Ethics in Business – when is false advertising not false advertising – paying to avoid excess legal costs

I’ve titled this post ethics in business, but it’s really not all about that, It’s probably more of a rave. I just wanted to get my take on the FTC claims and Ethics in business - should you get a refund if you didn't wear them?payments to be made by Skechers in regards to the Skechers Shape Ups and am really unsure of what I should call this post to get the best readership!


Point 1 – Ethics in Business – selling a retailers perspective

I am a retailer in New Zealand and I have and do sell Skechers Shape Ups. When discussing the shoes in store I always made a point of saying that the shoes are not a magic bullet and that it does  diet as well. I did this is I felt that the hype was probably overrated  & the small print on the in store banners we had were often overlooked.  This was an ethical stance that I took and am very comfortable with my decision. My conscience is clear. I would even go to the point of saying that by purchasing the shoes off me they shouldn’t be entitled to a refund, as I gave them a slightly more balanced view prior to purchase. That’s pretty subjective I know but that’s the way I feel. Now is this the way I should act as a small business owner? will it mean that my customers will trust me more in the future?


Point 2 – Skechers will be paying out to avoid a long protracted legal battle.

Skechers have issued a press release stating just this. They stand by their claims and advertising and have made a decision to pay out now. This is probably the best thing to do. By taking this stance the companies executives are no doubt basing this decision on what is best for the company’s shareholders. The trouble is  this payout looks like an admission of guilt to many/most people. Most cannot understand the buisness decision as opposed to admitting guilt and liability. They just don’t get it, and lets not forget, Skechers have not been fined or penalised.


Point 3 – Refunds – even if the shoes have not been worn the way intented?

Now I can see a rush on to get refunds. I have been contacted by 2 customers about how can they get a claim in already & I have no idea! My concern is what about those who never actually used the shoes as they should have, but instead had them sitting in the wardrobe collecting dust. Did they ever walk the miles they should of to see any benefit? And what about diet? Did they make any changes? I have a pair and  have worn them, but not enough to do any good! I’m one of those people who have all good intentions but did not follow through with action. I did/do feel good wearing them, especially for my posture, should I be entitled to a refund?


Point 4 – What about the other manufactuers who make outragous claims?

This morning I watched a infomercial on the Ab Pro Wave, boy this that a fabulous machine, I can sit  down & move side to side & I’m going to slim down. Wow the before and after photos look great! Maybe I’ll get one and then wait to see if there are complaints… maybe I can then get a refund.

This is a little cynical I know… hopefully the payment by Skechers ( and don’t forget the same thing happened to Reebok last year).. maybe what is required is more truth in advertising… now where would the fun be in that!!!


Does the Skechers issue mean anything to you as a small business owner?

Does the advertising claims made by the manufacturers of products you sell effect your ethics in business

Let me know your views… leave a comment on my rave.. do you agree, disagree or don’t care?


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  1. I always thought the tone-up shoes were silly. So now Skechers has to provide a full refund? I guess they deserve it as a penalty for misleading advertising. If it indeed was – not sure if they did make specific claims.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Louise

      No they are NOT providing a full refund and they have NOT be penalised, they have settled rather than go through the court process, saving both time and money. It’s a pity that the facts are not clear in some sources, and it also goes to show that people do not read what is written. I tried to be clear in my post, however you have read that they have been penalised… sometimes we read what we want to see rather than what is there ;)

  2. Kathy says:

    I have to admit, I love my tone-up flip flops by Skechers – they have really taken care of the heal pain I had from Plantar Fasciitis – only thing that worked…..
    Go figure…

  3. rebecca says:

    This is little compared to what some of the big drug companies do. I am surprised at people buying into this hype though..REALLY! go on you for informing your customers.

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