January 18, 2007, 12:00 AM

iMergent defends its practices in letters to state attorneys general

IMergent Inc., a vendor of e-commerce that is being sued by the Illinois Attorney General for alleged deceptive practices, has launched an initiative to educate state officials and the public nationwide on its business practices.

 

IMergent Inc., a vendor of e-commerce software and services that is being sued by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office for alleged deceptive practices, has launched an initiative to educate state officials and the public nationwide on its business practices. IMergent denies any wrongdoing in the Illinois case.

As part of the education program, iMergent is sending a six-page letter and a test license to the company’s StoresOnline Pro software to state attorneys general and Better Business Bureaus throughout the U.S. providing a thorough overview of its business. The letter also is posted on the investor relations section of iMergent’s web site.

The letter provides a summary of iMergent’s products and services, an overview of the company’s business model and sales channels, an explanation of its three-day right of cancellation policy, a review of its customer service and support practices, an explanation of its investment in technology improvements, and a review of customer support services.

“While iMergent strives to provide the best products, services, and customer support, some customers will regrettably remain unsatisfied,” CEO Donald L. Dunks says in the letter. “Over the past year, iMergent has spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars improving its software and implementing new customer service programs. Additionally, we proactively contact customers to resolve their concerns and, when appropriate, issue refunds.”

Dunks also writes that iMergent will provide any necessary information to attorneys general’s offices to resolve any complaints. “Regrettably, some states have not communicated with us directly about their concerns, but instead have filed court actions without giving us the opportunity to resolve any valid concerns or to respond in any manner,” he says.

The Illinois lawsuit, filed in December, charges that two iMergent businesses-StoresOnline Inc. and Galaxy Mall Inc.-misled consumers with false promises to set up online stores. Contrary to promises, products were difficult to set up and consumers with computer experience couldn’t set up the online stores, the suit charges.

The suit also alleges that the two businesses refused to cancel contracts and provide refunds within a three-day period of signing the contract as promised, and that the two companies failed to provide promised technical support for the products. The suit asks the court to rescind the contracts and order iMergent to pay restitution to Illinois consumers who paid more than $91,000 to set up online stores. It also seeks a civil penalty of $50,000 for each violation found to have been committed with intent to defraud.

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