As the result of an FTC lawsuit, Publishers Clearing House has agreed to pay $18.5 million to provide refunds. Not every Publishers Clearing House customer will be eligible for a refund.
What was the lawsuit about?
According to the lawsuit, Publishers Clearing House:
- misled people about how to enter the sweepstakes drawings
- made them believe that a purchase was necessary to win or would increase their chances of winning
- made them believe that their sweepstakes entries were incomplete, even when they were not
- sent emails with deceptive subject lines that led people to click on links and waste time and money. For example, subject lines like “High Priority Doc. W-34 Issued” and “W-19 Notice – Step 3 of 3 INCOMPLETE” made people believe the email was related to a tax form or official requirement, when it was not
- added surprise shipping and handling fees that increased the cost of customer orders by an average of 40%
- and charged customers shipping fees to return products, despite making claims that the ordering process was “risk-free.”
How do I apply for a refund?
The FTC plans to provide more information about the refund process soon. We will post updates here. You don't need to contact the FTC to receive a refund.
Remember, the FTC never asks you to pay to get a refund. Don't pay anyone who promises you a refund in exchange for a fee. And don’t provide personal information to anyone who contacts you promising a refund. For more information about how the FTC provides refunds, please review our related FAQs.
For now, you can: