Washington's Attorney General's office has gained a $78,000 settlement from Pennyslvania-based Ascentive, LLC, over alleged misleading consumer ads that told customers the firm could help speed up pokey PCs.
Ascentive has been around for years and has developed some noteworthy products to improve PC performance. But in this case, the allegation is that the company sold products and “slyly tacked additional products onto orders,” according to a press release from the AG's office on Tuesday.
Ascentive agreed to fork over a $20,000 civil penalty, plus $58,000 to reimburse the AG office for attorneys’ fees and legal costs. An additional $150,000 in civil penalties are suspended provided the company complies with the settlement terms.
Ascentive did not and was not required to acknowledge wrongdoing.
Washington consumers may be eligible for restitution if they meet the following criteria: 1) Purchased any Ascentive product in the past two years, 2) paid for both a back-up CD and the company’s Extended Download Service and 3) didn’t use either the back-up CD or the Extended Download Service.
Eligible consumers will receive an e-mail message within the next month from Ascentive with instructions on how to submit a claim for a refund. Consumers must print the message, sign and mail the letter to Ascentive within a month. Those who submit the claims will receive checks for approximately $17.90 plus tax.
A potential, whopping $17.90 in restitution per victim.