The Federal Trade Commission ( FTC) informed the Bureau the Preliminary Injunction Hearing that was to be held on April 1, 2004, concerning the fraudulent operation of a business directory scam operated by DATATECH COMMUNICATIONS, INC. which also known Contact Market Data new company name was eliminated as the Defendants agreed to stipulate to the original Preliminary Injunction Order ("ORDER")with ASSET FREEZE, thereby eliminating the need for a hearing.
Under the terms of the ORDER the Defendants are prohibited from making various false and misleading claims to obtain sales of business directories. The Defendants are also prohibited from assisting other companies marketing business directories, such as Infone Publications, I-Pages A merica, and Info-Tel, that engage in the deceptive conduct prohibited by the ORDER. In addition, the Defendants are prohibited from collecting payment from consumers for the alleged purchase of the Datatech Business Directory.
The Defendants named in the Preliminary Injunction Order are Datatech Communications, Inc. 9102-3127 Quebec, Inc., d/b/a/ I-Point Media, Robert Brewer, Elias Bakomichalis and Gregory MacNeil.
Defendants by stipulating to this Order do not admit the allegations in the FTC's Complaint
Here are some BBB complaint on Contact Market Data
CONTACT MARKET DATA
PO Box 2069
Champlain, NY 12919
View Location Map
Principal: Jessica James
Local Phone Number: (866) 242-2751
Fax Number: (866) 242-2754
TOB Classification: Business Directories
The information in this report has either been provided by the company, or has been compiled by the Bureau from other sources.
Our file contains a pattern of complaints from consumers who report misleading sales practices. Complainants report that their companies were contacted by a representative from Contact Market Data who lead them to believe they were renewing advertising in a business directory or updating existing advertising. Consumers then received an invoice for $398 for services they did not order.
Contact Market Data has an unsatisfactory report with the Bureau because of the pattern of complaints, the file contains unanswered complaints and because the company has failed to substantiate their business practices upon our request.
When evaluating complaint information, please consider the company's size and volume of business. The number of complaints filed against the company may not be as important as the type of complaints and how the company handled them.
Number of complaints processed by the BBB since the firm's BBB file was opened in November of 2003: 211
Number of complaints processed by the BBB in last 12 months: 211
Sales Issues: 205
Outcome of all complaints -
Resolved: 73; Unresolved: 1; Delayed Resolution: 17;
Company did not respond: 114
Refund or Exchange Issues: 3
Outcome of all complaints -
Company did not respond: 3
Customer Service Issues: 1
Outcome of the complaint -
Credit or Billing Issues: 2
Outcome of all complaints -
Company did not respond: 2
Additional Telephone Numbers
In November 2003, the Bureau requested information from
Contact Market Data such as a copy of their directory and promotional materials, distribution methods and statistics and the names and addresses of 10 satisfied customers. They did not submit the requested information. They did not respond.
The following is Better Business Bureau general advice:
The Better Business Bureau has received many complaints from businesses against companies that sell business directories (in book, CD-ROM or online versions) regarding their selling practices. The firms who complain report that their business was billed for a directory listing which was never ordered, or that sales personnel lead them to believe they were renewing advertising in the directory.
To distinguish a reputable directory from those of little value or no value, the Better Business Bureau suggests the following tips:
* Before agreeing to anything, check with your local library. The public library will stock well-known and useful general directories and can advise you about its knowledge of the volume in question.
* Also, the reputation of professional and business directories may be checked with relevant trade associations. Ask the solicitor if they belong to any nationally recognized trade association and check them out.
* Ask questions. A reputable company will be willing to
tell and prove to you who subscribes to its publication and the number of volumes published in past years.
* If they indicate distribution to federal or local government agencies, ask for references by a contact name, agency, address and phone number of any local agencies.
* If the subscribers to the directory are mainly limited to those whose names appear in it, you can logically infer that it is, in fact, a vanity publication for the self-aggrandizement of those listed.
* Contact your Better Business Bureau for a reliability report on the company.
When considering advertising in a business directory, insist on verifiable circulation figures, details of publication dates, name(s) of publishers, number of paid subscribers, and sample copies. If they provide you with a sample copy, call some of the local advertisers in your industry to see if their ads were successful in getting business.
How to Protect Your Business
* The best protection is knowledge and vigilance. Your company's accounting department, or the individuals responsible for paying bills, should carefully review all invoices, particularly those from unfamiliar companies.
* Never place an order over the telephone, unless there is no doubt that the firm you are dealing with is reputable. Obtain the organization's name, address, and telephone number, as well as its representative's full name and position. Then check on the company's reliability with your local Better Business Bureau.
* Establish effective internal controls for the payment of invoices.
* Channel all bills through one department.
* Insist that employees fill out pre-numbered purchase orders for every order placed.
* Check all invoices against purchase orders and against goods or services received. Make certain that order numbers correspond with the invoices.
* Verify all invoices with the person who gave written or verbal authorization.
* Clear all invoices with the appropriate executives.
* If the invoicing company claims to have tape recordings of the order and verification calls, insist on hearing them.
Consumers who wish to file a complaint can contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 and Phonebusters for Canadian companies, by calling 888-495-8501. (Phonebusters is the national deceptive telemarketing call center operated by the
Ontario, Canada, Provincial Police.)
The Better Business Bureau provides this general information; along with over 100 other alerts that help consumers make better buying decisions. Check them out for free on our web site at www.upstateny.bbb.org
Report as of: 5/12/2004
Copyright: 2004 Better Business Bureau, Inc.
As a matter of policy, the Better Business Bureau does not endorse any product, service, or company. BBB reports generally cover a three-year reporting period, and are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. BBB reports may not be reproduced for sales or promotional purposes. Information contained in this report is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy. Reports are subject to change at any time.
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