The manufacturer of Silkies hosiery will pay $455,000 to settle a case with Washington and 14 other states regarding the company’s marketing and sales practices. HCI Direct, Inc., which sells Silkies pantyhose and women’s undergarments through a mail-order program, sent solicitations offering a free product sample. States alleged the company failed to clearly disclose to consumers that by responding to the offer, they would continue to receive additional shipments.
Under an agreement filed late Thursday in Thurston County Superior Court, HCI Direct denied the accusations but agreed to pay $455,000 to the states, change its marketing practices and refund consumers who claim they did not order merchandise shipped by the company.
“Consumers who signed up to receive a free hosiery sample from HCI Direct experienced a snag when they were unknowingly enrolled in a plan to receive future shipments at a cost,” Assistant Attorney General Jack Zurlini said. “A free sample shouldn’t cost you anything.”