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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2004
Gregoire Settles with Worldlink


SEATTLE -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced a settlement today with Worldlink, Inc., a Shoreline-based Internet provider accused of engaging in unfair business practices.

Worldlink, run by the husband and wife team of Darwin and Lori Lee Hill, offers Internet services including dial-up accounts and DSL service. Under the settlement, entered in King County Superior Court, the company has agreed to pay $17,876 in restitution, civil penalties and fees and stop the business practices alleged to be unfair by the Attorney General in the complaint.

Worldlink is accused of providing poor service to customers, including charging for services not provided, failing to cancel consumers' accounts after representing they would do so, placing charges on consumers' credit cards or debit cards without authorization, placing numerous unfair restrictions on cancellation, and financially penalizing consumers who canceled. Worldlink is also accused of charging customers for service they could not deliver because of technical problems.

As part of the agreement, Worldlink must adhere to specific rules of fair business operation. Those rules include providing adequate notice of contract renewals and charges, canceling customer accounts when requested within a specific period of time, resolving customer complaints in a timely, professional manner and maintaining a record of consumer complaints and resolutions.

Worldlink is also required to cease billing consumers who were subjected to the alleged unfair practices and provide adequate information to any collection agencies or credit reporting agencies whose records may incorrectly reflect the consumer's obligation to pay.

The case was handled by Gregoire's High Tech Unit.

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