Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced Internet Order, which does business as Pimlseurapproach.com, has made a settlement with New York for deceptively enrolling its customers in costly Pimlseur language courses.
The multistate settlement amounts to $1 million. It serves to resolve an investigation into the company and its owner, Dan Roitman, for failing to clearly explain that the language course was falsely advertised. The course was marketed as “only $9.95,” including shipping further language courses. However, if the courses are not returned, the customer would be charged $1,000.
“Consumers deserve to be treated fairly and not subjected to deceptive marketing practices that unexpectedly cost hundreds of dollars or more,” Schneiderman said. “Today’s settlement requires Internet Order to obtain express informed consent before billing consumers for products and makes it clear that my office will not tolerate any abuses of consumers’ trust.”
According to the settlement, Internet Order must reform the company’s marketing practices as well as gain express informed consent before it is allowed to charge credit cards.
“I consider myself a careful lawyer,” said retired New York state Justice Stephen G. Crane, who filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, said. “I was scammed by fine print buried in a bold-type offer for wanting to learn a foreign language. I thought the program was a great introduction to Italian for $9.95. Imagine my amazement when I was billed for an additional $256, and then started to receive threatening letters from Internet Order demanding payment.”