FTC refunds unlikely for bedbug-product settlement

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Consumers who were duped into buying a bedbug-removal product likely won’t receive any of the $4.7 million refund that Federal Trade Commission ordered a company to pay as part of a settlement.

In September 2012, FTC charged Chemical Free Solutions and company owner David Glassel with making deceptive claims about its cedar-oil-based bedbug and lice remedies and their capability to treat bedbug and lice infestations.

On July 16, 2013, FTC ordered Glassel and his company to pay a penalty of $4.7 million, which FTC would distribute to consumers who bought the product as part of a refund.

However, FTC tells Consumers Digest that neither Glassel nor the company can pay the fine, because neither has enough money. FTC says Glassel filed for bankruptcy. The agency suspended the judgment against Chemical Free Solutions because the company was incapable of paying; FTC says it’s unlikely that the agency ever will collect the money.

It’s unclear how much each consumer would have received from the refund. Most consumers purchased products that cost $30, FTC says.