It’s been at least a month since Wavee.com’s website went down “due to technical issues.” Awhile back we told you about how we read that Georgia was investigating the penny auction site.
Today, we found out that the Georgia Governors Office of Consumer Protection has shut down Wavee. They won’t be back.
According to a CBS article posted yesterday, State Shuts Down Penny Auction Site – Orders Refunds, Wavee has agreed with the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection to go out of business and remain out of business. According to state officials, they were operating illegally because they were not registered with the Georgia Auctioneers Commission.
“The Administrator alleges that the Respondents have used unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of consumer transactions and consumer acts or practices in trade orcommerce as declared unlawful by the FBPA. Specifically, the Administrator alleges that Respondents have committed the following unfair or deceptive acts or practices: A. Respondents advertised that www.wavee.com is a “penny auction” website andconducted thousands of auctions on this website without the authority to do so. Respondents were not authorized to conduct such auctions because they were notregistered with the Georgia Auctioneers Commission, as required by O.C.G.A. 43-6-9. This conduct violates the FBPA in four ways.”-From the Civil Action File.
Wavee has been ordered to pay civil fines and penalties of $50,000 and pay restitution of $202,210.20, a civil penalty of $35,000 and $15,000 in administrative/investigation expenses. Plus, Wavee will also pay $50,000 to the state to establish a trust account.
What could this mean for other penny auctions?
Make sure you check with your state & seek legal counsel to see if you need an auctioneering license before you proceed with starting or continuing to run your penny “auction” site.
Read the press release:
ATLANTA, GA – John Sours, Administrator of The Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection (“OCP”), today announced that the agency has entered into a settlement with Wavee US, LLC D/B/A Wavee.com (“Wavee”), a company that conducted “penny auctions” via its website. The settlement follows an OCP investigation which revealed that the auction company failed to send a number of purchased products to consumers in a timely manner and failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose that consumers were purchasing bid credits when they registered on Wavee’s website.
Under the settlement, Wavee is required to cease operations, provide $202,210.20 in consumer restitution, and pay a $35,000 civil penalty and $15,000 in administrative expenses.
As part of the settlement, Wavee will also pay $50,000 to the State to establish a trust account for issuing refunds to eligible consumers who unintentionally purchased bid credits from Wavee. Consumers who believe they may be entitled to compensation under the settlement can fill out a claim form and submit it to OCP, along with supporting documentation. Claim forms must be post-marked no later than midnight on August 30, 2011 in order to be considered for restitution.
In order to be eligible for restitution, the claim must meet the following requirements:
- The claim must involve a consumer transaction with Wavee;
- The claim must be a consumer complaint relating to the unintentional purchase of bid credits;
- The consumer must have documentation showing that he or she did not intend to purchase bid credits. Acceptable documentation for these claims includes, but is not limited to copies of complaints submitted to Wavee, to the Better Business Bureau, to any governing body (e.g. any attorney general’s office, OCP, local elected officials, etc.), and e-mails or letters to credit card companies disputing the charge(s) prior to July 1, 2011; and
- The consumer must not have received a previous refund from Wavee for his or her purchase of bid credits. OCP will retain a list of all consumers who have previously received a refund from Wavee.
Filing a Claim
You can download a claim form or you may request a form by calling 404-651-8600 or 800-869-1123 (in Georgia, outside the Atlanta Metro area).
Completed claims, along with supporting documentation, should be sent via U.S. Certified Mail to:
Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection
Attn: Wavee.com Claims
2 Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
Claims must be postmarked by August 30, 2011. Claims that are postmarked after the deadline will not be considered. After filing, your claim will be reviewed. If you are not eligible, you will be notified accordingly. If you are eligible, you will be mailed a check once all claims have been received and evaluated. If the claims received total more than the amount of the restitution funds, a proportionate amount will be distributed to all eligible claimants.
Press Contact Info
If you’re having an issue with a penny auction site in the state of Georgia and you feel that they are deceiving consumers, you might want to file a complaint. Here’s the form: http://www.consumer.georgia.gov/form/consumer-complaint/step1
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