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Refund checks sent out for dubious weight-loss shoes

  • Blog Post by: Jane Friedmann
  • July 11, 2013 - 1:09 PM

Consumers who filed refund requests following a $40 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit against Skechers USA, Inc. should expect a check in the mail soon, the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday.

The lawsuit alleged that Skechers deceptively advertised its toning shoes, namely Shape-ups, Resistance Runner, Toners and Tone-ups shoes. The shoes sold for about $60 to $100 dollars.

The company made "unfounded claims that its Shape-ups shoes would help people lose weight, and strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs and abdominal muscles," the FTC said.

According to a complaint filed by the FTC in 2012, the company's advertising claims included:

"Get in shape without setting foot in a gym."

"Shape-ups will help you lose weight and improve your circulation, creating a healthier you!"

"... once my Skechers Shape-ups are on snug and comfy, I'm toning my muscles, strengthening my core, burning calories."

The FTC also alleged in the complaint that clinical studies conducted for Skechers, upon which some advertising claims were made, used faulty methods. Two of the studies were conducted by a chiropractor who was married to a senior vice president of marketing at Skechers. One study lasted only six weeks, had only eight participants and included no control group, the complaint said. Another study allegedly included falsified data.

The settlement administrator will begin mailing the 509,175 refund checks on Friday. The checks must be cashed by October 10. The deadline for filing a refund request has passed.

 

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