By Jeff Burbank
Bay City News Service
The maker of the Slingbox TV device has been ordered to pay $195,000 to settle customer complaints and must register with the state consumer affairs department, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
The judgment handed down in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City on Thursday requires Sling Media, Inc., based in Foster City, to pay the fine and refrain from making false or misleading statements about Slingbox warranties, repairs and refunds, the district attorney's office said.
Sling Media also has to register with the California Department of Consumer Affairs before offering warranties and service contracts and doing any repairs, service or maintenance on electrical equipment as a service dealer, the district attorney's office said.
Under the judgment, Sling Media agrees to resolve, over the next two years, consumer complaints about repairs, warranties and replacement of Slingboxes to the satisfaction of customers or be referred to a third-party mediator and comply with its decisions, the district attorney's office said.
Sling Media agreed to the findings and to pay $195,000 in penalties and costs without acknowledging wrongdoing or liability, and the firm cooperated in resolving the case, the district attorney's office said.
The company's Slingbox product permits users to watch content on their home televisions remotely on personal computers, tablets or smartphones that are connected to the Internet, according to Slide Media's website.
The consumer protection suit alleged "that consumers who purchased the Slingbox complained that the company failed to honor its representations" about warranties and product services, the district attorney's office said.
The state consumer affairs office and the district attorney's office conducted a joint investigation into consumer complaints about Sling Media's business practices, the district attorney's office said.
A spokesman for Sling Media could not be reached today for comment.