Calling card settlement

February 10, 2009 5:56:07 PM PST
A group of prepaid calling card companies have agreed to pay $2.25 million to settle a civil suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission.

It's the first major settlement in the government's effort to curb deceptive marketing tactics in the industry.

The FTC charged the companies with misleading customers about the number of minutes their cards provide. Consumer watchdog groups say unscrupulous card companies use hidden fees that eat up minutes.

The companies involved in this case were also accused of targeting non-English speaking immigrants with their deceptive advertising. The suit was filed in May against Alternatel Inc., Prepaid Inc. and G.F.G. Enterprises LLC.

The companies are set up as separate corporations but have overlapping ownership and officers.

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