Attorney General Hardy Myers Reaches Settlement With iMergent, Inc. And Storesonline, Inc. For Misleading Internet Money Making Offers
Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced a settlement reached with iMergent, Inc., and its subsidiary, Storesonline, Inc., both Delaware-based companies operating out of Utah, for alleged violations of Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act. In an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) filed in Marion County Circuit Court, the company agrees to comply with state consumer protection laws and resolve any future complaints.
An Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation was launched in 2007 after consumers complained about misleading seminars promising to teach attendees how to "make money on the Internet" by teaching them how to identify successful products, suppliers and drop shippers; secure first page positions on major Internet search engines; and create lucrative business websites on their own despite having only "surf and send e-mail" web knowledge. Instead, consumers paid thousands of dollars to the companies and to third party contractors in order to fully build the functioning site and business plans.
"As Internet business opportunities become more prevalent, it is increasingly important for consumers to assess whether these opportunities are the right fit for them personally," said Myers. "Requiring a broad disclosure about the ease of use and the requisite skills necessary to ensure success with the product will aid consumers in making those important decisions."
iMergent, Inc., and Storesonline, Inc., recently paid $31,000 in restitution to satisfy the complaints of six Oregon consumers. In the future, the companies must fully disclose the costs associated with the program; not misrepresent the ease of learning the web skills; and provide a consumer warning that customers' information may be sold or distributed to others, including businesses. In total, both companies paid $33,000 to the DOJ Consumer Protection and Education Fund.
Stephanie Soden, (503) 378-6002