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Five More Companies That Charged Vermonters’ Phone Bills Settle With Attorney General

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

May 4, 2011

Five out-of-state companies that charged local consumers and businesses on their telephone bills for services that many of the affected Vermonters claim they did not agree to buy have entered into settlements with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, bringing to eight the total of such settlements since mid-March. Together, the five firms billed Vermont consumers and businesses over $419,000, all of which must be refunded, if that has not already been done. In addition, each will pay the State of Vermont $10,000.

Attorney General William H. Sorrell noted that the settlements are among a series of enforcement actions designed to combat “cramming”—the placing of unauthorized or inadequately-noticed charges on consumer and business telephone bills. “Most consumers don’t expect that they will be charged for non-telephone services on their local telephone bills, and we don’t want companies taking advantage of that,” said Attorney General Sorrell.

In all five cases, the charging company failed to comply fully with a Vermont law requiring that notice be mailed to consumers and businesses before charges appear on their local telephone bills. In addition, two of the companies used what the Attorney General’s Office considered to be a deceptive telemarketing script, which stated that the purpose of the call was not to sell a service (which it was), but to update the prospective customer’s online listing.

The settling companies are:

  • Douglas-Lambert Laboratories LLC, doing business as Orbit Telecom, based in Henderson, Nevada, which charged over $119,000 to more than 1,200 Vermonters for a voicemail service between 2004 and 2006;
  • eBridge, Inc., also known as Lawstar, Inc., doing business as B2B-ISP, eLink-ISP, InMySip, MSMB-ISP, and Zip Wide Web, Inc., also known as ZWW-ISP, based in Encino, California, which charged over $93,000 to 485 Vermont businesses for an online business directory service between 2004 and 2010;
  • Liveonthenet.com, based in Huntsville, Alabama, which charged over $56,000 to 852 Vermonters for PC tech support between 2005 and 2008;
  • Residential Email LLC, based in Henderson, Nevada, which charged over $65,000 to more than 1,170 Vermonters for an email service between 2005 and 2006; and
  • The Internet Business Association, Inc., based in Carson City, Nevada, which charged over $86,000 to 435 businesses for an internet and website address service between 2007 and 2010.

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

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