Some dishonest companies lie when they say that a product is “no risk.” That’s what the FTC says Progressive Business Publications, a business publication company, did. They had telemarketers call businesses, schools, nonprofits, and other organizations to offer samples of their newsletters and books at “no risk.” But they didn’t make clear that, by accepting the samples, your organization got enrolled in an expensive annual subscription.
The tactics the defendants used were tricky. The FTC says, for example, that the telemarketers routinely asked employees their date of birth. Then, they used that information as “confirmation” that the person had agreed to the annual subscription. They also made it difficult for organizations to cancel the unwanted subscription and kept billing them every month. Then, if someone failed to pay, the defendants sent the unpaid debts to another company for collection. The FTC also sued that debt collection company, alleging that they were aware that many of the organizations had not agreed to the subscription and, therefore, they were collecting debts they knew – or should have known – weren’t valid.
The FTC says that these defendants lied, concealed information, intimidated, and threatened business owners and employees. If you own a business or work at a non-profit organization, be on the alert for bad actors like these. They often target smaller organizations, believing that their threats will intimidate you into paying them. The best defense is an informed workforce.
- Talk to your employees and co-workers about cases like this one and other schemes that target businesses.
Know your rights when dealing with debt collectors.
If your business receives unordered products, remember that the law says you can keep them as a gift.
Tell the FTC if your business is the target of a scheme or deceptive practice at ftc.gov/complaint.
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In reply to This happens to the normal by Carbon24K
If you get receive merchandise you didn’t order, you don’t have to pay for it. Federal laws prohibit mailing unordered merchandise to consumers and then demanding payment. Read more about your rights in this FTC article.
In reply to Another thing that annoys me by Mama Jo
In reply to Thank you for this by Sandy24
If you spot a scam, please report it to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.