For press inquiries or to schedule an interview with the Attorney General please contact:
503-378-6002 or Jeff.D.Manning@doj.state.or.us
About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced the filing of a $36,000 settlement agreement with a Southern Oregon pest control company following a long history of consumer complaints which included allegations of over-aggressive salespersons selling unnecessary services to the elderly. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) filed in Jackson County Circuit Court are All Natural Industries, Inc., doing business as All Natural Pest Elimination and its President David R. Smith of Medford. The AVC admits no law violation.
"After years of mediating complaints against the company and issuing several warnings, the Oregon Department of Justice is hopeful that this agreement will end all the problems," Myers explained.
Since June 2005, the Oregon Department of Justice has opened 21 complaint files. Some were information only. The company satisfied most of the consumers' problems and voluntarily paid more than $30,000 to resolve recent complaints. At DOJ's request, All Natural has extensively revised its sales contracts and price lists. DOJ investigators were assisted in part of their investigation by the Medford Police Department.
The settlement agreement filed in Jackson County Circuit Court does not admit violation of law but includes extensive changes in the company's business practices such as more training for sales employees. This includes having its employees ask consumers if they wish to have a second person involved in the initial inspection appointment. Any consumer who qualifies for a senior discount must be asked whether he or she wishes another person to advise on the purchase decision. The company also agreed to provide consumers more explanation of the eligibility criteria for discounts and show them price lists. In addition, the company will, for contracts over $2,500, have a senior manager personally discuss the details of the contract with the consumer.
The company has resolved all outstanding consumer complaints, agreed to advise all employees of the company's obligations under the AVC and paid $36,000 to the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection and Education Fund.
Consumers wanting more information about this case and other consumer protection issues may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. The Oregon Department of Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
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