January 24, 2007
Hillsboro, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon is suing a couple from Imperial who Nixon says sold Internet advertising to small businesses based on false guarantees. Nixon filed the lawsuit Tuesday (Jan. 23) in Jefferson County Circuit Court against Vickie and Jonathan Nash, who do business as Salez-4-U Advertising Service.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants guaranteed the small businesses that the Internet advertising would generate a specific number of paid customers -not just visitors or leads-to the businesses' Web sites, or the businesses would receive refunds. At least nine small businesses paid the defendants a total of $16,735 for the “guaranteed results” promised by the Nashes but never received the sign-ups guaranteed or refunds.
Amounts paid by consumers ranged from $129 to $4,900. The defendants also changed web addresses and telephone numbers as a way to avoid consumers who requested refunds, Nixon said.
“Unfortunately, it's a common scam to take advance payment for services, fail to provide those services, and then make it impossible for consumers to get refunds,” Nixon said. “If you're charging small businesses thousands of dollars up front for any service, you better deliver on your promises or issue refunds because you will be held accountable if you do not.”
Nixon is asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent the defendants from continuing to advertise and offer for sale Internet advertising services in Missouri, or from accepting funds from any consumers in any commercial context. He also is seeking an order requiring the Nashes to pay consumer restitution and penalties to the state, and prohibiting them from future violations of Missouri consumer protection laws.