Residents who filed a refund claim for Skechers toning shoes should be receiving a $34 check soon for each pair they purchased a few years ago, as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.
The BMC Group, which is the court-approved settlement administrator, will be distributing the checks over the next few months, Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper recently announced.
Nationwide, 509,175 checks will be issued to consumers from a $38 million settlement fund. Officials estimate thousands of the toning shoes were purchased in Tennessee, although not everyone filed refund claims.
The checks must be cashed on or before Thursday, Oct. 10.
“I am pleased consumers are receiving refunds and want to encourage consumers to cash their Skechers refund checks before the October deadline,” Cooper said.
The announcement follows settlements reached with Skechers USA Inc. and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as a group of 42 other states led by Tennessee and Ohio attorneys general, through a class action lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed in response to complaints made to the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance regarding the validity of claims made by Sketchers that the shoes benefited consumers' health.
The agreements resolve the alleged deceptive advertising complaints against Skechers, one of the largest shoe manufacturers in the country. Under the settlements, the refunds were allocated for consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runners and made claims – the largest such pool in history for an advertising substantiation case.
As part of the settlements, Skechers paid an additional $5 million to the states.
The multistate lawsuit alleged Skechers made health-related claims in the marketing, packaging, advertising, offering, and selling of its line of rocker-bottom shoe products including Shape-ups, Tone-ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runner that were not adequately substantiated at the time the claims were made.
Specifically, the lawsuit alleged Sketchers advertisements claimed its rocker-bottom shoe products caused consumers to lose weight, burn calories, improve circulation, fight cellulite, and firm, tone or strengthen thigh, buttock, and back muscles.
Skechers did not admit any wrongdoing and denied the factual allegations asserted in the attorney general's complaint.
In light of the announcement, Cooper took the opportunity to remind consumers to contact the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs if they have any complaints about unsubstantiated health or advertising claims made by companies.
For more information, residents are asked to call 1-800-342-8385 or visit at www.tn.gov.