WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been granted an order from a federal district court which terminates several San Diego Internet marketing companies from continuing what the FTC alleges is deceptive "free trial" advertising and offers.
The FTC requested the court order against Triangle Media Corporation and its owner Brian Phillips, Jasper Rain Marketing, LLC. and Hardwire Interactive Inc., for violation of the FTC Act, the Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. The FTC alleges the defendants used "deceptive order confirmation packages" in an effort to scam consumers into ordering additional products.
According to the FTC, the defendants made tens of millions of dollars by tricking consumers to click on ads from their websites that offered "trials of these products for just the cost of shipping" at a cost of around $4.95. The FTC alleges costumers were charged as much as $98.71 for shipment of the trial products and also enrolled customers in a "continuity plan" without their consent, which resulted in additional shipping charges each month.
Products marketed by the defendants included skin creams, electronic cigarettes and dietary supplements, according to the FTC complaint.