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Dealership sidesteps cleaning supply company's solicitation dressed as invoice

April 2, 2021
A Cook County dealership in March reported receiving paperwork from a Florida company which sells cleaning supplies with indications of product orders to the company worth more than $1,100.
The dealership said it never ordered the supplies from Nationwide Chemicals, in West Palm Beach, Florida, and that it has never purchased from the company. And while both pieces of the paperwork are stamped "Order Form" in the top right corner, both just as easily resembled invoices that needed to be paid.
 
The Illinois attorney general’s office reports that businesses and government agencies have received invoices for expensive chemical products, such as cleaning supplies. When some businesses tried to send the product back, the senders refused the shipments.
Federal law prohibits any mailing which is "in the form of, and reasonably could be interpreted or construed as, a bill, invoice, or statement of account due" but is, in fact, "a solicitation for the order by the addressee of goods or services," unless the mailing includes the following notice:
"This is a solicitation for the order of goods or services, or both, and not a bill, invoice, or statement of account due. You are under no obligation to make any payments on account of this offer unless you accept this offer.
 
"Federal law requires that the notice (or one like it) be printed on the face of the mailing in "conspicuous and legible type in contrast by typography, layout, or color with other printing on its face."
 
 

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