Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
June 21, 2013
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Attorney General Bondi Reaches Settlement with Book and DVD Publishing Company For Alleged Deceptive Practices
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that her office has reached a settlement with book and DVD publishing company Boardroom, Inc., resolving deceptive and unfair trade practice allegations. Boardroom, Inc., a Connecticut-based corporation that publishes and sells health, nutrition, and financial books, DVDs and newsletters, allegedly made deceptive representations regarding its products and marketed them by using trial offers and automatic subscription renewals, referred to as a negative option plans, without clear and conspicuous disclosures to consumers. Consumers complained that they had received publications they had not ordered, and in some instances received multiple bills for those publications. The company also allegedly made numerous representations that products offered were “free,” when the risks and obligations tied to the "free" offer were not adequately disclosed to consumers. Boardroom, Inc. will mail approximately 35,000 consumer refund notices and provide a total refund amount up to $1.8 million to eligible consumers.
“Trial offers and automatic renewals that do not fully disclose all risks and obligations to the consumer are becoming more common and are a violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “My office will remain committed to protecting Florida consumers from deceptive business practices.”
Boardroom, Inc. cooperated fully with the Attorney General's investigation. As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to obtain the proper consent and make appropriate disclosures to consumers regarding automatic subscription renewals; modify its use and representation of the term “free” in association with negative option marketing; and not deceptively represent the benefits or content of its products. Additionally, Boardroom, Inc. will send a notice offering a refund to eligible Florida consumers who were enrolled in a negative option plan and paid for products any time from Aug. 29, 2008 to June 20, 2013, or who were sent and paid for an unordered product.
A copy of the settlement can be found by following this link: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MMFD-98VKCB/$file/Boardroom+-+Executed+AVC.pdf