TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) – Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced on Monday that he has reached a $1.3 million settlement with a company that allegedly charged consumers for books and magazines they never ordered.
Rodale, Inc., allegedly engaged in automatic subscription renewals and automatic shipments from trial orders made on its website.
The publishing company sells Prevention, Men’s Heath, Women’s Health, Organic Gardening and other magazines, and publishes and sells books, newsletters and other products on the subjects of health, fitness and related topics.
Consumers complained to McCollum’s office that they were receiving books they had not ordered or were billed for products that they never ordered.
McCollum alleges that Rodale offered free trials of its books and magazines and billed consumers if they did not return the books or cancel the magazine subscriptions. It also allegedly enrolled the same consumers in automatic renewals of magazines or automatically shipped books to them without specific consent from consumers.
Under terms of the agreement, Rodale will refund Florida consumers who were charged because of these alleged actions. The company will also pay $1.3 million for costs associated with the litigation.
The company also agreed that all future advertising would be done in a way that clearly and conspicuously tells consumers about the terms and conditions of its plans and assure that consumers have agreed to automatic renewals and automatic shipments before enrolling them in such programs.