For press inquiries or to schedule an interview with the Attorney General please contact:
503-378-6002 or Michael.C.Kron@doj.state.or.us
About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced the filing of a settlement agreement with a California weight control supplement manufacturer/retailer after receiving 15 consumer complaints concerning its sales and billing practices. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) filed in Marion County Circuit Court is Obesity Research Institute, LLC, doing business as Propolene. The AVC admits no law violation.
"Enticed by television advertisements and solicitations on the Internet, Oregonians purchased Propolene hoping to lose weight at the touted price," Myers explained. "Not only did consumers receive more pills than they claimed they ordered but also at a higher price than advertised."
Under the agreement, the company is permanently enjoined from advertising any product in Oregon without clearly and conspicuously, prior to any sale, disclosing all costs to consumers and all material terms and from debiting consumers' bank accounts or charging their credit cards for amounts greater than advertised without obtaining a third party verification of the amounts and dates to be charged.
The company also must reimburse consumers who have requested refunds in the past two years through credit card or debit card credit, reversal of charges and any other means of credit or payment. They also agreed to report reimbursements to the Oregon Department of Justice.
The company paid $4,000 into the Justice Consumer Protection and Education Fund for attorney fees.
Consumers wanting more information on the Propolene settlement or consumer protection in general may call the Attorney General's hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
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