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Department of Justice Suit Seeks To Prohibit Arizona Company From Further Violations of the Law, Provide Restitution to Harmed Wisconsin Consumers, and Recover Forfeitures
MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has commenced a lawsuit against Arizona-based Preferred Readers Service, Inc. (Preferred Readers), for allegedly violating the state's Deceptive Advertising and No Call laws, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today. According to consumer complaints filed with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Preferred Readers called consumers' homes several times a day for weeks or months at a time, hanging up when consumers requested caller identification. Consumers also complained that Preferred Readers accepted payments to authorize periodical renewals, but never ordered renewal and did not have the authority to do so.
According to the complaint, filed with the Dane County Circuit Court, Preferred Readers engages in the practice of telemarketing magazine subscription and renewal services.
We have complaints of repeated, harassing calls by the company as well as complaints involving consumers who paid for magazine services that the company failed to provide, Van Hollen said. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection investigated these consumer complaints and sent multiple cease and desist letters to Preferred Readers, but did not receive any response from the company. When administrative avenues have not succeeded, DOJ will work to vigorously enforce the state's consumer protection laws by bringing court actions.
The lawsuit alleges that Preferred Readers made repeated prohibited contacts to Wisconsin consumers in violation of the state's No Call law; misrepresented the terms of a telephone solicitation; and engaged in false advertising. The complaint seeks to prohibit Preferred Readers from further violations of Wisconsin law; to provide restitution for Wisconsin consumers who sent this company money; and to recover civil forfeitures for the company's violations.
DATCP investigated and referred the case to the Department of Justice. DOJ requests that consumers who have complaints against Preferred Readers contact DOJ's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 998-0700 or (608) 266-1852.
The suit has been assigned to Dane County Circuit Judge Diane Nicks. Assistant Attorney General Nelle Rohlich represents the State.