On September 22, 2015, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office announced two regional payment processing companies each had entered an Assurance of Discontinuance over alleged improper telephone solicitations. The companies allegedly contacted New Hampshire businesses repeatedly, offering credit card payment processing services. The companies also allegedly offered account monitoring and other ancillary services related to payment processing. According to the Attorney General, the companies committed the following violations of New Hampshire’s consumer protection statutes: (1) failing to properly identify the companies’ names during the telephone solicitations; (2) failing to state their location; (3) failing to leave callback numbers; (4) misrepresenting the character of the services as an “upgrade” to existing services when in reality the companies offered new payment processing services; and (4) failing to disclose that the payment processing equipment was only free if the businesses remained enrolled in the service. The companies agreed to immediately cease all New Hampshire operations until they obtained the proper New Hampshire business licenses. The companies also agreed to submit all solicitation scripts to New Hampshire’s Attorney General’s office for preapproval before resuming business in New Hampshire. The companies also must pay $5,000 to the State of New Hampshire and reimburse the Attorney General’s office for the cost of the investigation.
Blog Enforcement Watch September 24, 2015