Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) remind consumers who purchased Skechers rocker-bottom shoes to apply for their slice of the recent $40 million settlement.
In May, Indiana along with the FTC and 43 other states filed a settlement with Skechers USA, Inc. for falsely claiming its shoes caused consumers to lose weight. Those who purchased the company's line of Shape-ups, Tone-ups or Resistance Runners after Aug. 1, 2008, are eligible to obtain a partial refund.
Consumers can apply for a refund by visiting www.skecherssettlement.com or calling 866-325-4186. According to the FTC, hundreds of thousands of claims have already been submitted, but no refunds will be distributed until after the claims period ends – a date that has not yet been determined.
“Settlements between companies and the states can provide unique opportunities for consumers who feel they have been ripped off to receive full or partial refunds,” Zoeller said. “Hoosiers should know that submitting a claim is easy and free.”
A separate settlement was reached with RealNetworks, Inc. which is an online digital services company that offers subscriptions to games, video and music through free trial offers. According to the agreement between the company and the state of Washington, customers nationwide signed up for free trials, but were unknowingly signed up and charged for monthly subscriptions via pre-checked boxes on the online sign-up form. The settlement provides for a $2 million claims-based pool to provide full restitution for consumers who were victimized.
Indiana consumers can make a claim if, at any time between Jan. 1, 2007 and Dec. 31, 2009, they were enrolled in one of RealNetworks’ paid subscription products and contend that the enrollment occurred without their consent or knowledge. Paid subscription products included in this program are SuperPass, GamePass, FunTicket, FunPass and Rhapsody.
Also, consumers are eligible for a refund if they contacted RealNetworks’ customer service representatives to cancel a subscription to one of the products, but were unsuccessful, resulting in unwanted charges after the cancellation attempt.
Consumers who were unknowingly signed up should receive an email or postcard indicating that they are eligible for a refund. Consumers who believe they are eligible should visit www.realnetworksrestitution.com to submit a claim before the Aug. 22 deadline.
Zoeller said consumers who shop online should be cautious when signing up for free trial offers and read the fine print carefully. Many companies offer free trials which can rapidly result in monthly charges – unless consumers take quick action.