AG Nessel issues cease and desist to Rockford-based businesses
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has issued a cease and desist notice to two Rockford-based businesses.
Nessel's office said the businesses were marketing "coronavirus defender patches" to consumers, claiming it will help protect people from getting the coronavirus.
The attorney general's office said Frequency Apps Corp and Biores Technologies Inc, claim the patch will help "aid the immune system to defend itself against exposure to the virus," and "can help lessen the effect of the virus if you already have it."
Nessel's office said the patch was priced at $49.99, but the companies said consumers could get a 3--day supply of the patch for free when they buy a 45-day supply of any patches the companies sell.
“Providing consumers with a false sense of security that these patches could somehow protect them from this virus is simply wrong,” Nessel said. “I will not tolerate deceptive and misleading business practices at any time, but especially not during this time of uncertainty surrounding Michigan’s battle with COVID-19.”
Nessel's office said the companies are likely in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection act because they might be:
• 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.
• 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.
• Causing coercion and duress as the result of the time and nature of a sales presentation.
• 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.
• The companies have 10 days to respond to the letter by agreeing to not market or sell the patches to Michigan consumers and to provide contact information for all consumers who purchased the patches.
As of Tuesday, March 24, Nessel's office said they have received a total of 1,578 complaints of price-gouging complaints related to coronavirus.