Vapor product company Vapex LLC, was targeted by the Division of Consumer Protection in 2014 for deceptive sales practices, which led to allegations that the company made unsubstantiated health benefit claims and charged consumers a recurring $99.95 each month after promising free product, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.
Vapex was cited for 329 counts of violations of two consumer protection acts and charged with more than $822,000 in fines. The company agreed to paying a smaller fine in the amount of $16,450 while agreeing to issue a hefty refund to unhappy customers to the tune of $93,397, the Tribune also reports.
In September of this year, the Division of Consumer Protection filed a new action against the company’s owners, claiming that the rebranded company, now operating under the new name 02PUR, broke many of the same laws in their marketing of vapor products. A repeat of what occurred just two years ago.
State regulators are now seeking to reinstate the original fines mounted against the company, which could potentially bring penalties against them totaling more than $900,000.
Laura Smith, legal director of Truth In Advertising, a non-profit geared towards protecting consumers against false and deceptive advertising, commended the state’s approach and tells the Tribune that the fines against the vapor product company are justified.
“This particular company was unique in that it was a repeat offender,” Smith said. “Utah had already gone after the executives of this company and told them to knock it off.”
She added, “The goal obviously is to quickly and completely get rid of the deceptive marketing and compensate the consumers who have been deceived.”
”We’re happy to see the state has investigated and taken a step in the right direction, but the goal is to get the deceptive marketing taken down.”
For more on this story click here for The Salt Lake Tribune article.