The Federal Trade Commission has issued a legal order against Roca Labs, which is a company that sells a weight loss supplement. The company is being sued as it threatened to sue its customers who wrote negative reviews or complaints about the products it markets. The claims of its weight loss products are baseless as per FTC and the way the company has tried to silence the customers with a gag clause is an unlawful step to take.
The company, Roca Labs is based out of Sarasota in Florida, where it sold a powdered product, claiming it to be a weight loss alternative to gastric bypass surgery. The FTC claims that the company has earned more than twenty million from 2010 by opting for unfair and misleading advertising practices. Many customers like Jennifer Schaive had been thinking about opting for the surgery when she came across the website of the company. The weight loss powder they offered seemed to be the perfect alternative which would help one to avoid going under the knife. As it was a convenient supplement that one could have at home Jennifer thought that it was the perfect solution for her weight gain problems. The company claimed that the supplements it sold could help customers to see results in a time span of eight to ten months. The success rate that it promised was ninety percent. Jennifer soon found out that it was false as the supplement tasted like rubber and failed to show any effect. She then posted a complaint in the site of Better Business Bureau. When she did so the company threatened to sue her as she had signed a gag clause that was included in the terms and conditions of the site which she did not realize.
The terms stated that one could not disparage the products or the employees of the company. The company also retained all remedies or legal rights that they could execute against ant customer who breached these terms. Jennifer stated that the company even asked for access to her social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. The FTC has filed a suit against the company alleging unfair trade practices as inclusion of a gag clause in the terms is illegal. The company has also threatened other customers with this clause that are being looked into by FTC so that the magnitude of the problem can be discerned.