Thursday, 29 September 2011

Reebok Refund

Reebok refund involves its toning shoes, which federal government says were deceptively advertised. The size of the Reebok refund could be up to $100 for a pair of shoes, about what consumers paid for them.

If you bought Reebok’s EasyTone walking shoes, flip flops, or apparel, or any of its other toning shoes, you’re eligible for a refund.

Business Consumer Protection Sports Advertising It’s not clear how big the refund will be because, among other things, the Canton, Mass., company doesn’t know how many consumers will submit claims. Reebok said Wednesday it was setting aside $25 million to settle false-advertising charges from the federal government.

For example: The refund for shoes could be less than $50 or up to $100, depending on how the money works out. Since Reebok originally sold the shoes for $80 to $100 a pair, a big refund could mean no net cost for the toning shoes.

Similarly, people who bought EasyTone pants could get less than $40 or up to $80; the EasyTone tops could be less than $25 or up to $50.

The specific shoes eligible for a refund are: EasyTone, RunTone, TrainTone, JumpTone, SimplyTone, SlimTone, as well as the EasyTone Flip. The apparel eligible for a refund are: EasyTone capri, pants, shorts, long bra top, sleeveless shirt, and short sleeve top.

The refund comes as a result of Federal Trade Commission charges that the company deceptively advertised its toning shoes as providing extra tone and strength to leg and buttock muscles. The FTC said the claims were unsupported.

“The FTC wants national advertisers to understand that they must exercise some responsibility and ensure that their claims for fitness gear are supported by sound science,” David Vladeck, head of the commission’s bureau of consumer protection, said in a statement.

Reebok says its settlement was a business decision made to avoid a protracted legal battle. It does not agree with the FTC’s allegations.

“We fully stand behind our EasyTone technology – the first shoe in the toning category inspired by balance-ball training,” the company said in a statement. “We have received overwhelmingly enthusiastic feedback from thousands of EasyTone customers, and we remain committed to the continued development of our EasyTone line of products.”

But under the settlement, Reebok can no longer advertise the items as strengthening or toning muscles, can’t refer to its tests, which claimed a 28 percent increase in strength and tone in buttock muscles and an 11 percent increase in various leg muscles. Reebok says its retailers will remove all marketing materials that refer to toning and strengthening, muscle activation, quantified percentage claims, and improvements in posture.

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