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AG Nessel Issues Notice of Intended Action to AZ Hearing Device Business
October 08, 2021
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a notice of intended action under Michigan's Consumer Protection Act to an Arizona business by directing the company to cease and desist from engaging in allegedly unlawful business practices related to its sale of advertised "hearing aids."
The Department sent King Crawford Enterprises, LLC, which is doing business as Nano Hearing Aids, a notice of intended action in response to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently sharing dozens of complaints it received over the past two years.
The complaints include the following:
- Failing to ship purchased items timely and, at times, refusing to provide a refund after consumers complained about the delay in receiving the item - stating that the consumer had to at least try the hearing aids out for a certain number of days before requesting a refund.
- In responding to complaints about the product not working, consumers were told they needed to try the product for a certain amount of time to "retrain the brain" in order for the product to work.
- Despite advertising a money back guarantee, consumers reported multiple hoops to jump through in order to obtain a refund.
Additionally, the product is advertised as hearing aids when in fact it is a personal sound amplification product (PSAP).
In May, Nessel issued a consumer alert urging consumers to beware of misleading sales of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing devices because the FDA has not approved any over-the-counter hearing aids.
The Department alleges the business has engaged in the following unfair trade practices:
- Causing a probability of confusion or misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services.
- Representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have or that a person has sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection that he or she does not have.
- Representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another.
- Representing or implying that the subject of a consumer transaction will be provided promptly, or at a specified time, or within a reasonable time, if the merchant knows or has reason to know it will not be so provided.
- Failing to reveal a material fact, the omission of which tends to mislead or deceive the consumer, and which fact could not reasonably be known by the consumer.
- Failing, in a consumer transaction that is rescinded, canceled, or otherwise terminated in accordance with the terms of an agreement, advertisement, representation, or provision of law, to promptly restore to the person or persons entitled to it a deposit, down payment, or other payment, or in the case of property traded in but not available, the greater of the agreed value or the fair market value of the property, or to cancel within a specified time or an otherwise reasonable time an acquired security interest.
- Making a representation of fact or statement of fact material to the transaction such that a person reasonably believes the represented or suggested state of affairs to be other than it actually is.
- Failing to reveal facts that are material to the transaction in light of representations of fact made in a positive manner.
The company has 10 days to respond to the notice or risk additional action from the Department.
"Deceptive business practices that take advantage of consumers looking for assistance leave them feeling scammed," Nessel said. "It's my hope Nano Hearing Aids complies with the Michigan Consumer Protection Act and that additional action is not necessary."