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Pa. AG reaches settlement over shipping and handling fees

By Bryan Cohen | Sep 20, 2011


HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly announced a settlement on Tuesday with a N.Y.-based business that sells a wide range of consumer products through infomercials and the Internet.

SAS Group Inc. allegedly promoted products as "free" when shipping and handling fees often exceeded the value of the products. Kelly alleged that consumer orders were placed over an automated phone system, which took credit card information before consumers were provided with a total purchase price.

After the credit card information was entered, consumers were allegedly told they would have to pay extra shipping and handling fees. Consumers were not able to cancel their order, nor were they able to disconnect the call without being charged for the item or items they inquired about.

Consumers who stayed on the line were offered an array of supplemental "free" promotional products, however, SAS allegedly charged shipping and handling fees for those free products that far exceeded the actual cost of shipping and handling and, in many instances, reflect the actual cost of the item.

In addition, SAS allegedly shipped items in two boxes when they would have fit in one box, charging consumers double shipping fees.

SAS has agreed to pay restitution to consumers who filed complaints with Kelly's Bureau of Consumer Protection, pay civil penalties and fully comply with the state's Consumer Protection Law.

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