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Conn. hangs up on Miss Cleo

Companies that host psychic hot line to pay $1.9M in deceptive trade practice case.

October 23, 2002: 11:12 AM EDT

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - Two companies that hosted psychic hot line queen Miss Cleo's late night infomercials will pay $1.9 million to Connecticut residents under a settlement with the state over a deceptive trade practice claim.

Access Resource Services and the Psychic Readers Network, both based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement, announced Tuesday by state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and state Consumer Protection Commissioner James T. Fleming.

Consumers have claimed that although the hot line advertised its calls as free, they were directed to a 900 number, kept on hold and not informed they would be charged.

Access Resource Services has been the subject of lawsuits filed by at least nine states and the Federal Trade Commission.

A lawyer for Access Resource Services, Sean Moynihan, maintained the company had done nothing wrong. He said the company will only pay dissatisfied customers.

The settlement also requires the companies to pay $20,000 for fees and costs to the state, Blumenthal said.

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