IOWA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Satellite TV companies to pay Iowa $52,000 for consumer fraud violations

By Press release submission | Dec 3, 2018

Iowa Attorney General issued the following announcement on Nov. 29.

When shopping for satellite TV providers, consumers need a finely tuned antenna to avoid bad deals.

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has settled with three satellite TV companies this fall after accusing the companies of violating the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act. The settlements resulted in a total of $52,000 for the state Consumer Education and Litigation Fund, as well as refunds for consumers and restrictions on future sales.

First Choice Communications, a DIRECTV retailer based in Mesa, Ariz., agreed to a consent judgment signed Nov. 28 by Polk County District Judge David May. The company was ordered to notify the Attorney General in writing five days before returning to Iowa to sell its product. The company was also ordered to pay the state $5,000, follow Iowa’s Door-to-Door Sales Act and not make misrepresentations to customers.

First Choice sold TV packages to customers at the Iowa State Fair in 2015 and 2016.  In a petition filed in May, the Attorney General alleged that First Choice and its CEO, Michael S. Griffith, and owner, Kristal J. Jacobs, violated Iowa law by making several misrepresentations to customers, including falsely representing to customers that the price of merchandise would be lower than what was ultimately billed and saying that customers could switch TV providers for free. The petition alleged that First Choice also failed to provide Iowans with a three-day notice of their rights to cancel.

One Iowan who purchased from First Choice at the Iowa State Fair in 2016 told investigators in a formal written complaint that he was promised a premium-channel package for $90 a month for two years. Without notifying the customer, the company changed his package on December 2016 and increased his bill to $160 a month, he alleged.

Original source can be found here.

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