12 ON YOUR SIDE: Solicitation warning

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The BBB and the State Corporation Commission issued recent warnings about sending money to an agency called 'Corporate Records Service', after offers showed up in mailboxes at local businesses.

Local businessman Kevin Blunt, owner of Atlee Electrical Corporation, called to tell me he got one of those solicitations.

Blunt says he was getting ready for vacation. He gathered up his bills, including the questionable mailing, and paid them.

Blunt runs Atlee Electrical Corporation with his wife. He's upset with the unsolicited mailing he got from Corporate Records Service.

"Everything they're doing is misleading, even down to the color of the envelope," said Blunt. "The government used green envelopes. Why don't these people use white envelopes?"

The documents, he says, are nearly identical to government forms he fills out for his small business every year and files with the State Corporation Commission for free - but there is a disclaimer that says this is not a government document.

"There's a lot of things in this world that are legal, but there's a lot of things that are immoral and unethical, and that's this," said Blunt.

The BBB calls it a sneaky solicitation. The address on Staples Mill Road is nothing more than a UPS mail drop location.

The SCC issued a warning after many complaints. It recommends calling a lawyer, or calling them if you get a solicitation.

There appears to be confusion over an offer to prepare company minutes for a price, with the legal requirement to file a yearly report with the state, which is free.

"They're not giving me any additional information," said Blunt. "They're not doing anything for me. They just printed up something I already had and sent it to me and you know, $125 for nothing."

Blunt discovered he still must file papers with the state. He requested his money back from the company and was told, return the book and he'll get his money.

"I kept the book work, because I knew I would be talking to you. I will send it back. I have no expectations. Maybe I will get it back, and maybe not," said Blunt.

Blunt called to tell me, he did get his $125 refund from Corporate Records Service. They sent back the money.

I reached out to the company by phone for comment but haven't heard anything. In a previous story, we tried but couldn't get a comment either.

We were told there was no manager available to respond to the media.

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