LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Thursday she has filed a lawsuit against a southwest tech company and its owner for failing to provide reliable internet service they advertised and sold to customers in rural communities.
According to a statement from the attorney general’s office, Flowmatic Technical Solutions, LLC (FTS) failed to repair defective products, provide refunds to customers, and many consumers never received any internet service after purchasing from the company.
According to the complaint, FTS and its owner, Joseph Michael Bradford, violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and seeks an injunction, civil penalties and restitution for the customers impacted.
“Bradford exploited rural Arkansans who have been denied reliable internet service for too long,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans need high speed internet access no matter where they are in the state and broadband companies can no longer swindle consumers out of their money by over promising and continuing to under deliver.”
According to the attorney general, FTS advertised reliable high-speed internet to Arkansas families at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when most people were working and taking classes at home.
Rutledge said Bradford and his company primarily advertised on Facebook and offered unlimited high-speed internet service for an initial fee of $249 and $65 a month in rural areas of southern Arkansas. The products were offered as broadband services that were unlimited with no contract, customers would never run out of data and included a full money-back guarantee. The attorney general said the representations were misleading, deceptive and in violation of the ADTPA.
The attorney general’s office started receiving complaints about FTS’s business practices, ranging from the company failing to provide the services it advertised, not giving refunds when internet access was terminated and taking customers’ money but never providing any service.