Network Solutions Failed to Disclose Cancellation Fees, Says FTC
As part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a web hosting provider will no longer be able to withhold the fees associated with its plans.
Network Solutions LLC has agreed to settle FTC charges that it misled consumers who bought its web hosting services by promising a full refund if they canceled within 30 days. In reality, the company withheld substantial cancellation fees from most refunds.
In an administrative complaint, the FTC alleged that Network Solutions, a domain name registrar and web hosting provider, offered web hosting packages with a 30-day money back guarantee, but did not adequately disclose that it withheld part of the refund – up to 30 percent – from customers who cancelled within 30 days of buying an annual or multi-year package and registering an included domain name.
The proposed settlement order prohibits Network Solutions from failing to clearly disclose, before obtaining a customer's billing information, the material terms of any money-back guarantee, or failing to refund the full purchase price in response to a request that complies with the terms of a guarantee. The settlement also bars the company from misrepresenting material terms of any refund or cancellation policy or money-back guarantee, or any other material fact about web hosting.