For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: August 19, 2010
Boise Car Dealer and Ohio Marketing Company Settle Rebate Lawsuit
(Boise) - Fifty-seven consumers who bought cars from Dennis Dillon Auto Park in 2004 and 2005 will receive restitution as a result of a settlement agreement between the state of Idaho, the Boise dealership and Gunning & Associates Marketing, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. The settlement resolves the Attorney General’s consumer protection lawsuit against the two parties for promoting a “Cash Rewards” program.
The Attorney General filed suit after receiving complaints about the program from Idaho consumers. Consumers complained that they received ads promising them a cash reward with the purchase or lease of a new car from Dennis Dillon Auto Park. However, while purchasing the vehicle, the consumers learned that it was a mail-in rebate and they would not receive the cash reward for three years. In order to qualify for payment, the consumers were required to submit personal identifying and financial information to a rebate administrator.
Cash Rewards, Inc., formerly located in Coppell, Texas, promoted the rebate program to auto dealers nationwide, and Gunning & Associates Marketing promoted the program to the Dennis Dillon dealership. The Attorney General’s lawsuit against Cash Rewards, Inc., is still pending. The company has filed for bankruptcy in Texas.
More than 100 consumers received cash rewards certificates. Most of those who mailed in the required documentation never received money from the rebate company. Four consumers received a full payment and eight consumers received a partial payment of the reward amount on their certificate.
Dennis Dillon Auto Park and Milford, Ohio-based Gunning & Associates Marketing agreed to pay $130,000 in consumer restitution and $20,000 to reimburse the Attorney General for legal fees and litigation expenses. Neither of the parties admitted any liability or wrongdoing.
The Attorney General has identified 57 consumers who will share in the available restitution. Consumers who are eligible for restitution will receive a letter in the next 60 days explaining the settlement. Consumers do not need to file a complaint or contact the office. Additional information about the settlement is available at here.
With the exception of vehicle manufacturer rebates, the settlement prohibits Dennis Dillon Auto Park from advertising or allowing a marketing firm working with the dealership to advertise that consumers will receive a payment of cash in connection with the purchase or lease of a car.
“Time-deferred rebates have generated dozens of consumer complaints in the past two years,” Attorney General Wasden said. “In each instance, the promoter that sold the rebate scheme to the Idaho business was from out-of-state and went out-of-business or bankrupt before it paid the rebates. I appreciate the Dennis Dillon dealership and Gunning & Associates working with my office to bring this case to a fair resolution and I urge all Idaho businesses to be wary of time–deferred rebate programs.”
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