The Snuggie company has long gotten away with advertising cut fleece robes as a next level innovation to traditional blankets. Allstar Marketing Group, LLC is repaying millions of dollars to its customers for misleading commercials, and these settlements are even affecting customers outside of the ones who purchased a Snuggie. Allstar agreed to pay $7.5 million in damages to former customers for the violation, as well as $500,000 to the Attorney General's office to cover fees, costs, and the settlement of that action.
Allstar Marketing Group, LLC, which sells products beyond the Snuggie such as Magic Mesh, the Wonder Bible, and the Reheatza, was proven to have used the deceptive "buy-one-get-one-free" tactic to hide additional costs that weren't advertised on television. The tactic led to consumers getting charged well over the amount advertised in the product's commercial on television, and oftentimes customers accidentally ordered more of the product than they wanted to due to the confusing sales pitch. The FTC noted in the case of Magic Mesh, the price would jump so high that the initial television price of $19.95 would elevate to $35.85 after the caller actually placed their order.
Consumer woes with Allstar didn't stop there, as callers were faced with a barrage of attempts to get them to purchase more products by an automated voice service. More often than not, the only way to the customer could decline purchasing these products was to remain silent. The calls would also redirect callers to other third-party sellers and would not review the items the consumer had purchased or give the total amount the had paid. The FTC even found instances where sales reps completed a transaction despite the consumer hanging up to end the transaction, which obviously wasn't a good look for Allstar. Online complaints about the company touched on largely the same issues, with upsells and undisclosed fees still happening without a telephone in the mix. Perhaps not surprisingly, the FTC also found that Allstar rarely honored its "30-day money back guarantee" in full and made refunds very difficult to obtain.
There is a silver lining for Snuggie fans, as the FTC issued a set of corrective actions Allstar must follow going forward in addition to the hefty fine it paid. The company has been instructed to disclose the full cost of its products, disclose to consumers that the purpose of a sales call is to promote further sales, and ensure that express consent is obtained before transactions are made using the customer's billing information. Obviously, these are things that Allstar should have been doing to begin with, but now that they're on the FTC's radar, hopefully, the company will fall in line.
Television's midseason is in full swing and there are plenty of new and returning shows popping up in between "As Seen On TV" ads. Keep up with the latest and greatest of upcoming television by visiting our midseason premiere guide.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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