TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced a $500,000 settlement Friday with a Florida-based merchandise seller for allegedly enrolling consumers in a negative option scam.
Smart Savings Center LLC and multiple affiliated entities and websites sell merchandise connected to a membership club, charging a monthly fee for discounted books, posters and movies. Smart Savings allegedly failed to properly disclose that purchases made on their website would result in automatic enrollment in the membership club.
Smart Savings also allegedly refused to honor consumers' requests to cancel their membership, violated a 2010 settlement agreement between Bondi's office and Smart Savings, and violated Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
"Negative option scams deceive consumers into enrolling in automatic renewals," Bondi said. "My office will remain vigilant in ensuring the businesses abide by Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act."
Under the terms of the settlement, Smart Savings will pay $300,000 in consumer restitution and donate $200,000 to Bondi's office for its Seniors vs. Crimes program. All entities and websites will also refrain from any deceptive representations of the benefits or content of their products, modify their use and representation of the term "free" in relation to negative option marketing, and obtain the proper consent and make appropriate disclosures to consumers in relation to automatic subscription renewals.
Other companies named in the settlement include RSOP Holdings LLC, RSOP Holdings Delaware LLC, XACTI LLC, XACTI Global LLC, Rebategiant.com LLC, Discount Movie Sale LLC, Discountpostersale.com LLC, Discount Book Sale LLC, Bestbrandvalues.com LLC, Smartsavingscenter.com LLC, Hotbooksale.com LLC, Hotmoviesale.com LLC, Best Buyer Discounts LLC, Royalalarcade.com LLC and Nuvaceutical LLC.