Publishers Clearing House Agrees to Settle with FTC

Feds brought a lawsuit against the company for deceptive practices and misleading marketing.

Publishers Clearing House (PCH) has agreed to pay a $18.5 million settlement after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit against the company for misleading consumers. The organization will also make significant changes to its online business practices under the agreement.

The FTC lawsuit stated that PCH used deceptive tactics, known as “dark patterns,” to mislead consumers into thinking they must make a purchase to enter the sweepstakes. The complaint alleges that PCH targeted older and lower-income individuals, added shipping and handling fees to product costs, and employed misleading emails as well as falsely claiming that orders were “risk free.“

“Today’s action requiring PCH to overhaul its user interface, compensate consumers for lost time, and stop surprise fees should send a clear message that manipulative design techniques are a no-go under our laws,” said Samuel Levine. “This is our second dark pattern lawsuit over the last week. Firms that continue to deploy deceptive design techniques are on notice.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Director Levine as he heads the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
  • For Chair Lina Khan as she oversees the Federal Trade Commission.
  • For consumers who have been defrauded by the deceptive practices of companies like PCH.

Sources: Federal Trade Commission


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