CHARLESTON -- Attorney General Darrell McGraw announced Tuesday that a settlement agreement has been reached with IGIA Inc., a Delaware corporation that markets household products through infomercials and the Internet, using the name "As Seen on TV."
IGIA offered vacuum cleaners for sale under the names Windstorm, Singer Lazer Storm, and Milinëx Power Storm.
Most consumers who complained to the AG's Consumer Protection Division responded to an infomerical they saw on the TV Guide Channel.
Consumers called IGIA's toll-free number which was answered by an automated system. Consumers placed their orders, gave their bank or credit card information, then the automated system confirmed their orders. Many consumers who ordered one vacuum under the "buy one get one free" deal were confirmed and charged for two vacuums; consumers who ordered two vacuums were confirmed and charged for four.
Immediately after the orders were confirmed, the automated system would disconnect, preventing the consumers from disputing the number of vacuums they had purchased.
"Consumers were not only overcharged, but many never received the vacuums they ordered," McGraw said in a press release. "Consumer's who attempted to cancel these transactions were placed on hold for hours."
In the settlmenet, IGIA will pay the State $176,139.27 which will then be refunded to the affected consumers. IGIA has made its first payment of $10,000 and will make monthly payments until the total amount of restitution is paid. Restitution shall be paid in full no later than Nov. 5, 2008.
In the agreement, IGIA is prohibited from conducting any business in the State of West Virginia until the settlement amount is paid in full. In addition, IGIA thereafter agrees to only transact business in full compliance with the West Virginia Consumer Protection Act.