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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
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Suppliers were in the business of selling furniture. Suppliers agree that, if they resume the same or similar business in Ohio, they will: 1) refrain from representing that their home furnishings are of a particular standard, quality, grade, style, prescription, or model if they are not; 2) refrain from making false and misleading statements to consumers, upon which the consumers are likely to rely to their detriment; 3) incorporate into their sales contracts all material terms concerning the extent of any warranty or insurance coverage for home furnishing; 4) not require consumers to enter into transactions on terms that Suppliers know are substantially one-sided in favor of them; 5) not include a minimum 25% restocking fee provision in their sales contracts or any other liquidated damage provision that constitutes a penalty; 6) not include provisions in sales contracts which apply penalties to the consumer in the event of the consumer's breach of contract but not to Suppliers in the even that they breach the contract; 7) provide receipts for all deposits and down payments which comply with OAC 109:4-3-07(B); 8) not accept money from consumers and then fail to comply with OAC 109:4-3-09(A)(1)(2); 9) provide consumers, prior to or at the time of sale, with a written copy of their quality standards with respect to what constitutes repairable and unrepairable defects in furniture; 10) provide consumers, prior to or at the time of sale, with a written copy of any and all warranties, insurance coverage, the Guardsman Gold In-Home Protection Plan, or any other service protection plans that apply to the home furnishings purchased. Suppliers agree that, if they engage in the same or similar business, they shall modify all sales contracts in the following manner; 1) to clearly and conspicuously disclose that Bassett Furniture is a Virginia corporation which manufactures the Bassett furniture brand and that it is a wholly separate, unrelated entity to Suppliers; 2)to remove the statement "Buyer Agrees Changes in Availability Do Not Invalidate Order;: 3) to remove the statements "Bassett does not accept orders on approval. This insures customers' factory fresh merchandise. Return for full credit will not be permitted." 4) to edit sales contracts to allow for returns and cancellations within 48 hours of purchase, to indicate that "custom made" orders are not cancellable or returnable after the 48 hours, and that "special orders" and all other orders are returnable after the 48 hour period for a maximum 25% restocking fee; 5) to amend their sales contracts to clearly define "custom made" merchandise as that which has been ordered with a particular unique combination of options specifically tailored to the customer's preferences and to clearly define "special orders" as items which are not purchased directly from the showroom floor; 6) to remove the phrase "returns for full credit will not be permitted, in-store credit only" as it applies to the return of defective goods; 7) to repair or replace defective goods and, if the goods cannot be repaired or replaced, to provide the option of a full refund, an in-store credit equal to the purchase price, or a replacement of equal or lesser value; 8) replace the phrase "adequate time" in the "In Case of Damage or Claim" section the contract with the definite time period of "fourteen days;" 9) restocking fees will not apply to defective goods that cannot be repaired or replaced and are returned by consumers; 10) remove any governing law clause for their sales contracts that require consumers to defend any enforcement proceedings under the contract in Jefferson County KY; 11) remove any provision requiring consumers to pay Suppliers' legal fees for any enforcement or collection activity; 12) modify the extended warranty section of the contract to clearly and conspicuously disclose that Guardsman is a third-party warranty program. Suppliers to pay $50,000 ($48,000 suspended) to the Consumer Protection Enforcement Fund.
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| © 2009 Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray