Posted May 12, 2020

FTC Halts Deceptive Supplements & Cosmetics "Free Trial" Scheme

On May 8, 2020, the owners of AH Media Group, LLC agreed to halt their allegedly deceptive practice of luring consumers with supposed "free trial" offers for cosmetics and dietary supplements, then enrolling them in subscriptions and billing them without their consent. The company's owners pitched at least eight different product lines to customers, including weight loss supplements and products that promote younger-looking skin. As part of the settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the company is barred from misrepresenting trial offers and from charging consumers without express permission, and the defendants must pay $4,345,000.

According the FTC's complaint, AH Media Group, LLC and its subsidiary Zanelo, LLC used deceptive websites to offer "free trials" of various products for which consumers would have to pay only shipping costs, and after two weeks, would charge $90 for the same "trial" product and also enroll them in ongoing monthly subscription plans without their knowledge or consent.

The proposed order bans AH Media Group, LLC and its owners from making deceiving customers by charging them for products without express written consent. It also imposes a $74.5 million judgment against AH Media Group, LLC, which will be partially suspended after they pay $4,345,000. These funds may be used to refund consumers who were harmed by the company's allegedly misleading claims. 

See Related Recalls and Warnings:

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Joint Supplement Synovia Was Promoted With Phony Testimonials, Says FTC

Brain Supplement Claims to Treat Brain Injuries, Alzheimer's Are Deceptive, Says FTC

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