The Federal Trade Commission is sending payments totaling more than $973,000 to 17,064 people who lost money after NutraClick LLC automatically enrolled them in unwanted membership programs for supplements and beauty products and misled consumers about when they had to cancel trial memberships to avoid monthly charges.
The FTC will begin sending payments today by check. Consumers who get a check should cash it within 90 days. Recipients who have questions about their payment can call the refund administrator, Analytics, at 844-735-1139, or browse answers to frequently asked questions about FTC refunds. The Commission never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a payment.
In 2016, NutraClick agreed to settle the FTC’s complaint alleging that it lured consumers with “free” samples of supplements and beauty products and then violated the law by charging them a recurring monthly fee without their consent. The settlement required NutraClick to clearly and conspicuously disclose the terms of its recurring membership programs going forward.
In September 2020, the FTC filed another complaint against the company, alleging it violated federal law and the 2016 settlement order by misleading consumers about when they had to cancel their free trial memberships to avoid monthly charges. The defendants agreed to pay $1.04 million for consumer refunds and are banned from such negative option marketing.
The Commission’s interactive dashboards for refund data provide a state-by-state breakdown of refunds in FTC cases. In 2021, Commission actions led to more than $472 million in refunds to consumers across the country, but these refunds were the result of cases resolved before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that the Commission lacks authority under Section 13(b) to seek monetary relief in federal court. Because of that ruling, the Commission no longer has its strongest tool to return money to consumers, and it will become harder to provide refunds to consumers harmed by deceptive and unfair conduct. The Commission has urged Congress to restore its ability to get money back for consumers.