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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2011
Stethoscope seller’s sales practices make consumers’ blood boil

Attorney General’s Office sues online companies for failure to deliver orders

SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office is suing an online seller of stethoscopes for sales practices that caused consumers substantial heartache.

The state’s suit filed today in King County Superior Court names Seattle resident Marc Werblud and two companies he owns: Stethoscopes Plus, Inc., of Mercer Island, and Magna Fortis Corp., of Bellevue. The defendants are accused of violating the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

“The crux of the problem is that many consumers who paid for stethoscopes and blood-pressure equipment didn’t receive their orders and couldn’t reach anyone to complain,” said Senior Counsel Paula Selis, who heads up the Consumer Protection High-Tech Unit.

The Attorney General’s Office has received 23 complaints about the businesses since 2007, mostly from consumers in other states. Consumers, who typically were charged hundreds of dollars for products, said they didn’t receive their orders. Although company Web sites promise live customer support from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Pacific Time and 24-hour online support, customers say their calls and e-mails went unanswered.

The state’s suit asks for injunctive provisions to stop the unfair business practices, as well as civil penalties and consumer restitution.

Complaint - Stethoscopes Plus and Magna Fortis


Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager, (206) 464-6432

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