Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

A federal bill imposing new restrictions on online retailers will help protect consumers from sneaky marketing methods used to deceive shoppers into paying for additional services they didn’t want.

ecommerce2Known as the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (S 3386), the bill cleared both the House and Senate this month and is headed to the Pres for signing. The law would require post-transaction advertisers to disclose the terms of their offers and obtain billing information directly from consumers. It would prohibit Internet retailers from passing along credit card information to third-party sellers and crack down on the use of "negative options" where consumers are charged monthly fees until they cancel their memberships.

Attorney General Rob McKenna testified to Congress about deceptive online marketing tactics last year. He proposed similar legislation at the state level that died in committee.

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