Refunds Thousands In Scareware Suit

FinallyFast, one of those companies with the late-night infomercials promising to make your computer faster, has settled with the Washington AG for misleading and deceiving consumers, and making it hard to cancel or get refunds. One of their tactics was to make the free scan on their site falsely identify harmless files on your computer as being errors. Consumers can now get some of their money back.

Just listen to all the tricky business, Ascentive, the company behind FinallyFast, was up to. From the WA AG press release:

  • Misrepresented that consumers’ computers are at risk of harm through banner ads that resemble warning messages, pop-ups and graphical images.
  • Sent deceptive e-mails that suggest the company’s software is recommended by Microsoft.
  • Offered free scans that were bundled with other programs that launched excessive pop-up warnings and nagging alerts until the user either purchased the company’s product or uninstalled the software. The scans often identified harmless files as errors.
  • Failed to disclose that by downloading one program in its suite of services, an additional program – essentially an advertisement for other software products – would also be installed.
  • Added additional products to orders during the checkout process. Consumers had to uncheck boxes next to the products in order to avoid being charged.
  • Failed to clearly disclose that consumers who purchased products were actually buying an annual license and would be automatically billed each year unless they cancel.

All good reasons why you should avoid these so-called “optimization” sites that often do nothing more than optimize sucking money from your credit card.

Eligible Washington customers who bought Ascentive products will get an email in the next month telling them how to claim their refund, which will involve printing and signing the message and sending it in within 30 days.

The settlement was with the Washington AG but I’ve seen their commercials in other states… Maker to Refund Thousands in Spyware Case [PCWorld] (Thanks to Jessica!)

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