Commission Approves Federal Register Notice Seeking Comments on Cooling-Off Rule; Commission Approves Final Consent Order in Matter of American Telecom Services, Inc.

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Commission Approves Federal Register Notice Seeking Comments on Cooling-Off Rule

The Commission has approved a Federal Register notice seeking public comments on the costs and benefits of the agency’s Cooling-Off Rule, as part of its systematic review of its rules and guides. Put in place in 1972, the Cooling-Off Rule was last amended in October 1995. The Rule makes it an unfair and deceptive practice for anyone engaged in the “door-to-door” sale of consumer goods or services with a purchase price of $25 or more to fail to provide a buyer with certain oral and written disclosures regarding the buyer’s right to cancel within three business days when transaction occurred.

The Rule also requires such sellers, within 10 businesses days of receiving a valid cancellation notice, to honor the buyer’s request by refunding all payments, returning any traded-in property, cancelling and returning any security interests created by the sale, and notifying the buyer whether the seller intends to repossess or abandon any shipped goods. The Rule also requires door-to-door sellers to provide the buyer with a completed receipt and a copy of the sales contract.

As detailed in the Federal Register notice, which will be published soon and can be found now as a link to this press release on the Commission’s Web site, the FTC is seeking comments on whether modifications to the Rule are needed to increase its benefits, reduce its costs, or address relevant changes in technology or economic conditions. The notice also explains how to submit comments, which the Commission must receive by June 22, 2009. The Commission vote approving publication of the Federal Register notice was 4-0. (FTC File No. P087109; the staff contact is Sana Coleman Chriss, FTC Southeast Region, Atlanta, 404-656-1364.)

Commission Approves Final Consent Order in Matter of American Telecom Services, Inc.

– Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved a final consent order in the matter of American Telecom Services, Inc. The vote approving the final order was 4-0. (FTC File No. 082-3114; the staff contact is Linda K. Badger, FTC Western Region, San Francisco, 415-848-5151; see press release dated March 11, 2009, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/03/ats.shtm.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

(FYI 19.2009.wpd)

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