Attorney General Phil Weiser announces Fit Turf will pay $125,000 for misleading consumers on automatic renewal services, unlawful telemarketing practices
Lawn care services company commits to change its business practices
Sept. 23, 2020 (DENVER, Colo.)—Attorney General Phil Weiser today announced that a local lawn care company, Fit Turf, will pay $125,000 to the State after enrolling consumers in automatically renewing services without their consent and calling thousands of numbers on the Colorado No-Call list.
“When consumers sign up for a service, they should be given clear and accurate information about the terms and conditions of the service. Companies cannot bury the fact that services will renew year after year in fine print disclosures sent months after a sale, when consumers are no longer paying close attention or expecting the terms and conditions to change on them,” said Weiser. “We at the Attorney General’s Office are committed to protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive practices, including changing terms of service unilaterally after they were initially agreed to.”
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office began investigating the company after reviewing dozens of consumer complaints that Fit Turf was automatically renewing its customers’ enrollment in lawn care service programs year after year without consent from customers.
An investigation uncovered that Fit Turf used telemarketers to enroll thousands of Colorado consumers in lawn care services without disclosing that those services will automatically renew unless the consumer cancels them. The company also ignored the No Call list when, from 2015-2019, Fit Turf made calls to more than 132,000 phone numbers on the list.
The company’s telemarketing practices were also illegal because it never registered with the Attorney General’s Office as a commercial phone seller.
In the settlement, Fit Turf agreed to the following:
- A $125,000 payment to the State;
- An injunction that prohibits Fit Turf from engaging in any telemarketing services unless and until Fit Turf is in full compliance with the Colorado No Call List Act;
- A requirement that, in connection to the sale of any goods or services that automatically renew, Fit Turf will make a clear and conspicuous disclosure of the automatic renewal and obtain consumers’ express authorization to enroll in the renewing service; and
- A requirement that Fit Turf obtain express authorization from all customers who enrolled in any automatically renewing services during the past three years in order for such customers to remain enrolled in such services.
If you believe you have been the victim of a scam or fraud, contact Stop Fraud Colorado at 800-222-4444 or StopFraudColorado.gov.