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Federal Trade Commission Charges Company That Sells Magazines With Violating Door-to-Door Sales Rule:

For Release: April 30, 1992

Tork & Associates: President: Jonathan Tork

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Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission has charged Houston-based Tork & Associates, Inc., doing business as Aristocrat Sales, Torque Power Sales, and ATM Sales, and its president, Jonathan Tork, with violating the FTC's Cooling-Off Rule in connection with the door-to-door sale of magazines. The FTC asked a federal court to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from violating the rule in the future and to order them to pay civil penalties.

Under the FTC's Cooling-Off Rule, consumers can cancel purchases of $25 or more made door-to-door, or at places other than the seller's usual place of business, within three business days of the purchase. The seller must inform consumers of their right to cancel at the time of sale and provide a full refund within 10 days of cancellation.

According to the FTC, Tork and Associates, Inc. and its president (collectively "Tork"), sold magazine subscriptions door-to-door in numerous states. They allegedly violated the Cooling-Off Rule by failing to provide a duplicate copy of the "Notice of Right to Cancel;" misrepresenting the buyer's right to cancel by telling consumers that the purchase price had to be $25 or more, not including the service charge; and by otherwise misrepresenting consumers' right to cancel, the FTC charged.

Under the rule, magazine buyers only need to notify the seller in writing of their desire to cancel. Tork, however, misrepresented that the buyer must provide a copy of the receipt, a photocopy of any cancelled check, the salesperson's name, the magazine name, the date of the transaction, and the total cost of the purchase, the FTC alleged. The rule also requires that two copies of a Notice of Cancellation be included in every door-to- door sales contract (instead of the one copy allegedly provided by Tork), and specifies the required language of that Notice.

The FTC's Denver Regional Office handled the investigation. At the FTC's request, the Department of Justice filed the com- plaint on April 24, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has "reason to believe" that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendants have actually violated the law. The case will be decided by the court.

The FTC has a fact sheet for consumers called "The Cooling- Off Rule," which describes when consumers can cancel a purchase and how they can protect themselves. Copies are available free of charge from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

Copies of the complaint will be available shortly from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, same address as above; 202-326- 2222; TTY 1-866-653-4261.

# # # MEDIA CONTACT: Brenda A. Mack, Office of Public Affairs

STAFF CONTACT: Jonathan L. Kessler, Denver Regional Office
1405 Curtis Street, Suite 2900
Denver, CO 80202-2393

(FTC File No. 892-3209)

(Civil Action No. H 92 1280)


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