I-Team: 'Techsmart' targets military with special financing - KMSP-TV

I-Team: 'Techsmart' targets military with special financing

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A California-based electronics company gets kicked out of Georgia.  The state says the company was taking advantage of soldiers and can no longer do business here.

According to the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection, members of the military were the target.

This company, which is called Techsmart, sells electronics like iPods, laptops and TVs to military personnel -- advertising to them special "military financing."  But state investigators say, there is nothing smart about these deals at all.

First, the state finds that Techsmart offers prices that are sometimes twice as much as the actual retail price.

For example, a 32-gig iPod at Techsmart was selling for $600, when in fact Apple's web site says their suggested retail price is only $299.

Here's another one: A Samsung Smart TV was nearly $3,000 at Techsmart ($2999), but Samsung will sell it to you for $1,799.99.

But head of consumer protection John Sours says what really got the company in big trouble was failing to disclose hidden finance charges. In a settlement, the company agreed to stop doing business in Georgia. 

While Techsmart management does not admit any guilt, it does agree to pay fines. There is a civil penalty of $50,000 and $157,000 in restitution to some military folks who paid a really high price for some high tech items. 

A quick note: if you search "Techsmart," a lot of company names come up.  We are talking about the online site selling to military families, and their web site is www.techsmartstore.com (a slight difference in their name).

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