June 06, 2012
In response to claims that the shoe company, Sketchers, misled consumers who purchased their line of “Shape-Up” sneakers, the manufacturer has agreed to pay approximately $40 million in damages to consumers that purchased the shoes. Additionally, the company states that it will accommodate those that no longer have a proof of purchase for their shoes.
According to the LA Times, customers who purchased the shoes are being asked to fill out a questionnaire on the company’s website with details about the purchase. Those filing for a refund will then sign documents stating that their statement is truthful, and a part of the purchase price of the shoes will be returned with no questions asked.
Consumer advocacy groups point out that the payout is just a small fraction of the profits that the company made on the shoes. Estimates show that Sketchers made more than $1 billion in sales in 2010 alone. Due to this fact, it is unclear whether or not the settlement will act as a deterrent to false advertising by big businesses.
A spokesman for Sketchers argued that $40 million is significantly more than the $25 million that Reebok, another shoe manufacturer, was forced to pay several years ago after facing similar claims.