Regulator to challenge Lewis victory in club fees battle
Customers were not forced to be members when applying for credit
The Consumer Tribunal has dismissed the National Credit Regulator’s (NCR’s) complaint against Lewis Stores relating to the retailer’s club fees and extended warranties.
The judgment has been met with dismay by a consumer group and the NCR is planning to launch an appeal.
The regulator had argued that the club fee was an additional “cost of credit” to consumers, which was prohibited under the National Credit Act, and extended warranties either did not exist or ran concurrently with manufacturers’ warranties.
In a majority judgment on Monday, Tanya Woker, with Penelope Beck concurring, the tribunal ruled that Lewis customers did not have to join the club when applying for credit. The application form relating to club membership was also separate.
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