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MATTRESS STORE USED 'BAIT-AND-SWITCH' TACTICS, SETTLEMENT ALLEGES

 HARRISBURG, Pa., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A New Jersey-based mattress and bedding store chain with nine locations in eastern Pennsylvania has paid $10,000 to settle allegations that it used illegal "bait-and- switch" sales tactics.
 Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr. said the payment was required under terms of an "assurance of voluntary compliance" negotiated by his Bureau of Consumer Protection with Rockaway Bedding Inc., Randolph, N.J.
 The assurance alleges that the business "baited" consumers with newspaper advertisements claiming that the stores were selling merchandise at 50 percent off regular prices and providing certain "free" products or services.
 But the assurance alleges that the advertised prices were the stores' regular selling prices and not reduced sale prices or free offers in effect for a limited time.
 The assurance also claims that when consumers came into the stores, sales personnel attempted to "switch" them to higher-priced mattresses and bedding by disparaging the advertised items.
 "In some cases, we allege that sales personnel claimed that the advertised bedding could only be used by a child, that it wouldn't support the weight of an adult," Preate said.
 While not admitting wrongdoing, Rockaway Bedding 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 Nora A. Dowd of the Bureau of Consumer Protection's Philadelphia office.
 The assurance notes that Rockaway Bedding operates nine stores in Pennsylvania in the metropolitan Philadelphia area and Northampton and Monroe counties.
 /delval/
 -0- 6/30/93
 /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 ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MK -- PH007 -- 7040 06/30/93 09:52 EDT
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Date:Jun 30, 1993
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