A company charged with using deceptive marketing to pitch its English language learning software has settled charges with the state of North Carolina.
Attorney General Roy Cooper says the company, Interlingual, of Houston, Texas, has agreed to follow the law and pay refunds to consumers who file complaints.
This company took advantage of people who wanted to learn our language, said Cooper. Now, weve won money back for consumers and gotten the company to change its ways.
Cooper alleges the company made telemarketing calls and in-home sales visits to Spanish-speaking North Carolina residents to sell compact discs and printed materials designed to teach English.
Telemarketers working for Interlingual first called consumers, claiming that they were calling to ask them questions for a poll or survey. The telemarketers then quickly switched to a sales pitch and asked to set up a meeting with a sales representative at the consumers home.
According to the complaint, Interlingual sales representatives told prospective customers that they had been selected to receive special scholarships or discounts of up to fifty percent off the purchase price. In reality, all consumers were quoted a price of $1,100 for the CDs and books.
Other consumers were promised 20 free English lessons, but could only get their supposedly free lessons by agreeing to buy the CDs and books.
Under the agreement, Interlingual will change its sales practices. The company has agreed to stop making false claims about scholarships, discounts and free lessons. Interlingual will notify customers verbally and in writing in the same language used to make the sale, which is usually Spanish, about their three-day right to cancel their purchase.
North Carolina law gives people three days to cancel a purchase if it wasnt made at the companys regular place of business.
The company also agreed to change its telemarketing practices. Interlingual telemarketers will stop making false survey calls and will not use automatic dialers and pre-recorded messages without consumers consent.
The company will make sure its telemarketers are properly trained to follow telemarketing laws.
Any consumer who files a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney Generals Office, Texas Attorney Generals Office or the Better Business Bureau within the next 120 days will get a full refund from Interlingual.