Officials of several mail order firms have agreed to pay $600,000 in civil penalties to settle charges that their companies made misrepresentations in the sales of nationally advertised items, the Federal Trade Commission announced yesterday.
In addition, seven mail order firms and three individuals have signed consent agreements promising not to make misrepresentations in the future, the commission said.
Named in the order were Sheldon Friedlich Marketing Inc., Rite Sales Inc., C.M. Electronics Inc., Philippe LaFrance-USA Ltd., Ashley Overseas Ltd., Direct Marketing Industries Inc., and Perth Packaging Inc., as well as three officers of the firms, Ira Smolev, Marc Pratt and Jack Sheingold. All of the firms are located in the New York area but do business nationally, the FTC said.
According to the FTC, Smolev agreed to pay a civil penalty of $400,000 and Pratt to pay $200,000 to settle the case.
The complaint filed by the FTC charged that the firms had failed to deliver merchandise on time, did not properly notify consumers of their right to cancel orders and "in numerous instances" did not cancel orders and make refunds requested by consumers.
Among the products sold by the firms were copper kitchen cookware, china dishes, kitchen canisters, binoculars, air conditioners, kerosene lamps and products alleged to enhance sexual performance, the FTC reported.