Earlier today, the Florida Attorney General announced a settlement with Systemax and its subsidiaries, Tigerdirect and Onrebate, over allegations that the companies failed to pay rebates to consumers, as advertised. Consumers complained that the rebate program was difficult to navigate and that the companies often mailed the rebates late, or not at all.
As part of the settlements, the companies generally agreed to (a) ensure that outstanding complaints are resolved, (b) process rebates in the time advertised, and (c) initiate procedures that allow for the proper handling of rebate submissions. In addition, the companies will pay $200,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs and donate $100,000 to the Florida Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs.
Over the past few years, various states have passed new laws regulating rebates and, as a result, offers that were lawful a few years ago may now be unlawful. In addition, regulators have become more active in challenging companies who fail to follow these laws. Companies that issue rebates need to pay close attention to these developments to ensure that their practices comply with applicable laws.