The Federal Trade Commission is sending 176,028 checks, totaling more than $5.4 million, to consumers who were charged for “free trial” offers for cosmetics and weight loss supplements, including products called Amabella Allure, Adelina, Parisian Glow, and Tone Fire Garcinia.
Consumers who receive checks should cash them within 90 days, as indicated on the check. Recipients who have questions about their refund, or who didn’t receive a check and believe they may be eligible, should call the refund administrator, Rust Consulting, at 1-833-711-0291. The Commission never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund.
The FTC sued AH Media Group in September 2019, alleging that since at least April 2016, the company marketed supposedly “free trial” products with claims that the products promote younger-looking skin or weight loss. While the company claimed consumers would pay only a small shipping and handling fee for the trial, they buried the true cost behind “terms” links in small font and faded background text. After two weeks, the defendants charged unsuspecting consumers around $90 for the trial product and also enrolled them in unwanted subscription plans with additional monthly charges.
The FTC’s interactive dashboards for refund data provide a state-by-state breakdown of Commission refunds. In 2020, Commission actions led to more than $483 million in refunds to consumers across the country, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that the Commission lacks authority under Section 13(b) to seek monetary relief in federal court going forward. The Commission has urged Congress to restore the Commission’s ability to get money back for consumers.