If you’re a fan of watching late-night TV, you’ve probably seen those “As Seen On TV” commercials where each item seems like something you need to buy. One of the most popular products was the Snuggie, a blanket-with-sleeves that’s perfect for long nights on the couch watching Netflix. In 10 years, Snuggie has sold over 30 million items and amassed over $500 million in profits.
However, if you handed over your hard-earned cash for a Snuggie (or two), you might have a check coming your way.
It turns out that Allstar Marketing Group, the company behind the Snuggie and other products, is being forced to pay $7.2 million in refunds due to misleading and fraudulent advertising.
Customers were under the impression that Allstar’s “buy one, get one free” deal meant just that. Products were advertised as $19.95 for both items. But according to the Federal Trade Commission complaint, the total cost amounted to $35.85 thanks to hidden process and handling fees. Clearly, this wasn’t a simple “buy one, get one free” transaction.
The company also purportedly used confusing automated answering systems that resulted in customers giving their billing information, whether or not they ultimately made a purchase.
Allstar makes other “As Seen On TV” products, including the Perfect Bacon Bowl, Magic Mesh Door, Perfect Brownie Pan, Cat’s Meow and Roto Punch. Customers who purchased those products through similar deals will also be refunded under the payout.
The FTC is mailing out 218,254 refund checks, funded by Allstar. According to Today.com, the average check will be about $33.
“The settlement also brings much needed reforms to a major firm in the direct marketing industry,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “Those who use small print and hidden fees to inflate charges to unwitting consumers must be held accountable.”
Who has purchased a Snuggie before? Was it worth the hype?