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May 18, 2010
Attorney General orders window sellers to be transparent in their marketing

Office reaches settlement with Bothell-based Harley Exteriors

SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office continued its efforts to clear up alleged deceptive marketing practices among window selling businesses by reaching a settlement this week with Harley Exteriors, of Bothell.

“We’re making it crystal clear to Washington window retailers that they have to be upfront and honest about the price of their products and can’t make misrepresentations in order to boost their profits,” said Assistant Attorney General Jack Zurlini, of the office’s Consumer Protection Division.

In its complaint, the Attorney General’s Office accused Harley of misrepresenting the price and quality of its windows, making false claims about the energy savings customers would achieve, failing to inform customers of their cancellation rights and providing misleading information to collect customer leads. Those practices violate the state’s Consumer Protection Act, the Attorney General’s Office alleged.

Harley denied any wrongdoing as part of the settlement filed in King County Superior Court but agreed to restrictions on its marketing tactics.

The state’s complaint says Harley’s claims that its windows would save homeowners at least 40 percent on their monthly heating and cooling bills are false and that the company had no reasonable basis to support them. The Attorney General’s Office alleged that company representatives said Harley installs windows itself, when the company actually hires subcontractors to handle the installation.

The Attorney General’s Office agreed to suspend $25,000 in civil penalties provided Harley abides with consumer protection laws in the future. The company will pay $12,000 in attorneys’ fees and legal costs.

The office reached similar settlements with Evans Glass and Penguin Windows. In addition, its Consumer Protection Division sent letters to more than 30 window and home siding installation businesses last fall, as part of an effort to educate them about high-pressure pitches, inflated prices and fraudulent endorsements that are illegal and have the potential to damage the industry’s reputation.

Harley Exteriors Complaint 

Harley Exteriors Consent Decree 


Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager – Seattle, (206) 464-6432, kalexander@atg.wa.gov

 

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