Office reaches settlement with Tacoma-based Energy Exteriors
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office continued its efforts to clear up alleged deceptive marketing practices among window sellers by reaching a settlement this week with Energy Exteriors, of Tacoma.
“We’re working to remodel the window retail industry’s marketing practices to protect consumers and business competition,” said Assistant Attorney General Jack Zurlini, of the office’s Consumer Protection Division. “When one company turns to deception to boost sales, the rest may be tempted to follow suit. It’s our job to promote integrity.”
The latest case accuses Energy Exteriors of making a number of misrepresentations, using high-pressure sales tactics and failing to inform customers of their cancellation rights. Those practices violate the state’s Consumer Protection Act, the Attorney General’s Office alleged in its complaint.
Energy Exteriors denied any wrongdoing as part of the settlement filed today in Pierce County Superior Court but agreed to restrictions on its marketing tactics. The company also sells home siding.
The Attorney General’s Office believes Energy Exteriors misrepresented to potential customers that its solicitations aren’t sales calls, inflated initial prices to suggest customers are receiving discounts and made unsubstantiated claims about the energy savings customers would achieve, such as saying, “This won’t cost you a cent.”
The company misrepresented that it was highly rated by the Better Business Bureau and exaggerated the health risks associated with mold that may be found around residential windows, the state claimed.
The Attorney General’s Office agreed to suspend $25,000 in civil penalties provided Energy Exteriors abides with consumer protection laws in the future. The company will pay approximately $23,600 in attorneys’ fees and legal costs.
The office’s Consumer Protection Division sent letters to more than 30 window and home siding installation businesses last fall, as part of an effort to educate them about high-pressure pitches, inflated prices and fraudulent endorsements that are illegal and have the potential to damage the industry’s reputation.
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