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Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (FCMD)

The federal government routinely awards contracts to companies with histories of misconduct, including contract fraud and other violations. POGO believes that providing this website will help to improve contracting decisions and increase public knowledge of how the government spends billions of taxpayer dollars each year. Read more…

Misleading Advertisements

“Dell Computer Corp. and Micron Electronics, Inc. have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that their computer lease advertisements violated federal laws. According to the agency, both Dell and Micron disseminated misleading ads for consumer leases by placing material cost information in inconspicuous or unreadable fine print or omitting such information altogether. The proposed settlements with Dell and Micron would require the companies to provide consumers with clear, readable, and understandable information in their lease advertising… The proposed consent agreements that the FTC negotiated with Dell and Micron would settle the charges and prevent the companies from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Under the proposed order, Dell would be prohibited from failing to disclose clearly and conspicuously (in a manner that an ordinary consumer could read [or hear] and comprehend) that any advertised terms pertain to a lease offer. Both Dell and Micron would be prohibited from making any reference to any charge that is part of the total amount due at leasing signing or that no such amount is due, unless the ad also states with equal prominence the total amount due at lease inception. The companies also would be prohibited from running ads that highlight low monthly payments, unless the ads also state, clearly and conspicuously that (1) the advertised transaction is a lease; (2) the total amount due at lease signing; (3) whether or not a security deposit is required; (4) the number, amount, and timing of scheduled payments; and (5) that, for open-end leases, an extra charge may be imposed at the end of the lease term.”

Misconduct Type
Consumer Affairs
Enforcement Agency
FTC
Contracting Party
None
Court Type
Administrative
Disposition
Administrative Agreement
Date of Press Release
5/13/1999
Contractors Involved Penalty
Total
Dell, Inc. $0
Further Information Released
FTC Press Release 8/23/2006

Federal Contractor Misconduct Database