AG Ends "Horizon E-Yellow Pages" Scam

June 10, 2004

Attorney General Steven Rowe announced today that his office has settled claims of unfair trade practices against telemarketer Horizon E-Yellow Pages, Inc. (Horizon). The State alleged that Horizon was calling Maine businesses and giving the false impression that it was actually "Verizon" Yellow Pages. As a result, many Maine businesses were led to believe that they were paying for advertisements in the Verizon Yellow Pages. The business did not find out the truth of the matter until Horizon sent its bill, sometimes for as much as $399 per advertisement.

Horizon is now under a court order that requires it to cease using deceptive sales practices, including making misrepresentations or the creating false impressions. The order also declares null and void any contract that Horizon entered into with a Maine business. Horizon must refund within 90 days any money paid to it by a Maine business, and it must cancel any debt collection efforts against Maine businesses. Horizon paid the State a $1,500 civil penalty and refunded $899 to three Maine businesses. The amount to be refunded was low because the Attorney General's Office had already publicly stated that any business with a bill arising out of this Horizon scheme ought not to pay it.