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CHAIN OF STORES PAYS $10,000 TO SETTLE 'BAIT-SWITCH' ALLEGATIONS

 HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 18 ~PRNewswire~ -- An appliance store chain with 14 locations in Pennsylvania has paid $10,000 to settle allegations that it used illegal "bait-and-switch" sales tactics, Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr. announced.
 Preate said the payment is required under terms of an "assurance of voluntary compliance" negotiated by his Bureau of Consumer Protection with American Appliance & Video Centers Inc., Pennsauken, N.J.
 The assurance alleges that the business "baited" consumers by advertising competitive prices on air conditioners.
 But when consumers came into the stores, sales personnel attempted to "switch" consumers to higher-priced models by disparaging the quality and features of the advertised models, the assurance alleges.
 "We allege, for example, that sales personnel falsely told consumers that the advertised air conditioners weren't equipped with thermostats," Preate said.
 While not admitting wrongdoing, American Appliance & Video Centers agreed to pay the state $10,000 in costs of investigation and bring its sales practices in line with state and federal law, according to the assurance.
 The agreement was filed today in Commonwealth Court by Deputy Attorney General John E. Kelly, attorney-in-charge of the Bureau of Consumer Protection's Philadelphia office.
 The assurance notes that American Appliance & Video Centers operates 14 stores in Pennsylvania in the metropolitan Philadelphia, Lancaster and Harrisburg areas.
 ~delval~
 -0- 11~18~92
 ~CONTACT: Jack J. Lewis, assistant press secretary of the Office of Attorney General, 717-787-5211, or at home, 717-657-9840~


CO: Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office; American Appliance & Video
 Centers Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


MK -- PH003 -- 2190 11~18~92 09:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 18, 1992
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