Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has reached a settlement with a Meridian-based telemarketing company that sold transportation compliance services to commercial truck drivers in Idaho and across the nation.
The settlement with BLAK, Inc. concludes an 18-month investigation into a group of Idaho telemarketers that were targeting commercial truck drivers who were newly registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation. BLAK operates under the name Unified Compliance Services, according to AG’s Office.
“The agreement addresses several problematic business practices my office identified and requires the company to comply with all applicable consumer protection laws going forward,” Wasden said. “This settlement also requires Unified Compliance Services to pay restitution to harmed consumers.”
Wasden said truck drivers complained of receiving sales calls from telemarketers who falsely claimed an affiliation with the federal government. The companies involved in the investigation also had not registered with the Attorney General’s Office to telephone solicit and refused to respond to requests for refunds when drivers tried to cancel purchases.
Wasden’s Consumer Protection Division looked into allegations that the companies were failing to distinguish themselves from the U.S. Department of Transportation and led customers to believe the services were required by federal law.
Any violation of the agreement could lead to $100,000 in civil penalties, according to terms.
Under terms of the settlement, Unified Compliance Services reimbursed the Attorney General for fees and investigative costs.
The company, among other things, has also agreed to:
• At a customer’s request, cancel a purchase and refund payment for any sale that occurred during a telephone solicitation before April 15, 2016;
• Maintain its telephone solicitor registration with the Idaho Attorney General’s office;
• Provide training on legal responsibilities to its team of telephone solicitors;
• Not represent that it is affiliated with, sponsored, licensed, regulated or approved by any government agency.
Customers interested in cancelling their purchases and obtaining refunds must email Unified Compliance Services directly at email@example.com and provide the company with contact and account information.
The deadline to request cancellation and a refund is Aug. 6, 2016. Customers should receive refunds within 21 business days of the company receiving the email request.
So far this year, Wasden has reached settlements with three telemarketing companies that focused on commercial truck drivers. In January, Wasden settled with Vurv, LLC, and Drug Testing Compliance Group. Wasden then settled with CDL Compliance Testing, LLC, and DOT Transportation Service, LLC, in April.