Release Date: August 21, 2020
Media Contact: Ti Gauger, Public Information Officer, (608) 224-5007, Ti.Gauger@wisconsin.gov
MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the Federal Trade Commission have sent letters warning Elite Hearing Centers of America about misleading advertisements and social media posts that suggested the company could provide government stimulus money to customers to purchase their hearing aids.
Newspaper advertisements made in the State of Wisconsin raised concerns the company was fraudulently advertising that Wisconsin consumers viewing the advertisement were eligible to receive up to $3,000 to purchase hearing aids through a non-existent “COVID-19 hearing healthcare stimulus program."
The letters highlight claims made in the advertisements including language like “COVID-19 HEARING HEALTHCARE STIMULUS PROGRAM" and “Receive up to $3000 through our HEALTHCARE STIMULUS PROGRAM. Must register by July 31."
Under Wis. Stat. § 100.18, it is illegal to make any assertion, representation, or statement of fact that is untrue, deceptive or misleading with the intent to sell anything. The letters warn the recipients to cease making all deceptive claims and also instruct them to notify the FTC and State of Wisconsin within 48 hours about the specific actions they have taken to address the concerns raised in the letters.
The Bureau of Consumer Protection works to protect and educate consumers and promote a fair marketplace. You can learn more about important consumer protection topics from the Consumer Factsheets found online at datcp.wi.gov
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