Here at Consumerist, we’re constantly writing about online frauds, scams and misleading deals. But for all our writing, we’re not a federal agency. That’s where the Federal Trade Commission comes in. The good folks over at the FTC have just put together a short video demonstrating how easy it is for you to file a complaint with them on their site or over the phone. [More]
Subway spokesman and occasional thin guy Jared Fogle may soon be out of work thanks to a new FTC rule banning commercial testimonials that warn “results not typical” or “individual results may vary.” Under the new rule, marketers using, say, body builders to advertise weight loss pills are also going to have to show an average lardass whose results might be more typical. You can guess how advertisers are reacting to the change…
The Federal Trade Commission has charged Wintergreen Systems, an Indiana-based electronics reseller owned by John Levy, with failing to honor mail-in-rebate offers for thousands of customers. The FTC’s conditions for settling the lawsuit require Levy and his company to “be barred from any involvement in the development, marketing, fulfillment, or funding of any rebate program.” There’s also a $330,000 judgment, which the company will not have to pay (more on that below). Both Wintergreen Systems and its parent company, Market Development Specialists (MDS), resold electronics through companies like Office Depot, PC Connection, Buy.com, PCMall, and Woot.com.
We’re sorry, but there is no cure for cancer. The FTC is going after eleven companies that claim otherwise by selling potions, herbs, and a “systematized program of thinking good thoughts” masquerading as cures. You shouldn’t need a federal agency to tell you that the “Miracle Water for Cancer” doesn’t actually cure anything, nor does it reverse weight gain and aging. Bummer. Six of the snake oil companies agreed to settle, but five will crawl before a judge and argue that they can cure cancer. Let’s look at the list…
Consumers Reported 69,204 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Violations. FTC Responds With One (1) Lawsuit
Consumers have filed over 69,000 complaints against scummy debt collectors for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, prompting the FTC to rush to our collective defense by taking action against three debt collectors who showed a “culture of harassing the debtors from which they collect.” Two debt collectors settled and one went to court. Still, when you receive over 69,000 complaints—and these are from the people who know to complain to the FTC—it’s reasonable to assume that more than three collectors encourage a culture of harassment. More harrowing revelations from the FTC’s annual report to Congress, after the jump.
Retailers love gift cards. They get your money up front, so they can earn interest on your “deposit.” Cards bring customers into the store, where they often spend more than gift card value. Other consumers will forget they have the card, and the retailer keeps the money without selling anything. Nice margins!
Is the FTC just a bunch of secretaries with really big filing cabinets?
Registering an official gripe against a company need not involve a trip to the post office. The Federal Trade Commission has an online form you can use, too.
This charming, animated, Mother’s Day e-card brought to you by the Federal Trade Commission.
Victims of identity theft numbered an estimated 3.6 million in 2004, according to a new report by the Justice Department.