States to Receive Nearly a Half Million Dollars

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Hawaii along with 14 other states will receive nearly half a million dollars from a direct marketing company.

The states have reached an agreement with  HCI Direct, Inc., a direct marketer of women's hosiery in a case relating to deceptive marketing practices.

The Pennsylvania-based company sent direct mail solicitations to consumers offering free samples of merchandise.  Consumers who respond back automatically become enrolled in the continuous sales plan.  If a consumer fails to cancel the plan, payment for one shipment will automatically trigger another shipment.

The multi-state lawsuit alleged that HCI's conduct violated consumer laws by failing to clearly disclose all of the terms and conditions.

The company agreed to pay the states $455,000 and change its deceptive marketing practices.

Hawaii will receive $29,000 of the settlement.  The fund will be used to educate and enforce consumer protection laws in the state.