A Texas company has agreed to refund money to any Iowa truck drivers who paid $149 to submit federal documents that can be filed for free.
Compliance Processing Group, LLC, of Frisco, Texas, sent past-due notices to Iowa truck drivers under the name FMCSA Compliance Processing Group. The letters warned that the truckers must “contact us immediately” or risk fines of up to $10,000 a day and be put out of service, per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The company’s mailer “deceptively implies it is sent by a government agency and that failure to respond could be punished with civil penalties,” the Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller alleged. In smaller print at the bottom of the mailers, the letters stated that FMCSA Compliance Processing Group was not a government agency.
Motor carriers must update their information with the U.S. Department of Transportation every two years. They can do so for free at a federal website.
“The success of the Respondent’s business model depends upon exploitation of truck drivers who are attempting to be responsible, but who do not know submitting a required biennial report to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is easy and free,” according to an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance filed by Miller’s office.
As part of the AVC, Compliance Processing Group agreed to refrain from soliciting, offering, or selling services related to government compliance to Iowans. The company also agreed to provide full refunds to Iowa consumers who request one in the next year. “Iowa consumers may request a refund for any reason whatsoever,” the agreement states.
In 2018, the Attorney General’s Office reached a settlement with a Louisiana company over a similar mailing to Iowa trucking companies.