FTC Settles Complaints Against Office-Supply Telemarketers

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The Federal Trade Commission yesterday settled its complaints against two Chatsworth, CA, companies that the commission accused of using deceptive business-to-business telemarketing practices to market office supplies.

The settlement requires Ultra Ribbons Inc., Allstate Imaging and their principals to pay a $500,000 civil penalty and repay all businesses that complained about them to a Better Business Bureau or a government agency since 1996.

The companies were accused of offering free trials of their products via random, nationwide telemarketing solicitations, then billing the customers for exaggerated, undisclosed shipping and handling charges. The FTC also alleged that the defendants sent and billed for unordered merchandise, refused to accept returns and used abusive collection practices.

Executives at Ultra Ribbons and Allstate Imaging could not be contacted for comment.

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