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 user 2007-08-29 at 12:27:00 pm Views: 50
  • #18652

    Decision Bars Group from Misrepresenting Toshiba Supplies
    August  2007 In a significant legal victory protecting the business interests of authorized Toshiba dealers and their customers against misrepresentations and fraudulent business practices, Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. (TABS) announced that the United States District Court ordered a permanent injunction against IDC SERVCO, Mytel International Inc., and parent company, G.M.N. Financial Services Inc., barring the group from misleading customers by representing the company as an authorized dealer of Toshiba office product supplies.The permanent injunction further prohibits the companies from falsely designating any of their products as Toshiba’s or infringing on any Toshiba-held copyright. This precedent is the first legal success in TABS’ aggressive initiative to protect the Toshiba brand, Toshiba dealers and their end customers from office supply telemarketing scams.Following the U.S. District Court’s order, TABS unveiled its new Office Supply Telemarketing Fraud Protection Program, an educational section on the TABS Web site that empowers customers with tools and information to protect businesses from telemarketing schemes.“Toshiba values our customers and dealer partners too highly to allow companies such as IDC SERVCO to misrepresent themselves and make customers believe that they are part of the Toshiba Corporation,” said Tom Walter, director of Aftermarket Sales, Marketing & Operations, TABS. “TABS will continue to devote the resources necessary to aggressively protect our valued customers from opportunists that attempt similar misrepresentations.”

    TABS credits the success of the litigation to working closely with the Federal Trade Commission, the Imaging Supply Coalition, TBS subsidiaries and Toshiba’s authorized independent dealers. With known cases stemming back as far as 1987, office supply telemarketing scams have resulted in businesses reporting an estimated $200 million a year in operation losses in North America. A typical scenario involves a telemarketer identifying themselves as an authorized dealer of copier supplies, requesting information on office copier fleets or confirming a fictitious prior purchase. The telemarketing company then proceeds to ship unordered supplies with invoices demanding payment, sometimes at 10 times over the MSRP. The fraud preys on uninformed employees or unsuspecting customers through the use of trusted company brands, such as Toshiba.

    TABS’ aggressive pursuit of legal action against IDC SERVCO stems from a 1998 consent decree signed by the company’s subsidiary, Mytel International Inc., agreeing not to make any misrepresentations in the sale of photocopier or office supplies, including statements that Mytel, or any sales company contracted by Mytel, are affiliated with the end customers’ regular supplier, servicer or equipment manufacturer. In mid-2005, TABS began to receive reports that the Culver City-based company had resumed contacting end customers, posing as an authorized Toshiba supplies dealer.TABS filed suit against Mytel International Inc., IDC SERVCO, and parent company G.M.N. Financial Services, Inc., which resulted in the August 2, 2007 U.S. District Court order granting a permanent injunction against the defendants.