Florida’s Attorney General announced a settlement with Systemax and two subsidiaries, Tigerdirect and Onrebate, over allegations that the companies failed to pay rebates to consumers as advertised.

The companies will pay a total of $300,000, comprising $200,000 for attorneys’ fees and costs, and a $100,000 donation to the Florida Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs. They also agreed to implement certain marketing limitations and procedure changes.

Specifically, the defendants agreed to refrain from making any false or misleading statements about the ease of submitting rebate forms and the time frame in which a consumer will receive his or her rebate. They also agreed to process and pay rebates within the time period advertised, resolve any outstanding complaints, and establish procedures for the proper handling of rebate submissions.

The AG’s office filed a complaint against the Delaware-based companies in August 2008 after a yearlong investigation. According to Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, consumers complained that the companies’ rebate program was difficult to navigate, often resulted in consumers forfeiting their rights to rebates, and rebates that were received often arrived after the promised eight- to ten-week period.

To read the settlement agreement, click here.

Why it matters: Companies that offer rebates should remember to follow applicable state laws and regulations or potentially face legal action.