Scam of the day – July 19, 2013 – Skechers shoe refund

Over a year ago in an earlier Scam of the Day I told you about a settlement that was reached between the Federal Trade Commission and Skechers, a shoe manufacturer that claimed its fitness shoes could help people lose weight as well as strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs and abdominal muscles although there was no scientific evidence to support these claims.  Their advertising which features celebrity endorsers such as Brooke Burke, and Kim Kardashian, were quite convincing.  But it was all a scam.  Forty-three states and the FTC brought a lawsuit against Skechers that ended with a settlement in May of 2012 under the terms of which Skechers agreed to refund forty million dollars back to its customers.

TIPS

After more than a year, the FTC has received the forty million dollar payment from Skechers and is sending out by mail 509,175 refunds to people who bought Skechers’ Shape-ups shoes relying on the misleading and deceptive advertising.  If you filed a claim before the April 2013 deadline, your check should be forthcoming.  It must be cashed before October 10th.  If you have any questions about the refunds, you can call 866-425-3186 for further information.

A good lesson to us all is to be wary of celebrity endorsers.  Merely because a celebrity endorses a product does not mean that the product is effective even though there are strict FTC rules (often ignored) regulating celebrity endorsements.  It is also important to note that this is not an isolated incident.  Reebok paid twenty-five million dollars to the FTC in 2011 for deceptive advertisements in which it claimed that its EasyTone shoes would tone your buttocks.