Truth in Advertising: beware of ‘interest free’ financing

A Madison-based consumer watchdog group has gotten one of the state’s largest furniture retailers to revise its marketing of “interest free” financing.

TruthinAdvertising.org complained last fall to the state Department of Consumer Protection and to Attorney General George Jepsen that customers of Bob’s Discount Furniture weren’t adequately informed of the program’s requirements.

Bob’s, with 58 locations from Maine to Virginia, will  more clearly explain that failing to pay off the balance within the required time period will trigger a 28 percent interest charged on the entire purchase price, Truth in Advertising wrote on its web site.

The Connecticut-based company also agreed to make it clear that consumers have to pay more than the amount listed on the monthly statements to avoid that charge.

“We conducted a thorough review of their materials, and where we requested corrections they made those corrections and are in compliance,” said Claudette Carveth, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Consumer Protection.

Brian G. Leary, an attorney representing Bob’s Discount Furniture, wrote in a letter to state officials that the company was voluntarily making changes to its in-store advertising and customer invoices, and said the furniture retailer appreciated the opportunity to work collaboratively with the state.

Read the timeline of the complaint and its resolution at Truth in Advertising.org

 

 

Frank Juliano