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Tokyo company faces court, accused of consumer fraud

Date Posted: 2003-09-13

A Tokyo-based company is standing accused of defrauding consumers after the energy-saving gadget is had been peddling failed to deliver promised results. Lawyers representing the consumers with complaints against the company, Eye Dick of Tokyo say the company marketed an energy saving device they promised would reduce the users’ monthly electric bill by half. However, buyers demanding their money back said there was no noticeable difference in their electricity bill after they installed the device.

The company has reportedly marketed the device in eleven prefectures, including Osaka, and more than 3,000 people have filed complaints against the company. A total of 450 plaintiffs, including over 100 from Okinawa, are represented by a group of lawyers demanding that the company returns Y150 million to customers who had bought the machine. They are also suing the consumer finance company that financed the purchases, and demand a stop to payments totaling Y280 million the customers still owe.

The devices costing between Y200,000 and Y1 million each were sold to customers on installments. Eye Dick then sold the purchasing contracts to the consumer finance company in cash, while the finance company collects the monthly payments, including the interest from the buyers. Representatives of the finance company say that they only financed the deals that Eye Dick made with its customers. The finance company says it’s a normal practice in all consumer purchasing, and since the consumers made the deal to pay on installments, that has nothing to do with the performance of the devices.

The company says it stopped selling the devices in January. Its lawyers deny the company lied to the buyers, claiming “There is something wrong with the machines and they should be replaced or repaired."

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