FTC Sending Refund Checks to Consumers Allegedly Misled by “Free” Trial Offers for UrthBox Snack Boxes
The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 2,221 refund checks totaling over $84,000 to consumers who signed up to receive a supposedly free snack box from UrthBox, Inc., but were charged automatically for six months of shipments because they did not opt out before the end of the month.
From October 2016 to November 2017, UrthBox offered a “free” trial of its snack boxes on its websites for a nominal shipping and handling fee. During that time, however, the company used both desktop and mobile websites that did not adequately disclose key terms of the offer, including that UrthBox would charge consumers the total amount owed for six months of shipments if they did not cancel in time.
In addition, the FTC’s complaint alleged that UrthBox misrepresented that positive consumer reviews on the Better Business Bureau’s and other third-party websites reflected the independent experiences or opinions of impartial consumers, even though the reviewers were offered free snack boxes in exchange for posting positive reviews.
The April 2019 administrative order settling the FTC’s complaint barred the respondents from engaging in similar conduct and required them to pay $100,000 to the Commission to compensate consumers who were charged after signing up for the trial offer.
Analytics, Inc., the refund administrator for this matter, will begin mailing checks today. The average check amount is $37.94, and it must be cashed within 60 days, as indicated on the check. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information to cash refund checks. Consumers who have questions about the mailing should call 1-844-954-1251.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.