CONCORD, N.H. (Legal Newsline) - New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster announced an assurance of discontinuance Friday with two discount travel organizations that allegedly engaged in deceptive acts related to bogus discounts.
Coastal Management and Consolidators and Savers Express LLC sent postcards promising free airline tickets and a hotel stay to consumers if they called a phone number within seven days. Upon calling the number, consumers learned they needed to attend a sales presentation to get the free gifts. During the presentation, the consumers were asked to buy membership in a travel club.
Foster's office alleged that Coastal and Saver required consumers to pay a $249 one-year membership in the buying club to obtain the purportedly free gifts. Coastal and Saver also allegedly operated a buying club charging membership fees in excess of $35 without posting a surety bond, failed to disclose members' rights, illegally informed members that administrative fees were non-refundable and required members to waive rights to dispute credit card charges.
"New Hampshire laws regulating buying clubs and offers of gifts and prizes protect consumers from unfair or deceptive acts," Foster said. "My office will continue to strictly enforce these and other laws intended to protect consumers. These two companies have agreed to come into compliance and to pay our costs to investigate. We will continue to take necessary action to ensure that all those doing business in New Hampshire treat New Hampshire consumers fairly and in accord with our laws."
Under the terms of the agreement, Coastal and Saver must cease doing business in New Hampshire until they fully comply with state law, provide corrected membership agreements to all New Hampshire members within 60 days, respond to all consumer complaints within two weeks, reimburse the state for all costs related to the matter and consent to review and monitoring by Foster's office for three years.