22 December 2023- Attorney General Michelle Henry announced a settlement with Florida-based marketing company, RMC Direct Mail Services, LLC, over allegedly deceptive warranty mailers sent to Pennsylvanians.
According to the Commonwealth’s investigation, the mailers included a variety of false representations to frighten, pressure, and mislead recipients into responding — including language that indicated “Final Notice” or “Signature Required.” Some mailers appeared to be checks, while others appeared to be from the Internal Revenue Service. All were deemed to be “junk mail” advertisements by the Office of Attorney General.
“This marketing company has sent its last piece of junk mail to Pennsylvanians,” said Attorney General Henry. “Junk mail typically can cause inconvenience and annoyance, but this company went beyond, startling recipients with urgent messaging and false representations.”
As part of the settlement, RMC Direct Mail Services is banned from participating in the creation or dissemination of advertisements of any kind to Pennsylvania residents.
Additionally, RMC Direct will pay the Commonwealth’s investigative costs and penalties.
The investigation revealed that RMC Direct Mail Services participated in the creation and mailing of advertisements for warranties on behalf of one or more businesses. These mailer advertisements allegedly confused and misled consumers by:
- Creating a false sense of urgency that required an immediate response by using language such as “Final Notice,” Respond by,” “Time Sensitive,” “Immediate Response”;
- Stating “Signature Required” when no signature was required;
- Stating they contained “personal and confidential” information when they did not contain such information;
- Stating or implying that if a consumer did not take certain affirmative action, their financial liability would increase, when this was not accurate;
- Stating or implying, falsely, that there was an affiliation or association between the sender of the advertisement and the consumer’s mortgage lender or vehicle manufacturer;
- Stating or implying that a consumer’s warranty was expiring or about to expire, regardless of whether or not the consumer ever had a warranty to begin with;
- Containing a barcode that had no meaning;
- Including a “registration fee voucher” that had all the hallmarks of a check, but was not a check;
- Appearing to be sent by the IRS or a government institution, when it was in fact an advertisement unrelated to any government institution.
If you receive a misleading mailer like the ones described above and wish to file a claim or complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Protection, you can do so online, by email at email@example.com or by phone at 1-800-441-2555.