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Frankly Speaking employee speaks out

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October 2, 2003

Albany - An Albany woman says even though lots of people are complaining about her business practices, she's done nothing wrong. Donna Morse is connected to businesses called Frankly Speaking, Shop Local and Plasticash. She and her father also operated a now-defunct paint ball facility in Tifton.

People have complained that Morse is responsible for unauthorized charges on their credits cards or that they were stiffed when doing business with some of her other companies.

Morse also heads up New Leaf Transitional House in Albany. She says, "Everything we've done is legal." This week, she's been in the news for several other business ventures. She adds, "As soon as we found out we were not in total compliance we said right away what we do and how do we get into total compliance?"

First, the Secretary of State ordered her and her father to stop charging drug program donations to people's credit cards without their permission. They were operating a company called Frankly Speaking. She explains, "You first must to listen to the complete and entire message. If you hang up before the last word you are not charged, it's over, you're deleted."

When asked how she got credit card numbers, Morse says, "Um, they were through a joint venture agreement through a company called Practical Marketing."

Former employees tell us that when consumers challenged the charges, they were refunded, but refund checks bounced. Morse pulls out a pile of refund receipts and adds, "These are refunds being made. Sorry a former employee misled you, sorry we do our refunds."

Then there's Paintball City in Tifton, it shut down. Morse says, "But everything that was left unpaid is either has been paid or is being paid."

Members say they never got a heads up. When asked about a former employee, Corey Preston, we interviewed Tuesday, Morse says, "He was strictly a volunteer."

Preston says that's not the case. He was never told he was working for free. The warehouse owner says he's out nearly $21,000 of unpaid rent.

In spite of her work with these other businesses, Morse says her primary concern is the transitional home and she hopes all these complaints don't hurt its future.

No charges have been filed against Morse or Lasker.

posted at 5:30PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com