FTC Stops Alleged Office Supply Scam
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that a federal court temporarily halted and froze assets of Liberty Supply Co. The announcement indicated that individuals from Liberty Supply Co., also doing business as Omni Services, called churches, schools and businesses, stating that the company was going out of business and offering office supplies at low prices.
Liberty Supply Co. allegedly quoted potential customers per-unit prices, even though the company only sold multi-unit quantities, which caused consumers to believe the quoted price applied to a package of items instead of single products. The company also used vague and confusing language during calls; and did not disclose the final prices of transactions, quantity or shipping costs, even when asked.
Some consumers requested a written purchase orders or estimates prior to ordering, but allegedly received unordered merchandise and invoices, according to the complaint. Once a customer received unordered office supplies, Omni Services allegedly sought payment for the merchandise.
If a customer fully paid the invoice, it received a "thank you" call from Omni Services, which offered a free gift. When the gift arrived, it came with more unordered merchandise and a new invoice.
Liberty Supply Co. is charged with violating the FTC Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Unordered Merchandise Statute. The FTC also named Nor-Jay Enterprises Inc. as a relief defendant that profited from the scheme.