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February 21, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:29pm

IDT FALLS FOUL ATTORNEY GENERALS OVER ITS INTERNET SERVICES

By CBR Staff Writer

Proving that trouble with the Attorney General is not the exclusive providence of America Online Inc, IDT Inc, of Hackensack, New Jersey, last week was given a $250,000 slap on the wrist for misrepresenting its support and access charges and indulging in the seemingly universal habit that Internet service providers have of continuing to charge customers after they requested termination of service. The deal was struck with Attorney Generals from New York, New Jersey, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas and Michigan. IDT got its start seven years ago as International Discount Telecommunications, a cut-rate long- distance telephone company. It has since expanded its operations into the service provisions space and boasts about 150,000 subscribers. IDT has agreed to refund disputed charges. Michigan Assistant Attorney General, Tracy Sonneborn says there is a heightened awareness amongst the Attorney Generals these days of the potential for fraud within the Internet. He is fearful that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg with service provider misconduct. Sonneborn says that offices like his are casting a watchful eye for business opportunity, pyramid scams and various sweepstakes offers that may violate state lottery laws. Incidentally, though it’s America Online and IDT subscribers that have lodged the majority of complaints to Sonneborn’s office, CompuServe and Prodigy are not without their detractors. Sonneborn declined to say whether any action was planned against those two.

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