By Christie Duffy
New Jersey “As Seen on TV” company may be headed to court.
Fairfield-based Telebrands, the company behind products like the Insta Bulb, Ped Egg and Pocket Hose is accused of shipping and billing consumers for products they never ordered.
According to a five-count civil complaint, the state Attorney General’s Office received about 340 consumer complaints.
The Division of Consumer Affairs says investigators went undercover to purchase some of the products advertised.
They allegedly uncovered “a tortuous sequence of events” like: an over 30-minute automated phone conversation solicitating as many as seven products with no opportunity to decline. The complaint also alleges return and cancellation policies were omitted, as were total order costs.
The acting attorney general says, “Telebrands cannot be trusted to do right by its customers or even honor its own 2001 pledge to follow our consumer protection laws.”
In 2000, Telebrands was charged in regards to deceptive mail orders. In a settlement the following year, the company was ordered to pay $165,000 in fines and agreed to comply with regulations going forward.
A representative for the company told me today over the phone that they’ve been in business for over 30 years and have served millions of customers and want this matter to be resolved quickly.
AJ Khubani, the company’s founder and CEO, hosts “Inventors Days” across the country. This spring he presented Montclair State students with a $10,000 award for their winning invention — colored stickers for the soles of your shoes.
In a statement sent to NJTV today, Khubani stated, “Consumer satisfaction is always our top priority. We are confident that this matter with the state of New Jersey will be resolved in short order.”
If found liable, Telebrands could be forced to pay $10,000 to $20,000 in fines for each violation.