UPDATE: Commerce Bank: Liar, Pants Ablaze

Yesterday, B.L. Ochman sent in complaint about going into Commerce bank, seeing a sign that said, “Deposit ’til 6. Next Day Availability.” At 4 p.m. she approached a teller with a deposit. The teller said, “Just so you know, I’m working on tomorrow, so this won’t be credited today.” Hello, disconnect!

Rob wrote in today, “I can tell the person exactly what she needed to do…bring a small claims suit under Sec. 347349(h) of NY’s General Biz Law. Very easy and she’ll get $50 bucks to boot.”

You can get info on how to start filing a small claims suit in the state of New York here.

So if you want $50, try to make a late in the day deposit at a Commerce bank in NYC. Go for the laziest looking teller.

UPDATE: Rob wrote in again to expand on using section 349(h) to file suits for false advertising. Check it out, after the jump!

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Rob writes:

    Section 349(h) provides for a private right of action.

    (h) In addition to the right of action granted to the attorney general pursuant to this section, any person who has been injured by reason of any violation of this section may bring an action in his own name to enjoin such unlawful act or practice, an action to recover his actual damages or fifty dollars, whichever is greater, or both such actions. The court may, in its discretion, increase the award of damages to an amount not to exceed three times the actual damages up to one thousand dollars, if the court finds the defendant willfully or knowingly violated this section. The court may award reasonable attorney`s fees to a prevailing plaintiff.

    Basically, to establish a Section 349 violation, the conduct must be consumer-oriented and have a broad impact on consumers at large. (Oswego Laborers’ Local 214 Pension Fund v. Marine Midland Bank, 85 N.Y.2d 20 (1995)). A prima facie case also requires a showing that defendant is engaging in an act or practice that is deceptive or misleading in a material way and that plaintiff has been injured by reason thereof. Id. The harm itself does not have to be monetary.

    Commerce Banks’ actions are exactly what 349 is meant to prevent. Personally, I’d go in and speak to the manager and waive this around. I know it sounds a bit like “The Invitation” episode of Seinfeld, but sometimes you got to scare them with the idea of a massive number of people making a bunch of claims to actually get them to amend their policies.

    - Rob

    At the HOME FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK Kramer walks up to a teller.

    Kramer: Hey!

    Teller: Hey!

    Kramer: Hey! wait a second. You didn’t say hello.

    Teller: Yes I did

    Kramer: No no you didn’t …Hundred dollars.. I get a hundred dollars.

    Teller: No, No I said Hello.

    Kramer: No, No You said Hey!

    Teller: Well.. Hey! is Hello, same thing.

    Kramer; The add said that the bank’s gonna pay a hundred dollars if you are not greeted with a hello

    Teller: You’re taking that much to literally. Now sir , do you have any business to transact.

    Kramer: No, I want to speak to the manager.

    Teller: Well, He’s not here right now.

    Kramer: Then I’ll be back.”

Thanks, Rob!