Headline in today's Chron: Miss Cleo must make $500 million in customer bills vanish. Wait for it...
The operators of Miss Cleo's psychic hot line agreed today to cancel $500 million in customer bills to settle federal charges that the service fleeced callers while promising mystical insights into love and money.
The settlement requires Access Resource Services Inc. and Psychic Readers Network Inc. to stop using pay-per-call numbers to sell their soothsaying services, the Federal Trade Commission said. The two Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based companies, which promoted a national network of "psychic readers" on television and the Internet, also must pay the FTC a $5 million fine.
"I'm no psychic but I can foresee this: If you make deceptive claims, there is an FTC action in your future," said Howard Beales, director of the FTC's consumer protection bureau.