CONCORD, NH – Attorney General Joseph A. Foster announces that his Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau has entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance with an on-line California company, Court Ordered Classes, Inc., to resolve allegations that this company violated the State’s Consumer Protection Act.
The company is accused of soliciting New Hampshire residents to enroll in its domestic violence, anger management and batterer’s classes under the false representation that these cases were approved and accepted by the State of New Hampshire.
Those representations were false and misleading. Court Ordered Classes, Inc., located in Valencia, California, solicited New Hampshire residents to enroll in its on-line courses dealing with topics such as domestic violence, anger management, and battery issues. The company’s website made claims that their courses are “court approved.”
These false solicitations came to the attention of the Attorney General’s Office when a defendant in a criminal case paid approximately $750 to this company, participated in the course on-line and then submitted to a New Hampshire circuit court verification of his participation.
The court would not accept that as fulfilling the court ordered requirement for counseling. The court made a referral to the Attorney General for an investigation. As a result of the Attorney General’s intervention, the defendant in that criminal case received a full refund.
Under terms of the Assurance, the company agrees not to enroll and accept payments from New Hampshire consumers for any and all courses or services it offers for a period of at least one year, and will remove from its website any New Hampshire reference. It also agrees not to specifically target New Hampshire consumers for their services or products. After one year, the company may propose revised language for soliciting New Hampshire consumers, subject to the approval of the Attorney General. The company will pay $1,500 in lieu of a civil penalty for its violation of the Consumer Protection Act and reimburse the State $1,350 for the cost of its investigation.
As of May 26 New Hampshire was still listed on the company’s website.
Consumers with consumer-related complaints or concerns can call the Attorney General’s Consumer Information Line at 1-888-468-4454 or file a complaint via this link.