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June 22, 1999

Attorney General: Stop Solicitation Disguised as a Notice That Consumers Have Packages to Claim

Yellow bulletins placed on doors in Des Moines said "immediate action required" and consumers should call "for delivery information."

DES MOINES-- The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division has directed a Des Moines vacuum cleaner seller to stop placing notices on doors which appear to be a notice that the consumer has a package to claim.

"This is a misleading solicitation that violates Iowa's Consumer Fraud Act," said Attorney General Tom Miller. "The bright yellow card is left at people's doors and is disguised to look like an important notice that the recipient must make a call to claim a delivery. In reality, the so-called notice is a device to solicit sales of vacuum cleaners."

Callers are told the company -- Carlson Technologies, Inc., 7520 University Blvd., Clive -- will deliver coupons for free hotel lodging in Branson, Las Vegas and other vacation sites. However, consumers must see a vacuum cleaner demonstration in their homes.

The Consumer Protection Division told Carlson Technologies today that it considered the "notices" to be deceptive and misleading. The Division also noted that there have been many complaints over the years about so-called travel certificates -- that they may be of little value because of various restrictions and hidden or extra costs.

The "notices" appear to have been placed on doors in several metro Des Moines neighborhoods.

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