Skechers Ordered to Refund Duped Customers

Are you one of those schlubs discerning consumers who bought Skechers Shape-Up shoes only to find that your butt and abs weren’t any more toned than before you started wearing them? Don’t worry. You didn’t do anything wrong. Sketchers lied to you.

Well, they “mislead” you. At least they did according to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has recently mailed refund checks to people who shelled out actual, physical money for those egg-shaped abominations.

A while back, the FTC found that ads for Sketchers Shape-Ups made unsubstantiated claims, including that the shoes would help you lose weight and that they would strengthen basically the entire lower half of your body.

Skechers didn’t overhype just Shape-Ups; the FTC alleges that the company also made deceptive claims about its Resistance Runner, Toners and Tone-ups shoes. Last year, the company agreed to pay $40 million in refunds to people who bought the shoes. Now the FTC is sending out refund checks to those effected.

This is just another example of how we need to be critical of extraordinary claims that lack extraordinary proof. It doesn’t take a lot of searching to find people who will use unscrupulous tactics to make money off our pain and insecurities. And while silly-looking shoes may seem frivolous, uncritical thinking can be really dangerous.

For example, last year a Florida court ordered that the marketers of a bogus alcoholism “cure” pay $700,000 to those they duped. Not only was the cure bogus, but when customers decided to cancel, they were threatened with the exposure of their alcoholism.

That’s pretty bad, but there is worse. There are people out there who will actually claim to treat your cancer with completely unproven medications and techniques.

I find these people morally reprehensible. Whether the unscrupulous people are peddling crappy shoes and toxin-sucking footpads or miraculous alcoholism and cancer cures, they are taking advantage of people. It’s encouraging when companies are held responsible for their horrible behavior. I just wish it happened more often.

Image credit: Flickr

Photo Credit: Ehsan


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

Oh brother... ads are LIES, nothing more nothing less...

pam w.
pam w4 years ago

It's a dilemma, isn't it? What's the responsibility of manufacturers and advertisers? There have always been ''snake oil'' salesmen, people peddling ''natural cures'' and ''miracle face creams."

What's the responsibility of the maker or the consumer? How much responsibility should the government have?

Is there a difference between fraudulent marketing of shoes and medicines? I'll bet most people would say the government should monitor drug companies but others will scream that the government has no business monitoring makers of drugs OR underwear.

Where to draw the line?

Kay Redmon
Kay Redmon4 years ago

While I do feel sorry for those who were misled by the advertising of these shoes, they really should think, before they part with their hard earned money. You are what you eat & no shoes, however good they claim to be will make you lose weight. Put on a pair of old joggers & walk a couple of miles every day & don't go home & reward yourself with soda, chocolate's & the like. You are what you eat...Diet sensibly. The same applies to those who claim to cure alcoholics, don't drink & you will never become an alcoholic. The worst of all however, are those that prey on the chronically ill, people who are desperate enough to try anything. These creeps that promise the earth & deliver nothing, but more misery. Researchers world wide are constantly working on a cure for cancer, if there was a breakthrough in the treatment of cancer, Dr's & hospitals would be shouting from the roof tops..
Advertisement in most forms is not true, if they cut down one one thing in a product so they can advertise it as being 99% fat free (example), you can bet your life it's loaded with sugar or salt to make up for the claim. You do have to be very vigilant about the ads & what they claim to be..Common sense is needed at all times, these people are trained to fool you with the slick ads & fast talk....Beware..

Liza Recto
Liza R4 years ago

Waah, waah. Did these people really think they could get rid of something so quickly, that took them years to get? Instead, they get refunds that they'll likely spend on ice cream or fatty fast foods. And Miss Townsend, the past tense of mislead is misled; and it's "those affected", not 'effected." Actually they weren't affected, they're just suckers. They might've seen some effects if they'd exercised and eaten less.

Margaret Garside
Margaret Garside4 years ago

When these shoes hit the market, fitness experts and orthopedists said they wouldn't do anything that walking a couple of miles in regular walking shoes wouldn't do. Wasn't anyone
paying attention?

Ruhee B.
Ruhee B4 years ago

Well said Syd H!

Nan Birkholz
Nanci B4 years ago

How anybody can believe in such a fairytale is beyond comprehension. Buy shoes and get great butt ? Refunds, no; reality check, yes !

Lisa Zarafonetis
Lisa Z4 years ago

Call or write the Skechers company. duh.

Lisa Zarafonetis
Lisa Z4 years ago

Well, how does 1 go about attempting to get a refund on such shoes?!?!

Filia Lunae
Filia Lunae4 years ago

I worked for Skechers for 3years, i love to listen to people who think they know what they are talking about lol I agree with very few things in this article because I KNOW what happened I had to deal with all the customers coming back screaming at me thinking I was a bad person.... People are rude. I could waste my time and go through a whole list of what ACTUALLY happened with this shoe but ill leave it to the people who bought one put a gun to your head and said "buy these" blame yourself for lack of research skills