McKenna settlement nets $200K in restitution
SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna has announced a settlement with an e-commerce services company that promised increase Web site hits but allegedly failed to deliver.
McKenna had sued Visibile.net, also doing business as Captures.com and WebMarketingSource.com, and its owner, Gilbert Walker, in November 2008, alleging that the Web site design, search optimization and Internet marketing services company was in violation of the state's telemarketing law.
"Visible.net and Captures.com promised small businesses that they'd be 'blown away' by achieving top Internet search results," McKenna said.
"But merchants who paid thousands of dollars hoping to increase sales found the defendants couldn't always deliver on their promises. Today's settlement requires Visible.net and Captures.com to accurately represent their services and will enable us to provide restitution for some customers."
Customers paid Visible.net initial startup fees of between $3,749.99-$9,749.99, as well as a monthly fee of between $39.99-$99.99 for services, McKenna said. When McKenna filed suit against the company, more than 90 complaints against the business had been filed with the Better Business Bureau and McKenna's office. An additional 70 complaints have been received since the lawsuit was filed.
A King County Superior Court judge found the defendants in violation of the state's telemarketing law in April, with the settlement filed on Wednesday to resolve remaining allegations of consumer protection law violations.
The defendants will pay McKenna's office $250,000 as part of the settlement, with $200,000 of that used as restitution for customers who filed complaints and the remaining $50,000 used to reimburse the state's legal expenses.