Starting January 6, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission will be sending out more then 356,000 checks to consumers who have been victimized by Suntasia Marketing in Largo, FL. The reimbursement checks stem from an agreement Suntasia made in December of 2008 to settle FTC charges alleging wrongful business practices.
The Federal Trade Commission and BBB advise that these reimbursement checks are legitimate and encourage consumers to cash them as they are only valid for 45 days after the issue date. Consumers can expect an average of $40.00.
The FTC charged that Suntasia called consumers to offer supposedly “free” trial memberships in its programs. The company then deceived consumers into disclosing their bank account information and later debited funds from their bank accounts without authorization. Using what are known as negative-option programs, Suntasia took consumers’ silence or failure to cancel as acceptance of the offer and permission to debit funds from their accounts. In debiting consumers’ bank accounts, Suntasia used several different names, including: Distinct Advantage, Freedom Gold, Variety!, Credit Life, Capital Vacations, Agents Travel Network, Florida Passport, Travel Agents Go Direct, Floridaway, Freedom Ring ULD, and Lucid Long Distance.
BBB has received over 2,800 complaints from consumers across the country against the businesses collectively involved with Suntasia’s telemarketing operation.