Barnett Warns Businesses of High Pressure Sales Tactics
(Pierre) –Attorney General Mark Barnett is warning small businesses in South Dakota to be on the lookout for business consultants using high pressure sales tactics.
The Consumer Protection Office is actively investigating complaints it received from two businesses that were targets of an out of state consulting company.
“These consultants charge huge fees,” said Barnett. “They make oral promises to get you to sign a contract. Once you’ve signed the contract, you are obligated to pay over $40,000 for their consulting services.”
Business owners have been told that they are not obligated to pay, even if they sign the contract. But the contract states that once it is signed, it can not be canceled. A typical business would pay for an average of 190 hours of consulting work at $215 per hour. The contract also obligates the business owner to pay for airfare, ground transportation, lodging, and per diem per consultant.
“This scheme is particularly troubling because the salespeople don’t reveal all the facts of the contract during their sales pitch,” said Barnett. “These salespeople keep up their high-pressure tactics until they convince you to sign.”
If you have any questions or complaints about high-pressure sales tactic, contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-300-1986, firstname.lastname@example.org or http://atg.sd.gov/.