Credit card processer, state reach settlement over unauthorized billingStaff Report | January 07,2013MONTPELIER - Merchant Service Center, an Ohio-based credit card processor, has agreed to settle with the state in connection with unauthorized charges to customers for services they didn't order - also known as negative option marketing.
According to the settlement announced Monday by the Attorney General's office, Merchant Service Center offered a package of services to its existing customers, including web hosting, email accounts, accounting software, data storage, and a pharmacy discount card.
The last paragraph of the company's offer letter stated that if customers did not contact Merchant Service Center and cancel the service in 30 days, they would be charged $19.95 a month.
Negative option marketing means that a business announces a service and goes ahead and charges the customer, unless the customer says they don't want the service.
Attorney General William Sorrell said the problem with programs like this is that some customers may not read the offer letter, and may not realize that they are being charged for a service that they have no use for.
Merchant Service Center agreed to reimburse its Vermont customers, revise its procedures regarding negative option offers, and pay the state $1,000 per letter sent, for a total of $7,000.MORE IN This Just In
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Gov. Peter Shumlin announces demise of his single-payer health insurance initiative; convicted first-degree murderer Alan Prue sentenced to 50 years for killing teacher Melissa Jenkins; veterans chafed about park naming snub.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 497 BC, first Saturnalia festival celebrated in Rome, Scandinavians retain 'Yule Goat' as symbol of season, Krampus, evil side of holiday cheer, terrorizes children into better behavior, more advice from Christopher Hitchens.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 533 AD, Byzantine Emperor Justinian I gets the old empire back together again routing the Vandals from Carthage; in 1890, Lakota Chief Sitting Bull is killed at his home in South Dakota; in 1970, Soviets land probe on Venus.
- DUANE CARLETON: Rutland Herald Events Editor George Nostrand interviews musician Duane Carleton, whose new CD 'A GIRL LIKE THAT' drops Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, and will be celebrated that evening with a show at 9:30 p.m. at Killington's Pickle Barrel.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Sigisimund, king of Hungary, creates Order of the Dragon to defend the West against Ottoman Turks; Chong Ho escorts 300 virgins to China; J. Bruce Ismay born this day, built Titanic, gets free trip, does not go down with the ship.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Storm takes out power for 60,000 Vermonters; state gets $33M to fund pre-K education; Springfield board OKs fund to demolish blighted buildings, voters have final say; George Nostrand runs down coming events.