Getting Your Money Back:
Consumer Refunds

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, sues companies that make deceptive claims about their products or services. These lawsuits sometimes result in refunds for people who bought the product or service. Here are answers to some common questions about the refund process. If you have questions about a specific case, check our recent cases resulting in refunds.

I received a refund check or claim form. How do I know if it’s legit?

A check or claim form sent as part of an FTC settlement will include an explanation and details about the case. The case will be listed in our recent cases resulting in refunds. Each case has a phone number for questions. Keep in mind that the FTC never requires you to pay upfront fees or asks you for sensitive information, like your Social Security number or bank account information. If someone claims to be from the FTC and asks for money, it’s a scam.

Will I get all my money back? If not, why?

Sometimes the FTC is able to get people all their money back. In other cases, we’re not. If that happens, the FTC gives as much money back to each buyer as possible. The exact amount will depend on how much the defendants are able to pay, how much the court orders for refunds, and how many people bought the product.

Why does it take so long to get my money back?

We send out checks as soon as we can. There are several steps in the process. We have to resolve our legal action; get money and information from the company; and prepare and mail checks. Those steps often take several months.

Is a private company involved in returning my money?

Yes, the FTC contracts with private companies to help with the refund process. We currently contract with four companies: Rust Consulting, Inc; Epiq Systems; BMC Group (formally Analytics, Inc.); and Gilardi & Co., LLC.

Can I speak to someone about my claim form or check?

Yes. To discuss your claim, call the number on the claim form or check you received. For more information about a specific FTC case, check our recent cases resulting in refunds.

What should I do if the person named on the claim form or check is deceased?

If the person is deceased, you may still make a claim. Send a copy of the death certificate, documentation showing you represent the estate, and the completed claim form to the address on the letter you received.

What should I do if I think a company is involved in unfair or deceptive behavior?

To file a complaint about unfair or deceptive business practices, use our online complaint form or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). You can also file a complaint with your state’s Attorney General.

Where can I find out more about protecting myself from scams & rip-offs?

For practical tips on consumer topics, visit our Consumer Information page. For information about how to spot scams, visit or our Scam Watch page.

What should I do if I am not satisfied with something I buy?

Check out Solving Consumer Problems for tips about what you can do.

Last Modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2012