership or transaction fees.

But it said that after customers had signed up, FleetCor charged them “at least hundreds of millions of dollars in unexpected fees.”

When customers noticed the charges and complained to FleetCor, the company removed the charges, and “in many instances FleetCor has begun charging these customers for different fees to make up the difference,” the FTC said in its complaint.

The FTC also accused the company of billing customers for interest, finance charges and programs to which they had not consented.

The FTC said that tens of thousands of customers had complained to government agencies and/or the Better Business Bureau.

The company’s share price was up 1.1 percent just before midday on Friday at $292.08.

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