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Another Company That Charged Vermonters’ Phone Bills Settles With Attorney General

CONTACT: Elliot Burg, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5507

November 5, 2012

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has reached a settlement with a San Francisco company that it claims charged 375 Vermont businesses over $66,000 for internet access and website services on their local telephone bills in violation of Vermont’s consumer protection laws. Under the settlement with Local Area Yellow Pages, LLC (“LAYP”), the businesses will receive full refunds, and the company will pay $10,000 to the State.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, LAYP a violated the Vermont Consumer Protection Act by failing to comply with a Vermont law requiring that specified notice of charges be mailed to the businesses, and by misrepresenting the purpose of telephone solicitations to the businesses. The reason for the notice is that most people do not realize that they can be billed through their local telephone company for something unrelated to their telephone service. Vermont law now bans most such third-party charges on landline telephone bills.

The settlement is the 23rd of its kind in the Attorney General’s multi-year investigation of “cramming,” or the placing of unauthorized charges for third-party services on consumers’ telephone bills.

For more information on the settlement, call the Attorney General’s Office at (802) 828-5507.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.