If you purchased a Snuggie, Magic Mesh Door, or other “As Seen on TV” product marketed by Allstar Marketing Group within the last 20 years, you may be receiving a refund check very soon.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Monday that it is sending 218,254 consumers refund checks totaling $7.2 million, bringing resolution to claims Allstar deceptively marketing these products as “buy one, get one free” but never told customers about other hidden costs.
Allstar directly markets and sells – mainly through its commercials and infomercials – a host of products, including Magic Mesh, Cat’s Meow, Roto Punch, Perfect Tortilla, Forever Comfy, and Snuggies. According to Yahoo Finance, Allstar raked in over $500 million in gross revenue from its Snuggie products alone.
After receiving a slew of consumer complaints since 1999, the FTC filed a class action lawsuit against Allstar Marketing Group in March 2015. The complaint alleged that Allstar has engaged in a deceptive advertising scheme that allows them to illegally charge customers for more products they then initially wanted and intentionally makes the ordering process confusing for customers.
“The televised commercials for all of its products adhere to a nearly identical script,” FTC class action lawsuit stated, noting that all the products include a similar “buy one get one free” pitch. However, many of these commercials promoted the products for “just $19.95” and promised consumers the offer would be doubled for “less than $10 each.” But, those commercials never disclosed that a $7.95 processing and handling fee would be applied to each product in the order, which nearly doubled the total price to $35.85, according to the FTC’s complaint.
Essentially, when customers placed their orders via phone or online, they ended up paying more than they bargained for because these processing fees were deceptive and misleading – hidden in very fine print or never disclosed at all. Many customers didn’t even realize how much they were actually paying for the products until it was too late.
According to FTC regulations, businesses must disclose all costs, including processing and handling fees to customers. Under the terms of the settlement, Allstar is prohibited from engaging in deceptive advertising and must pay $7.5 million in restitution to consumers. Allstar maintains that it never violated any laws and is settling “without any finding” of such illegal conduct.
Consumers who purchased a Snuggie, Magic Mesh Door, or other Allstar-brand product can expect to receive a check this month for around $33 and will need to cash it within 60 days or it will become void.
If you have questions regarding the Allstar products deceptive BOGO free offer, you may contact the refund administrator, Analytics, at 1-877-982-1294.