FTC Dismisses Complaint Against Dillards Over Investigation of Consumer-Disputed Charges on Credit Card Bills

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission has dismissed its complaint against Dillard Department Stores, Inc., thus ending a case in which the FTC had alleged that Dillard's made it unreasonably difficult for consumers to remove unauthorized charges from their Dillard's charge card bills.

The FTC had brought the case primarily under the Truth in Lending Act and Section 226.12(b) of Federal Reserve Board Regulation Z. Unauthorized use of a credit card occurs when a card is used without the authority of the cardholder, for example, because it was lost, stolen or never delivered. According to the complaint, Dillard's had violated the Truth In Lending Act and Section 226.12(b) of Regulation Z by imposing "unreasonable burdens" on cardholders who claimed that their cards were used without authorization. Dillard's then held those consumers who failed to do as Dillard's required liable for the unauthorized charges.

The staff of the Federal Reserve Board recently issued a standard for investigating claims of unauthorized use under the Truth in Lending Act and Section 226.12(b) of Regulation Z. The FTC staff, counsel for the complaint, moved that the Commission dismiss the complaint against Dillard's in light of the action of the staff of the Federal Reserve Board. In dismissing the complaint, the FTC said that because the standard adopted by the staff of the Federal Reserve Board "appears to differ from the standard reflected in the complaint," it would not be in the public interest to continue the case.

Dillard's is based in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Commission vote to dismiss the complaint was 5-0. Copies of the Commission order dismissing the complaint as well as other documents associated with this matter are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov

(FTC Docket No. 9269)