How to Report TracFone for False Advertising

Are you frustrated because the ads for something didn’t paint an accurate picture? Maybe you lost money on a recent purchase or contract and now you want to know how to report TracFone for false advertising. We guide you through it.

What is False Advertising?

False advertising or marketing is a situation where a company has given you incorrect, false, or misleading information about their products or services (usually to get you to make a purchase). 

The FTC defines false advertising below:

Sourced from the FTC with creative input from FairShake.

There are rules that govern false advertising, what a company can and cannot do and these exist at the state and federal level in the form of consumer protection laws. Most of the laws at each level are governed by The Federal Trade Commission Act, which established the FTC in 1914. The FTC has the power to respond to complaints about false advertising from individuals or businesses, as outlined in the US legal code.

Note: No one actually needs to be misled for a court to find that an advertisement is misleading.

What Are the Different Types of False Advertising?

Sourced from the FTC with creative input from FairShake.

The FTC categorizes a lot of different types of false advertising and just because there isn’t a category doesn’t mean there isn’t a chance for the FTC to get involved. Some of the most common include things like posting false reviews from fake customers or false scientific claims about a product with no scientific evidence. 

TracFone False Advertising Scandals 

In 2015 TracFone paid 40 million dollars to reimburse their customers as part of a deceptive advertisement lawsuit. The FTC alleged that TracFone offered unlimited data plans for their new customers who purchased prepaid $45 per month plans but in reality as soon as users hit over 3 gigabytes of data use their service would slow down or be throttled and once they have 4 or 5 GB it would be cut off entirely. The lawsuit indicated that Netflix estimates 1 GB is used for every hour of video streaming which means that customers who thought they were purchasing an unlimited amount of data could barely get through half a season of any television show. These plans were advertised in 2009 but it wasn’t until 2013 that they began to advertise no limits. The terms of this FTC settlement is that the 40 million dollars would be refunded to those customers who were affected. 

In one legal case, TracFone was charged with multiple infractions including unfair competition and false advertising in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1125.

What to Do If You See TracFone False Advertising in Action

If you notice that TracFone is using false advertising, you can report it even if you or anyone you know was not affected by the false advertising. It is still up to people like you to report them so that the FTC can investigate the severity of the issue and take necessary action. Start by submitting a consumer complaint to the FTC. The FTC will follow up in the most appropriate way. You can also submit a complaint to TruthinAdvertising.org where it will go public.

But, if you were wronged by false advertising, then rules which stipulate how you can get compensation will depend on your state’s laws related to Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices.

What can happen to TracFone?

The FTC can issue a variety of penalties to TracFone from a simple letter demanding that they fix the ads in question (especially common if they used false advertising without meaning to) to a significant fine. 

Affected by False Advertising? Here’s What You Can Do

But a fine doesn’t necessarily land in your pocket. This just means that if you lost money because of TracFone and false advertising, your options for compensation include reaching out to TracFone customer service, and see if they are willing to give you compensation but chances are, it won’t be that easy or something even easier: Consumer arbitration

Consumer arbitration is usually faster and less expensive than going to court. However there is still paperwork and deadlines. That’s where we can help. FairShake helps you navigate the consumer arbitration process, from filing your claim to getting the resolution you deserve.

Tell us about your complaint and we’ll help you get a fair resolution.

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