Company disregarded consumer refund requests, exaggerated the quality of
services available ~
TALLAHASSEE, FL – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that his office has served an online movie rental company with a lawsuit, alleging that the company’s past marketing and advertising claims were blatantly deceptive. Numerous consumer complaints against West Palm Beach-based Intelliflix, Inc., cite problems with the company’s former refund policy and delayed deliveries, as well as the quantity of movies advertised even though unavailable for rental. The company’s vice president of technology was served yesterday with the lawsuit which was filed last week in Palm Beach County. The company owner, Christopher Hickey, is also a named party in the lawsuit.
“These allegations are disgraceful,” said Attorney General McCollum.
“Hundreds of frustrated consumers complained that they have been taken advantage of by these deceptive practices and the Attorney General’s Office will fight for the rights of these consumers and any other affected customers.”
An investigation into the company’s practices was launched in January by the Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Division. Investigators determined that the company continues to encourage consumers to sign up for annually pre-paid plans by advertising a discounted payment rate for these plans. Many consumers claimed they chose to pre-pay annually because Intelliflix advertised that it has 60,000 titles available, ensures fast delivery and, most importantly, led consumers to believe they could “Cancel Anytime,” a policy advertised prominently on the company’s website until recently. However, consumers who attempted to cancel their subscriptions were routinely informed that cancellations only became effective at the end of the year-long period and therefore no refunds were due.
In addition to the problematic refund policy, consumers cited discrepancies with the company’s website assurances that consumers can rent from more than 60,000 movies and games and that these movies and games could be “delivered free to their door in about 1-3 business days!” In reality, many consumers discovered that Intelliflix’s movie selection and delivery times were far worse than has been represented and attested to extraordinarily poor selection, slow delivery or no delivery at all, and a general lack of company responsiveness.
The Attorney General’s Office has gathered more than 285 complaints about the company, which advertises nationwide service on its website. The lawsuit, filed under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA), calls for the company to immediately cease all business operations and be permanently prevented from engaging in the business of online video rental. The lawsuit also cites Intelliflix’s failure to register with the Florida Secretary of State, even though the company has been headquartered in Florida since 2004. The company faces fines for each violation of the FDUTPA and each year it failed to register with the state.
The Attorney General has also requested that the Court compel the company to pay victim restitution.