Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today announced that vanity publisher Cambridge Who’s Who has agreed to pay approximately $15,000 in restitution to Oregon consumers, and has changed its sales script to comply with Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA).
Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Cambridge Who’s Who has changed its sales practices to comply with Oregon’s “30-second rule,” which among other things requires that that the total cost of goods or services are clearly stated and that telephone calls will be immediately discontinued if consumers indicate that they do not wish to listen to a solicitation.
Cambridge Who’s Who is a vanity publisher that profiles its members by highlighting their professional achievements on the company’s website. For an additional fee, the company offers a variety of services, including Executive of the Year plaques, press releases, and videos.
Cambridge Who’s Who advertises a free listing both on-line and through the mail, then personally follows up with a phone call.
The Oregon Department of Justice launched an investigation after receiving about half a dozen complaints from Oregon consumers. Company records obtained by the Department of Justice indicated that Cambridge Who’s Who would call consumers who expressed an interest in the free listing and, during those calls, the company would attempt to sell memberships that cost several hundred dollars. Under the terms of the settlement, the company will now remind consumers that a free listing is available to them.
Cambridge Who’s Who will also be paying more than $15,000 to two Oregon consumers. The company had already issued refunds to a number of consumers prior to the settlement under which the company admitted to no wrongdoing.
The company has also agreed to pay $13,500 to the Oregon Department of Justice consumer protection & education fund.
The Better Business Bureau of New York gives Cambridge Who’s Who a “C” rating, citing 354 consumer complaints nationwide.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Lucille Salmony handled the case for the Oregon Department of Justice.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
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