Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Rebates For Creative Water Solutions Customers
Attorney General Jack Conway announced today that Creative Water Solutions will cease misleading advertising and pay $2,550 to 51 consumers who participated in a home demonstration after being promised that they would receive $100 in “free gas” coupons. The advertising was brought to the attention of the Attorney General by the Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky.
“This is a clear message to companies that false and misleading advertising will not be tolerated in Kentucky,” General Conway said. “The fact that this company used concerns about high fuel prices to entice consumers is especially duplicitous.”
The agreement, an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, was filed in Franklin Circuit Court on February 19, 2008. The Attorney General alleged that the direct-mail advertising campaign was misleading because it offered $100 in “free gas” to consumers just for participating in a home demonstration of the water-softening systems. In reality, consumers had to pay $15 in shipping and handling charges and reveal personal information to other vendors to receive the gas coupons. Fifty-one households received the ad and participated in the home tests. Each will receive a check for $50 in the mail, and the company will pay $1,000 to the state to cover costs and fees associated with the investigation. The company also agreed to immediately suspend the practice of misleading advertisements.
Under Kentucky law, KRS 367.170, any false, misleading, deceptive or unfair act in trade or commerce is prohibited. The Attorney General has alleged that the advertisements violated this statute, and has requested information from the advertising companies that prepared the promotion in addition to information from Creative Water Solutions.
“The companies who benefit from such misleading advertisements and the companies that prepare them and the agencies that produce these ads are responsible for violating the statute,” General Conway said. “Kentucky will pursue those who sell irresponsible advertisements to Kentucky businesses, and businesses who attempt to take advantage of consumers by using misleading ads.”