April 29, 2008
Jefferson City, Mo. - A San Francisco-based Internet business that placed unauthorized charges on the telephone bills of Missouri consumers must cease the practice, issue refunds to all consumers who submit valid complaints within one year, and pay $10,000 in costs and penalties under a consent judgment and permanent injunction obtained by Attorney General Jay Nixon. The court order against INC21 and GlobalYP.net was filed today in Cole County Circuit Court.
Nixon says his office received 17 complaints from Missouri consumers between June and November 2007, who said they were charged $34.99 on their phone bills for GlobalYP services that claimed to be for Web site hosting, Internet access or an Internet directory listing. The consumers never authorized or received the services. Each of those consumers caught the charge, challenged it and had it removed from their bills, but Nixon said other Missourians may have paid improper charges from GlobalYP.net and did not receive refunds.
"It's important for Missourians to be warned of any company trying to sneak unauthorized charges onto the phone bills of consumers," Nixon said. "Remember to read your bills carefully, challenge any inaccurate charges and file a complaint with my office if you have already mistakenly paid this company."
Today's court order permanently prohibits the defendants from continuing to place unauthorized charges on the phone bills of Missouri consumers, or attempting to obtain money from any consumer for a product or service that the consumer has not knowingly agreed to purchase. GlobalYP.net is also ordered to pay full refunds within one year of today's order to consumers who file a complaint showing that they were charged and paid the company for any product or service that they did not authorize, plus $5,000 to the state in civil penalties and $5,000 for the costs of investigation and enforcement of the case.