Company Agrees to Pay $48,000 Civil Penalty for Violations of FTC Mail/telephone Order Rule

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission today announced a settlement with Designer Checks, Inc. of Anniston, Alabama.

In a consent decree filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Eastern Region, the company has agreed to pay $48,000 in civil penalties for violations of the FTC’s Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule, which requires certain disclosures to consumers about mail and telephone orders. According to the agency’s complaint, Designer Checks, which offered bank checks and accessories, such as checkbook covers, pens, and folios, failed to offer consumers an option to either consent to a delay in shipping orders or to cancel the order and receive a refund when the company knew it would not be able to fulfill the consumer’s order within the time period advertised.

The Commission vote to refer the complaint to the Department of Justice for filing was 5-0. The consent decree was filed on June 16, 1998, by the Department of Justice and is subject to court approval.

NOTE: This consent decree is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation. Consent decrees have the force of law when signed by the judge.

Copies of the complaint and consent decree are available from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.

(FTC File No. 972-3134)

(Civil Action No. CV-98-PT-1541-E)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Michelle Muth,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161
Staff Contact:
Katharine B. Alphin
Atlanta Regional Office
404-656-1350