The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has acted against Churchcastle, a promoter of premium rate prize competitions.
The company, trading as 'Fast Cash' and 'UK Prize Bonanza' sent 1.4 million postal mailings to consumers saying they were entitled to claim one of the awards listed and urging them to call a premium rate number to claim their prize. The wording suggested that they had won £5,000 or £10,000.
Some 190,000 people called the number at an average cost of £7.50 per caller. However, most callers received giveaway items such as vouchers for holidays, health and leisure services, or a family portrait. All vouchers had restrictions on their use.
Penny Boys, OFT executive director, said: "Misleading mailings such as these deceive consumers and damage the reputation of fair-dealing businesses."
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