CompUSA Settles FTC Rebate Complaint

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CompUSA and QPS Inc., a maker of computer peripherals, settled a Federal Trade Commission complaint that they failed to deliver rebates to consumers within an advertised period of time, the FTC said last week.


According to the FTC, CompUSA got involved in and helped advertise a QPS-funded mail-in rebate program that promised to mail rebates to customers in six to eight weeks.


From September to December 2001 and January to July 2002, consumers waited one to six months to get their rebates from QPS, and thousands never received them at all, the FTC said.


Despite knowing of the problems, CompUSA continued to advertise the rebates until QPS filed for bankruptcy in August 2002, the FTC said. Also, from September 2001 to June 2002, CompUSA failed to deliver rebates on its own branded products within the promised time, with many consumers experiencing delays of a week to three months, according to the FTC.


Under the agreement, CompUSA must enact numerous changes to its rebate program to ensure timely payments. It also must pay all past-due rebates to consumers who bought QPS products from the store. The principals of bankrupt QPS promised to avoid violations in the future.


Scott Hovanyetz covers telemarketing, production and printing and direct response TV marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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