Starting April 30, an administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission will mail more than 140,000 refund checks totaling about $6 million to consumers who bought certain “For Women Only” brand dietary supplements from TV home shopping channel QVC, Inc. Last year, QVC settled charges that it violated a 2000 FTC order by falsely claiming that the supplements would cause consumers to lose substantial amounts of weight and would allow them to eat fatty and high-carbohydrate foods without increasing their body fat. QVC was required to pay $6 million for consumer refunds as the result of a settlement agreement approved by the court in March 2009.
The amounts of the refund checks were determined by the amount consumers spent on these products, with the average check totaling about $40. These are legitimate checks, and the FTC urges consumers to cash them. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money up-front or provide additional information before they cash redress checks issued to them.
In addition to requiring QVC to pay $6 million for consumer refunds, the March 2009 settlement required the company to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty.
The QVC refund checks are valid for 60 days from the date they are issued. A special phone line has been set up to handle questions about the refunds. Consumers should call 1-888 257-9567 for further information.
For more information about the case, see the court documents and news release regarding the settlement at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/03/infomercials.shtm.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.
(FTC File No. X04-0057)