National Collector’s Mint Inc., a Port Chester company that produces novelty coins, has agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $750,000 over charges that it deceived customers.
The company sold 9/11-related coins and collectibles, including coins for the 10th anniversary the company said it was exclusively authorized to produce. However, in the summer of 2010, Congress authorized the U.S. Mint to manufacture and sell a 9/11 commemorative medal in honor of the 10th anniversary.
National Collector’s Mint failed to mark their coins as copies, per the Hobby Protection Act.
The FTC also charged that the company’s ordering and returns process was misleading and deceptive. The company’s television commercials directed consumers to an automated telephone ordering system to order products via voice or touch keypad recognition. The ordering system presented offers for additional products that consumers could not bypass, and often registered sales orders even when consumers indicated, repeatedly, that they wanted no additional items.
National Collector’s Mint allegedly failed to provide the total cost of the purchase, a breakdown of the items ordered, and critical refund policy terms, and their lengthy and confusing ordering system resulted in many consumers receiving products they did not order.
The FTC claims that consumers who tried to return items found that, contrary to the defendants’ promise, the return process was not simple and prompt, and it frequently involved previously undisclosed conditions.
The settlement is still subject to approval from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District Court of New York.