STENEHJEM WARNS DOOR-TO-DOOR SALESPEOPLE ABOUT MISLEADING AND AGGRESSIVE SALES TACTICS

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June 26, 2014


BISMARCK, ND – After numerous complaints about groups of door-to-door sales people using aggressive and misleading tactics to gain entry into residences, the Attorney General’s consumer protection division has required Dish One Satellite, LLC., of Provo, Utah to suspend all sales and installations of satellite TV services in North Dakota, pending completion of its investigation. Dish One Satellite claims to be an authorized dealer for Dish Network.

“I am very concerned by the complaints we have received against Dish One Satellite involving questionable sales tactics. I am reserving a decision on issuing a Cease & Desist Order or other formal legal action, pending the outcome of the investigation and a determination on the cooperation of Dish One Satellite,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said. “We will not tolerate these kinds of sales practices in North Dakota.”

Consumers in Grand Forks and other communities had complained to the consumer protection division and local law enforcement agencies that the sales representatives were elusive about who they worked for and some even claimed to work for Midcontinent or DirecTV. According to the complaints, the sales people claimed that they were checking for installation or service problems, and once inside the home, badgered consumers and refused to leave. The aggressive and misleading sales tactics created a sense of fear and confusion, particularly for elderly residents. Some were pressured to sign contracts and provide credit card information. In at least two instances, consumers had to use physical force to remove the salespeople or prevent them from entering the home.

Investigators from the Consumer Protection division contacted Dish One Satellite, LLC regarding the complaints. The investigators determined that although the company has the required state transient merchant license, its sales people were operating in violation of the state’s consumer fraud laws because they did not carry identification, the solicitations contained false and misleading statements, the company’s contracts did not contain proper cancellation notices, and consumers may not have been provided written copies of the contracts.

“Consumers should never allow salespeople to force themselves into the home or intimidate homeowners and should contact the local police immediately if they do so,” Stenehjem said. According to Stenehjem, the company has been ordered not to install any equipment or services sold until and unless the investigation is resolved.

To file a complaint about these door-to-door solicitations, contact the Consumer Protection Division at 701-328-3404.

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