FTC Says Company Selling Green Coffee Extract Willingly Deceived Customers
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claims that a company selling green coffee supplements willingly deceived customers and debited funds from their accounts without their knowledge.
A complaint filed by the FTC says that Health Formulas, LLC used deceptive tactics to trick consumers into providing their credit and debit card information to enroll them into a program that automatically sends them products each month. Customers were not aware that they were being enrolled in the program and did not give authorization to have their accounts debited each month to pay for the products. The company allegedly failed to provide the disclosures required for this type of program, failed to provide a way for consumers to stop the automatic charges, and also failed to disclose material facts about their refund and cancellation policy.
The cost of these weight loss products range from $60 to $120 per month and customers were sometimes sold additional products that cost between $7.95 and $60.
The company used telemarketing, and Internet, print, radio, and television advertisements to pitch a variety of dietary supplements and other weight-loss, virility, muscle-building, or skin cream products. The company claimed its products could burn fat without diet or exercise. The FTC complaint also alleges that the company has no basis for these weight loss claims.
Last month, the FTC charged Applied Food Science for making similar claims about its green coffee products, which were endorsed by TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Health Formulas and its operators are also charged with continuously calling people on the National Do Not Call Registry even after they asked to be removed from their calling list.
A federal judge temporarily stopped the company from selling its dietary supplements while the case is ongoing.