Attorney General Chris Carr has announced that Factory Buys Direct (FBD), an online seller of home appliances, has entered into a settlement with his office to resolve allegations that it violated Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act by selling products, including damaged or defective appliances, backed by a return policy it did not honor.
The Attorney General’s office alleges that through its website, factorybuysdirect.com, FBD sent products to consumers that were incorrect, unwanted, damaged or defective and did not respond to requests by consumers who sought replacements or refunds.
Additionally, FBD allegedly failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose its full return policy. Despite claims on its website of “Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed” and “30 Day Money Back Guarantee,” it allegedly did not make it clear to consumers that if they returned a product they would have to pay a 15% restocking fee plus return shipping, or that the company only accepts returns for merchandise that is new, unused, unassembled and in its original packaging.
In resolution of these allegations of unfair and deceptive acts and practices, FBD has entered into a settlement requiring it to:
- refund any restocking fees paid in order to return or exchange a product purchased from FBD and/or any fees deducted from a refund for shipping costs for orders with free shipping, for all Georgia consumers who placed an order on www.factorybuysdirect.com between April 1, 2016 and January 11, 2019;
- pay $10,000.00 to fund a Consumer Restitution Trust Account, to be administered by the Attorney General, for consumers who attempted to return or exchange a product from FBD but were not able to do so due to the company’s failure to comply with its stated return policy;
- pay $15,000 to the state of Georgia
- clearly and conspicuously disclose its complete return, refund, and exchange policies including all material terms, conditions, and limitations;
- comply with its stated return, refund, and/or exchange policies and implement sufficient customer support procedures so that Respondent can process consumers’ return/refund/exchange requests as required by Respondent’s stated policies;
- not make any price or value representations that are false or misleading; and
- comply with the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act.
Should FBD fail to comply with the settlement terms at any time during a two-year monitoring period, it must pay an additional $40,000 to the State.
Refunds for Consumers
Consumers who purchased a product from factorybuysdirect.com and were subsequently unable to complete a refund or exchange due to Factory Buys Directs’ failure to comply with its stated return policy may be entitled to compensation under the settlement and should fill out and submit a prescribed claim form, along with supporting documentation, to the Georgia Department of Law. Claim forms must be postmarked, faxed or hand-delivered no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on February 10, 2019 in order to be considered for restitution.
Claims must be submitted by or on behalf of consumers who:
- Attempted to return or exchange a product but, due to Factory Buys Directs’ failure to comply with its stated return policy, were not able to complete the refund or exchange; and,
- Have not received a full refund or exchange from Factory Buys Direct and/or a third-party relating to items(s) attempted to return or exchange.
Filing a Claim
Consumers can download a claim form from the Consumer Protection Division website here.
Completed claims and any documentation, should be submitted by mail, overnight delivery, fax or hand-delivery to:
Georgia Department of Law – Consumer Protection Division
ATTN: Factory Buys Direct Restitution
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, Suite 356
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-9077
Fax number: 404-651-9018
You may NOT submit the Claim Form by email.
Claims must be postmarked or faxed no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on February 10, 2019.