2018 Annual Report on Refunds to Consumers

Refund Programs Administered by FTC Defendants and Other Federal Agencies

FTC staff also provides consultation and support for FTC cases where the court order requires the defendants—or another federal agency—to conduct a refund program. Only in rare circumstances do FTC settlements result in refund programs administered by defendants or another federal agency. When the FTC determines that this is in the best interest of the affected consumers, the Enforcement Division engages in close oversight and monitoring of the program to ensure it complies with the order. In these cases, FTC staff provides guidance about the proposed refund program to make sure eligible claimants receive plain language instructions about how to apply for a refund.

The FTC creates and maintains webpages for each FTC-related refund program, including those that are not administered by the FTC. This year, there were more than a million visits to these refund pages. A chart that links to all current FTC refund programs is available at www.ftc.gov/refunds, which is designed to help consumers verify that the check they have received is legitimate and to answer common questions. This year, the FTC assisted with five programs that are being administered by the defendant or another federal agency. Here are the details:

Case NameTotal Dollars Refunded
Between July 1, 2017 and
June 30, 2018
URLPage views
Volkswagen$2,217,990,327https://www.ftc.gov/vwsettlement32,269
NetSpend$7,500,0007https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds/netspend-refunds-027,142
Amazon8$3,672,665https://www.ftc.gov/amazon31,589
Pact$948,788https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/152-3010/pact-inc1,260
AdoreMe$677,243https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/162-3153/adoreme-inc2,150

7The approximate amount of refunds provided by NetSpend includes refunds distributed from April-October 2017. An additional FTC refund program for NetSpend was implemented in September 2018.

8Amazon distributed these refunds as a result of a court-ordered claims process.