LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) - A New Jersey-based online advertiser will pay the state of Arkansas $190,000 for allegedly coercing businesses into paying for services it didn't agree to, said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on July 28.
The judgment against Electronic Media Marketing Group also said the company must immediately stop collection attempts and telemarketing calls in Alabama. In addition to the $190,000 in civil penalties, Electronic Media will also pay $4,500 to the state for attorney's fees.
“This company used illegal and threatening tactics to steal money from Arkansas businesses for a service they did not want and in many instances had never heard of in the first place,” Rutledge said. “Con artists like this are not welcome in Arkansas, and I am pleased that this company will no longer be doing business in our State.”
According to the original lawsuit filed in February 2014, the company allegedly attempted to convince businesses that it had signed up for a “free trial” for advertising, didn't cancel the service after the trial and was therefore subject to pay hundreds of dollars for another year of the services.
The lawsuit claimed the company, which operates General Yellow Pages, would invoice the businesses for nearly $600 even though the businesses never agreed to a free trial or sought advertising services from the company.