Further, Great Expectations Creative Management would be required to take reasonable steps to ensure franchises are complying with the TILA and to terminate, unless prohibited by state law, any franchise that it knows or should know is not complying with the TILA.
If the company promised meetings, that's one thing (and one the woman in the four year program says she was promised dates, so perhaps there's a claim there), but it seems unrealistic to simply expect dates when there's the entire other half o the equation to consider.
While the fees being paid (and the idea of signing up for a four year membership that promises marriage) seems somewhat staggering, especially considering the competition, it just seems like these women made a bad decision in signing up for this service.
Nevertheless, the complaint states, the franchisor continued to disseminate the contract to franchises and did not inform them about the errors either at that time or in late 1990, when the franchisor created and began disseminating a revised contract.
The revised contract, on its face, also violated the TILA in that it did not identify the creditor and did not contain the proper information in the itemization of the amount financed, the FTC charged.
The FTC charged that use of the contract resulted in false and misleading disclosures of the APR and finance charges to consumers and that, as a result, many consumers paid more in finance charges than had been disclosed to them.
In 1988, the FTC alleged, Great Expectations Creative Management learned from its own auditor that the calculations and disclosures in its retail installment contract violated the TILA.
Under the settlements, the respondents would be required to properly and accurately disclose the annual percentage rate (APR) and other credit terms of financed memberships, as required by the federal Truth in Lending Act.
The 23 franchises also have agreed to make refunds to consumers who were misled by under- disclosed finance charges and APRs. The Great Expectations franchises that are a part of this settlement operate businesses in 27 cities in 17 states, covering most parts of the country except the northeast.
Under 12 separate consent agreements to settle these charges, announced today for public comment before the Commission determines whether to make them final, all 24 respondents would be required to make all disclosures to consumers as required by the TILA when offering credit to their members.