Three out-of-state companies that charged local consumers and businesses on their telephone bills for services that many of the affected Vermonters claim they did not agree to buy have entered into settlements with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office. The companies are Durham Technology, LLC, d/b/a MyiProducts IMail, of Indianapolis, Indiana; More Local Reach, Inc., of Boca Raton, Florida; and YPD Corporation of Smyrna, Georgia. Together, the three firms billed over $220,000, all of which must be refunded.Between 2005 and 2010, MyiProducts charged over 1,300 Vermonters more than $78,000 for a voicemail service. Between 2007 and 2010, More Local Reach and YPD, respectively, charged 214 and 201 Vermont businesses more than $58,000 and $84,000 for services related to online business directories. All of the charges appeared on local telephone bills and were facilitated by a middleman (called an ‘aggregator’), Enhanced Services Billing, Inc (’ESBI’), of San Antonio, Texas.In all three cases, the charging company failed to comply fully with a Vermont law requiring that notice be mailed to consumers and businesses before charges appear on their local telephone bills. The reason for the notice is that most people do not realize that they can be billed through their local phone company for something unrelated to their phone service. In addition, More Local Reach used what the Attorney General’s Office considered to be a deceptive telemarketing script, which stated that the purpose of the call was not to sell a service (which it was), but to update the prospective customer’s online listing.In their settlements, MyiProducts, More Local Reach and YPD have all agreed to abide strictly by the requirements of Vermont law, to provide full refunds to all of the Vermont customers, and to pay $10,000 each to the State of Vermont.Attorney General William H. Sorrell noted that the settlements are the first in what he expects will be a series of enforcement actions designed to combat ‘cramming,’ or the placing of unauthorized or inadequately-noticed charges on consumer and business telephone bills. ‘Few people anticipate being charged for non-telephone services on their local telephone bills,’ said Sorrell. ‘We will not tolerate companies that take advantage of that,’ he added. Source: Attorney General, March 14, 2011
Wisconsin (13-16, 6-10 Big Ten) will visit Northwestern (15-14, 6-10 Big Ten) Thursday as the Badgers finish up their season series versus the Wildcats.The first game didn’t go well for the Badgers — the three-ball didn’t drop and they were unable to stop forward Dererk Pardon, who went a perfect eight for eight in the matchup facing star forward Ethan Happ.But this Badger team was playing at a much higher level than the one Northwestern faced earlier. Brevin Pritzl, who went zero for nine from deep in the teams’ first matchup, was shooting 59 percent on threes since Feb. 1 when the two teams met up.Men’s basketball: Wisconsin takes care of business in overtime thriller versus MinnesotaThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (13-16, 6-10 Big Ten) finished off the University of Minnesota (14-15, 3-13 Big Read…Wisconsin forced seven turnovers against senior point guard Bryant McIntosh, an event unlikely to happen again in this contest.McIntosh has been the Wildcats’ most efficient facilitator since their Cinderella tournament run last year. He led the team with 5.2 assists to just 2.4 turnovers.For the Badgers, who have already clinched a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament, there are no statistical incentives to win the game. But defeating Northwestern would provide keen insight into how the team will fare in the upcoming conference tournament.Winter Olympics: Joint Korean team creates major questions on international stageThe 2018 Winter Olympics theme has got to be an underlying current of precariousness. I’m not only referring to the Read…This season has had its ups and downs, to say the least. After losing starting point guard D’Mitrik Trice to injury, there was a strong sense of hopelessness in Madison. At its worst, the Badgers went through a five-game skid where the team often found itself down by double digits within the first few minutes of play.With the current two-game win streak, the future is beginning to look bright for the Badgers. The new starting point guard Brad Davison showed he possessed the abilities of both an off-ball shooter and a facilitator.While Davison struggled at first with turnovers — totaling 45 alongside 45 assists in his first 14 games as point guard — he averaged an incredible one turnover to 2.3 assists over the past six games.Frank Kaminsky returns to Kohl Center for “Frank Kaminsky Night”After Thursday night’s ceremony, Frank Kaminsky’s No. 44 joins Ab Nichols No. 8 — the only numbers immortalized in the Kohl Center Read…While Trice’s return this season seems dubious, this is an encouraging sign for Wisconsin Coach Greg Gard in how he will form lineups when the starting point guard returns.Tipoff will start 6 p.m. from Evanston with live coverage available on ESPN 2.