BOISE, Idaho (Legal Newsline) - Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced on Thursday that he has reached a $150,000 settlement with an auto park and a marketing company over an allegedly dishonest "Cash Rewards" program.
Marketing company Gunning & Associates Marketing promoted a rebate program run by the Texas-based Cash Rewards, Inc., to the Dennis Dillon Auto Park.
Allegedly, ads for the rebate program promised that those buying or leasing a car from the dealership would get a cash reward, when it was actually a mail-in rebate and the money would not come for three years.
In addition, to qualify for the money, consumers needed to submit personal identifying and financial information to a rebate administrator, Wasden claims.
"Time-deferred rebates have generated dozens of consumer complaints in the past two years," Wasden said.
"In each instance, the promoter that sold the rebate scheme to the Idaho business was from out-of-state and went out-of-business or bankrupt before it paid the rebates.
"I appreciate the Dennis Dillon dealership and Gunning & Associates working with my office to bring this case to a fair resolution and I urge all Idaho businesses to be wary of time-deferred rebate programs."
Under the agreement, Dennis Dillon Auto Park will provide restitution to 57 consumers who believed they would be getting this cash reward when purchasing cars in 2004 and 2005.
The dealership also agreed not to advertise or allow a marketing firm connected with the auto park to advertise that consumers can receive cash in connection with any purchases or leases unless it is a vehicle manufacturer rebate.
Although both parties admitted no wrongdoing, together, Dennis Dillon Auto Park and Gunning & Associates Marketing agreed to pay $130,000 in consumer restitution and another $20,000 for costs associated with the litigation. A lawsuit against Cash Rewards, Inc., which filed for bankruptcy, is still pending