Sacramento, Ca., – July 17, 2012 – Better Business Bureau
is warning of misleading advertisements being mailed to businesses across the Sacramento region by US Telecom
The advertisements resemble an invoice or bill, complete with a description of services, rate, and total balance. The invoices received by BBB do not have any statements that the information is a solicitation.
U.S. Postal Service regulations
require all mailings resembling bills or invoices include a disclaimer which states, in part, “THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER.” This statement must be in at least 30-point font in boldface capital letters.
A Lodi business employee said the solicitation appeared to be an invoice until she noticed something odd. “We had never used this company,” she said.
North Dakota Attorney General’s office
filed a cease and desist order against the company and its principal, David Bell, on Feb. 17, 2012. The order, in part, prohibits the defendants from advertising, soliciting or selling to North Dakota consumers through use of mailings that could be reasonably interpreted to be a bill or invoice.
U S Telecom currently has an ‘F’ rating with Better Business Bureau after collecting over 450 complaints in the last year, some of which remain unanswered. BBB in Los Angeles contacted the company in September 2011 requesting US Telecom include a disclosure statement to let businesses know the mailer is an invoice. To date, BBB has not received a response.
BBB advises the following to avoid invoice scams:
- Alert accounts payable to be on the lookout for phony invoices.
- Carefully review invoices from businesses you do not typically do business with.
- If an invoice is questionable, contact the company and request proof of services rendered.
- Check out the business at necal.bbb.org to review complaint details for the company.
Image of advertisement:
Contact: Cailin Peterson, Communications Manager, 916-443-6668, firstname.lastname@example.org
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