Deceptive in-home cookware sales busted!
For thos ewho fell for the deceptive practices and in-home sales pitches and high interest rates, you may have a refund coming.
Consumers hoodwinked by cookware scam can seek refund
Daily News Wire Services
Posted: 11/24/2009 02:08:23 PM PST
Updated: 11/24/2009 02:11:50 PM PST
Consumers who bought expensive cookware in high-pressure home sales can seek refunds through a $350,000 restitution fund, officials announced Tuesday.
"Hy Cite (Corp.) hoodwinked hundreds of consumers into purchasing high-priced pots and pans by using deceptive in-home demonstrations and scare tactics," Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. stated. "We want people to know that if they were scammed by Hy Cite, there's refund money available for them."
Hy Cite's preyed mostly on Spanish-speaking residents in Southern California, according to the Department of Justice.
To get into homes, salespeople told consumers that they had won a prize or asked them to participate in opinion polls. Once inside, they often used high-pressure, deceptive tactics -- claiming, for example, that toxic chemicals were being transferred to families through their existing pots and pans.
Hy Cite's "Royal Prestige" cookware ranged in price from $2,000 to $4,500 per set. Financing plans charged interest rates of 24 percent or more.
Two separate credit plans were offered based on customers' ethnicity -- white customers were offered 90-day payment deferral, contract cancellation and the use of post-dated checks to buy the cookware. None of these options were available to Hispanic buyers.
As part of a million-dollar settlement reached between Hy Cite and the California Department of Justice in September 2008, the company was required to pay $350,000 in restitution to consumer victims.
The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs has already distributed $250,000 to victims, but $100,000 remains unclaimed.
Brown urged consumers who bought cookware from Hy Cite to call Consumer Affairs at 800-593-8222 to claim refunds.
Here is a link that might be useful: the newspaper story