For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: February 13, 2008
Attorney General Stops Telemarketer from Soliciting in Idaho
(Boise) – United Publishers of America, Inc., a telemarketer from Atlanta, Georgia, can no longer make telephone solicitations to Idahoans as part of a settlement agreement, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced today. The settlement resolves allegations that the company’s telephone solicitations violated the Idaho Telephone Solicitations Act and the Idaho Consumer Protection Act.
“Idahoans were contacted under the premise that they had been specially selected to win a prize,” Attorney General Wasden said. “The reality was that United Publishers purchased lists of consumers’ telephone numbers from data brokers and then randomly selected numbers to call in an attempt to sell magazine subscriptions.”
Although United Publishers’ ultimate purpose in contacting consumers was to sell them magazine subscriptions, before the company’s telemarketers ever discussed the topic of purchasing a subscription, they allegedly asked consumers whether they had a credit card and told consumers they would receive a free watch and free magazines. In order to receive the free merchandise, however, consumers had to purchase non-cancelable magazine subscriptions.
“If a phone solicitor asks that you make a purchase to win a ‘free’ prize, the prize is not free,” Attorney General Wasden said.
Before it can resume soliciting in Idaho, the settlement requires United Publishers to register with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division as a telephone solicitor.
United Publishers admitted no violation of Idaho law. However, they agreed to pay the Attorney General $1,000 in civil penalties and $1,507 in attorney fees and investigation expenses.
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