Suthers forces tanning business to make audio recordings of sales

Keith Loria Jan. 31, 2011, 3:47am


DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced on Monday that he has reached a $350,000 settlement with a tanning chain that allegedly misled customers in its contracts.

The Oklahoma-based tanning chain At The Beach allegedly used deceptive sales practices by allowing its employees to tell consumers they could "cancel their contract at any time."

The suit alleged that the company failed to disclose that any cancellation would require payment of half of the remaining cost of the contract. This was not learned by consumers until they actually went to cancel their contracts, Suthers says.

Any consumer who has filed a written complaint with Suthers' office or the Better Business Bureau will be eligible for a refund. It is believed that more than $100,000 will be refunded to approximately 300 past At The Beach customers. The company must also pay $75,000 to the State to be used to reimburse consumers who file complaints going forward. A $75,000 fine and $38,500 in court costs will also be paid by At the Beach.

The agreement also calls for At The Beach to halt all deceptive sales practices and record all of its future sales.

"This agreement is a victory for the hundred of Colorado consumers who felt that At The Beach was not engaging in fair sales practices," Suthers said. "We believe the company's agreement to record all sales transactions will deter future misconduct, and is evidence of the company's desire to change its sales practices."

At The Beach is required by the agreement to install recording equipment in all of its stores and maintain an audio copy of every sale.

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