The operators of Miss Cleo's Psychic Readers Network have agreed to cease soliciting business from consumers in Oklahoma as part of an agreement with the state attorney general's office.
Access Resource Services, Fort Lauderdale, FL, has suspended its advertisements in Oklahoma, according to the attorney general's office. The company also will pay $25,000 for investigative costs, $28,000 to provide refunds to about 300 consumers, and dismiss $3 million in unpaid bills for about 12,000 Oklahoma residents.
The agreement settles a petition filed by the state attorney general's office in November 2000 charging Access Resource Services with violating the state's Consumer Protection Act by engaging in unfair and deceptive marketing practices.
According to the charges, Access Resource Services promised free readings to those who called a 900 line, but consumers who called were kept on hold, disconnected and then billed at a rate of $4.99 per minute anyway for the time they spent on hold. In one case, an Oklahoma consumer was billed more than $900, according to the charges.