Page Plus settles with Ohio AG

Keith Loria Nov. 15, 2010, 10:57am

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has announced a settlement with a prepaid wireless provider stemming from alleged misrepresentation of services and failure to disclose important terms and conditions.

As part of the settlement, eligible customers of Start Wireless Group, Inc., doing business as Page Plus, Inc., who file complaints with Cordray's office will receive $200 each.

"We are pleased that this settlement will provide substantial restitution for dozens, if not hundreds, of affected consumers," Cordray said.

"This case underscores how important it is for wireless providers to disclose their terms and conditions and to operate in a clear, transparent manner."

Page Plus, based in Holland, Ohio, purchases available mobile phone plans from a national provider. The plans are then made available to consumers through prepaid phone card plans. The phone card plans are offered in thousands of storefront locations nationwide.

Cordray's office has received more than 60 consumer complaints against Page Plus since January. Many of the complaints cited the company's Unlimited Talk 'n Text plan, which consumers allege was advertised as providing unlimited minutes, unlimited text messages and 20 megabytes of data for a flat monthly rate.

Page Plus, the complaints allege, automatically transferred consumers to a standard, pay-per-minute plan after the consumers "abused" the plan.

Page Plus, Cordray alleged, did not give consumers further details on how the abuse of the plan took place.

Additionally, the company's advertisements allegedly failed to clearly disclose terms and conditions of the plan. When a consumer was transferred to the standard pay-per-minute plan, balances were transferred but refunds were not given, Cordray says.

Under terms of the settlement, Page Plus will clearly disclose all important terms and conditions in advertisements and at the point of purchase. The company will also make specific changes to improve customer service.

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