John O'Brien Mar. 5, 2009, 4:00pm
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - AT&T will pay almost $3 million to settle allegations of deceptive advertising, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo recently announced.
Cuomo said Tuesday that AT&T has agreed to pay $2.63 million to resolve charges stemming a sales promotion involving rebate offers. Cuomo said the company's rebate offers were fulfilled with burdensome and condition-laden rebate cards.
The settlement funds will go to consumers who received the rebate cards from AT&T in fulfillment of its rebate offers on cellular phones and other wireless equipment and services.
"AT&T, as one of this country's leading companies, has a responsibility to be forthright with its clients and not rely on deceptive practices to increase profits," Cuomo said.
"I commend them for recognizing the problems with this advertising campaign and reaching an appropriate settlement with my office."
AT&T uses rebate cards instead of checks, and they are portrayed as debit cards in the amount of the offer, Cuomo said. They were not redeemable for cash, could not be used for cash withdrawals and expired 120 days from issuance, he said.
AT&T did not disclose those terms, Cuomo alleges, and deceived consumers with offers for free products when they actually had to pay the full price up-front before submitting a mail-in rebate form.
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