Isis Parenting to Pay $260,000 for Failing to Provide Services, Refunds After Abrupt Closure
Settlement Includes Money Back for Eligible Customers in Massachusetts
BOSTON – Isis Parenting has agreed to pay $260,000 to settle allegations that the business acted unfairly when it continued to sell classes, goods and services to its customers in the weeks leading up to its abrupt closure in January 2014, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
According to the assurance of discontinuance, filed today in Suffolk Superior Court, Isis Parenting allegedly marketed and sold classes and other goods and services when it allegedly knew or should have known it had insufficient funds to ensure it could provide those goods and services. When the company closed in January 2014, it cancelled all ongoing and future classes, leaving Massachusetts consumers with no refund or recourse.
“Massachusetts companies have an obligation to treat customers fairly and deliver on the promises they make,” AG Healey said. “When Isis Parenting went out of business, it left many new and expecting parents without the prenatal and parenting courses they paid for and were depending on. We are pleased that this settlement will provide restitution to these consumers.”
Isis Parenting operated four stores in Massachusetts located in Needham, Arlington, Boston, and Hanover. The stores offered baby gear and toys along with prenatal education, early parenting groups, and child development classes.
According to the settlement, Isis Parenting also allegedly held “going out of business sales” without following Massachusetts state law requirements for this type of sale. According to state law, any store in Massachusetts that plans to run a “going out of business sale” must file a bond, pay a fee and provide to the town or city where the business is located and the AG’s Office a three-day advance notice and inventory list.
The AG’s Office initiated an investigation into Isis Parenting after receiving complaints from numerous consumers. Under the terms of the settlement, Isis Parenting will pay more than $184,000 to affected customers, $50,000 in civil penalties, and $25,000 in attorneys’ fees. The settlement will provide restitution, through a claims process, for customers who have not yet received refunds after paying for Isis Parenting classes, memberships, or goods or services that were cancelled, in whole or in part. The Attorney General’s Office urges consumers with questions to contact its consumer hotline at (617) 727-8400.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Lisa Dyen of AG Healey’s Consumer Protection Division.