Bill McCollum (L)
TALLAHASSEE -- Twenty-six states will receive an average of about $15,000 each from an online yellow pages company under a settlement with Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. McCollum announced earlier this week that Directory Billing, LLC will pay the states $400,000 and restitution to Florida companies over claims the company sent businesses live activation checks without disclosing their purpose. Companies cashing the checks found they had automatically subscribed to monthly charges from the issuer and received a listing in return. McCollum charged that the disclosure printed on the checks explaining their purpose "was neither clear nor conspicuous." As part of McCollum's proposed settlement, Directory Billing agreed not to use such checks again and to inform current customers that they may be eligible for a partial refund. The AG had been investigating the company since 2004.