Attorney General Bill McCollum reached a settlement with several prepaid and long-distance phone card companies accused of duping customers, including St. Petersburg-based Cristel Telecommunications, LLC.
His office says the settlement will start industrywide reforms for Florida consumers. Companies targeted will stop all deceptive advertising, provide 100 percent of the minutes advertised, and submit to three years of auditing by the Office of the Attorney General to ensure that they are following the terms of their agreement. Theyll also reimburse the state $1-million for investigative costs and future enforcement efforts.
“The calling card industry has long been targeting non-English speakers and cheating consumers for whom these cards are often a lifeline to loved ones,” McCollum said. “Through today’s settlements, we are instituting industrywide reforms, and we expect accountability from these companies.”
The targeted companies include IDT America Inc. Union Telecom Alliance (UTA) Total Call International Inc. Blackstone Calling Card Inc. CVT Prepaid Solutions Inc. Dollar Phone Enterprise Inc. STi Prepaid, LLC Alternatel Inc and Cristel Telecommunications, LLC.
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