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BUCKS, MONTGOMERY FIRMS ACCUSED OF USING DECEPTIVE SALES TACTICS

 BUCKS, MONTGOMERY FIRMS ACCUSED OF USING DECEPTIVE SALES TACTICS
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Eleven companies in Bucks and Montgomery counties will pay a total of $21,000 to settle allegations that they used deceptive tactics to sell light bulbs and other supplies to businesses nationwide.
 "Based on our investigation, we allege that these supply companies, while unrelated, used similar sales pitches to sell supplies at prices three to five times higher than prices charged by most suppliers," said Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr.
 He said the allegations are contained in 11 separate "assurances of voluntary compliance" filed today in Commonwealth Court by his Bureau of Consumer Protection.
 "Typically, a salesperson for one of the supply companies would call an out-of-state business, ask for someone in the maintenance department, and then create the false impression that the prospective customer had made previous purchases from the supply company," Preate said.
 The assurances allege that the salespersons, without disclosing the prices of the products, then indicated they would send a shipment of products to the customer.
 "Our investigation determined that the supply companies seldom obtained formal written authorization for the shipments and in some cases shipped merchandise that wasn't ordered and refused to accept returned merchandise," Preate said.
 Some of the salespersons also allegedly promised to send gifts to the homes of the individuals they contacted, according to the assurances.
 Under terms of the settlements, the supply companies don't admit wrongdoing but agree to pay costs of investigation and change their sales practices.
 "Most importantly, the companies now are required to disclose the prices of their products and get approval from an authorized purchasing agent before shipping the merchandise," Preate said.
 Following are the companies named in the assurances, along with their addresses, the names of their operators and the amounts they will pay in costs of investigation:
 -- Advance Maintenance Supplies Inc., 1021 Millcreek Drive, Feasterville, Bucks County; Lawrence Masters, president; $2,000.
 -- Archer Supply Co. and LCM Industries, 359 W. Broad St., Quakertown, Bucks County; Michael T. Tapper and Gale I. Tapper, operators; $2,000.
 -- Damar Industrial Supplies Inc., 1840 County Line Road, Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County; David Zankman, president; $1,000.
 -- Factory Supply Co. Inc., doing business as Standard Maintenance Products Co. and Institutional Supplies, 873 Township Line Road, Elkins Park, Montgomery County; Norman Shapiro, president, and Howard Coff, secretary/treasurer; $1,000.
 -- Global Distributors, Standard Distributors, and Regional Supply Co., 905 Sheehy Drive, Horsham, Montgomery County; Barry F. Glickstein and Michael A. Porter, operators; $2,000.
 -- James M. Woodside Associates Inc., doing business as Delta Products and North American Products, 4667 Somerton Road, Trevose, Bucks County; James M. Woodside, president; $3,000.
 -- National Industrial Supplies Inc., 2001 Joshua Road, Lafayette Hill, Montgomery County; Richard J. Cohen, president; $2,000.
 -- Polaris Industries Inc., 967-A Bristol Pike, Andalusia, Bucks County; David Fleisher, president, and Edward Tunick, secretary/treasurer; $2,000.
 -- Reliable Lighting & Supply Inc., 1407 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, Montgomery County; Bruce Barbera, president; $1,000.
 -- S & A Products Inc., doing business as Progress Chemical & Maintenance Products, 1366 Ford Road, Bensalem, Bucks County; Stanley Schoeffler, president; $3,000.
 -- Universal Maintenance Supply Corp., 301-303 N. York Road, Warminster, Bucks County; Lyle Wekler, president, and Scott Spiegel, secretary; $2,000.
 Deputy Attorney General John E. Kelly, attorney-in-charge of the Bureau of Consumer Protection's Philadelphia office, negotiated the assurances.
 He said the amount each company paid in costs of investigation was determined by the size of the business, with the larger companies paying more.
 Kelly said the bureau's investigation was prompted by complaints from out-of-state businesses.
 He said the supply companies primarily sell standard four-foot fluorescent light tubes, but also sell cleaning supplies and trash bags.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/5/92
 /CONTACT: Jack J. Lewis of the Office of Attorney General, 717-787-5211, or at home, 717-657-9840/ CO: Office of Attorney General ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


JS -- PH013 -- 7069 02/05/92 10:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 5, 1992
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