Hy-Cite Corp. has been forced to pay $350,000 in restitution to consumers who were strong-armed into buying “Royal Prestige” cookware priced between $2,000 to $4,500. Telling people they had won prizes, Hy-Cite hires made their way into Southern California homes and used lies (warning potential buyers that their pans were poisonous) and pressure to get people to purchase their cooking products, reports L.A. Daily News.
What’s worse, there were two separate pricing tiers for different ethnic groups, with protection plans and payment deferrals available to white people that weren’t available to Hispanics. A 24% interest rate was applied to payment plans, making this rip-off the cooking-at-home version of the sub-prime mortgage fiasco that caused massive foreclosures. Currently $100,000 of the settlement money has not been claimed and the L.A. Department of Consumer Affairs suggests calling 800-593-8222 if you were ripped off too.
Consumers hoodwinked by cookware scam can seek refund [L.A. Daily News]