The companies behind the Ab Circle Pro have agreed to pay as much as $25 million in refunds to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they made unsupported marketing claims. Consumers who purchased the abdominal exercise device can file a claim to receive a refund through the FTC’s Ab Circle Pro settlement.
According to the FTC, these unsupported advertising claims included the promise that using the Ab Circle Pro for just three minutes is equivalent to doing 100 sit ups and would “melt inches and pounds.” Testimonials featured in the infomercials claimed users had lost as much as 60 pounds by using the ab workout device. The complaint also charges the defendants with misrepresenting that using the Ab Circle Pro allowed pitchwoman Jennifer Nicole Lee to lose 80 pounds.
Specific claims cited by the FTC included that using the Ab Circle Pro:
- caused rapid or substantial weight and fat loss;
- resulted in loss of weight, fat, or inches in specific parts of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, buttocks, and thighs;
- provided fat loss and weight loss equivalent to, or better than, a much longer gym workout; and
- provided the same rapid and substantial weight loss that people who provided testimonials for the infomercial said they experienced.
The Ab Circle Pro was sold online, in stores, in one- and two-minute television commercials, and in print advertisements. Eligible consumers that purchased the product can apply for a refund at www.ftc.gov/bcp/cases/abcirclepro or fitnessbrands.action-settlement.com. The amount of your refund will depend on the number of claims submitted and approved.
UPDATE: The FTC posted the following update to their site in January 2014:
“The refund submission period is now closed, and the website is no longer accepting new refund requests. The FTC anticipates mailing partial refunds by June 2014. Consumers who have filed claims may contact the refund administrator, Analytics Consulting, LLC at 1-866-402-4752 to update their address, request additional updates not posted on the website, or for the status of their claim.”
UPDATE 2: On July 16, 2014, the FTC announced that the Settlement Administrator is mailing nearly 200,000 checks to consumers who purchased the Ab Circle Pro.
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