Telemarketer Pays Settlement in VT
Fines could add up to as much as $430,000, but the company expects it to be much lower.
The Cape Canaveral, FL, promotions firm generated leads by inviting consumers attending local fairs to register for a drawing, the attorney general's office said.
In telephone calls to these consumers, company agents made misleading statements that consumers had won a vacation drawing held to promote the company's resorts, when in fact the agents offered a vacation package at discount rates available from travel agents, according to the Attorney General's office.
The Attorney General's office further charged that the real purpose of the vacation offer was to sell timeshares and that telemarketing agents failed to tell consumers they would be required to take a timeshare tour to receive the benefit of the vacation package.
The company is required to place ads in Vermont newspapers, offering full refunds to the 240 consumers who paid an average of $450 each for the vacation packages and went on the trips. The company also must mail the refund offer to 450 of those consumers who paid for a vacation but have not taken it, as well as pay the state $80,000.