Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Ascentive, perhaps best known for its FinallyFast.com commercials, must offer refunds to an estimated 5,500 Washington consumers as part of a settlement reached with our Consumer Protection Division.

Our suit accused the Philadelphia-based software company of violating Washington's Computer Spyware Act, Consumer Protection Act and Commercial Electronic Mail Act, and alleged the company:

  • Misrepresented that consumers’ computers are at risk of harm through banner ads that resemble warning messages, pop-ups and graphical images.
  • Sent deceptive e-mails that suggest the company’s software is recommended by Microsoft
  • Offered free scans that were bundled with other programs that launched excessive pop-up warnings and nagging alerts until the user either purchased the company’s product or uninstalled the software. The scans often identified harmless files as errors.
  • Failed to disclose that by downloading one program in its suite of services, an additional program – essentially an advertisement for other software products – would also be installed.
  • Added additional products to orders during the checkout process. Consumers had to uncheck boxes next to the products in order to avoid being charged.
  • Failed to clearly disclose that consumers who purchased products were actually buying an annual license and would be automatically billed each year unless they cancel.
  • Made it difficult for consumers to cancel orders or obtain refunds.

Under the settlement filed in King County Superior Court, Ascentive agreed to a number of restrictions on its marketing and billing practices and to refund customers who paid for both a a back-up CD and the company’s Extended Download Service but didn't use them. Today's news release includes additional details.

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