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Power Balance Complaint Procedure

The Independent Investigations Group in Hollywood is leading the charge to register complaints about misleading ads concerning Power Balance bracelets. (http://www.iigwest.org/)

Dave Richards put together this information that IIG members and others can use to file complaints about the Power Balance bracelets and company.
__________________________________________
The two organizations best suited to deal with complaints about a company employing deceptive business practices are the California State Attorney General, and the Federal Trade Commission. Both of these organizations have online forms available for submitting a complaint. We'll walk you through them below.

Before walking you through the complaint procedure, here is an outline of the main facts/points to address in your complaint statement, since you'll use the same statement for both organizations' forms.

Main points:
Power Balance is a device, either a wristband or a pendant that sells in many stores for approximately $30 each.
The Power Balance company claims: "Power Balance is Performance Technology designed to work with your body's natural energy field. Founded by athletes, Power Balance is a favorite among elite athletes for whom balance, strength and flexibility are important.""Power Balance is based on the idea of optimizing the body's natural energy flow, similar to concepts behind many Eastern philosophies. The hologram in Power Balance is designed to resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body."
I/we contend:
Modern medical science doesn't recognize an "energy field" for the human body.
A hologram is merely a form of photographic image, and doesn't "resonate" in an energy field.
The Power Balance company is making misleading advertising claims about the product. It's said to enhance athletic performance, specifically balance, strength, and flexibility. Yet it's merely a plastic bracelet with a decorative emblem that has no apparent means of accomplishing these claims.
Two independent tests have shown that the product does nothing, i.e., it's placebo effect. Links to reports by ESPN and the Independent Investigations Group :
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=5660039
http://www.iigwest.org/investigations/powerbalance
/index.html

The product has no clinical or scientific evidence supporting it, it's marketed to potential buyers using testimonials by users. (including people paid to endorse the product according to the ESPN report)

The product is demonstrated in person using Applied Kinesiology, a technique well-known among doctors and psychologists as being highly-subjective and therefore worthless for evaluating any device or product.
The product has recently been targeted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as using misleading advertising.

Here's a news story:
http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/fitness/power-balance-bracelets-exposed-as-a-sham-
20101223-195u7.html


Details of the complaint and action in Australia requiring the company to retract their advertising claims are here:
http://www.tgacrp.com.au/index.cfm?pageID=13&special=complaint_
single&complaintID=1650


Notes:
We suggest putting the points above into your own words, but refrain from going too far off-script. Specifically, avoid the use of words like "fraud" or "con artist", "scam". etc, since those could be actionable and it could come back to haunt you – avoid making statements you can't support. The focus of the complaint should be the lack of any scientific evidence supporting their claims, plus the actual tests showing it doesn't work. Also bear in mind that the most one could hope for is to stop the company from making false claims in advertising the product. It's fairly unlikely that we'd be able to shut the company down or stop sales of the product.

Here's the information on the company you'll need:
Power Balance, LLC
30012 Ivy Glenn, Suite 180
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

20512 Crescent Bay, Suite 108
Lake Forest, CA 92630

www.powerbalance.com
phone: (949) 272-7300 (neither form below will allow you to cut and paste the phone number, you have to transcribe it).

OK, so here are the sites:
I. California Attorney General form:
http://ag.ca.gov/contact/complaint_form.php?cmplt=CL

Filling out the form is straightforward. There are some fields that are required, such as your name. You can elect whether to provide an email address or not. If you want to receive a copy of your complaint, you have to provide your email, and provide it a second time in the 'confirm email' field.

Take note that you're asked at the bottom if you wish to allow a copy of your complaint, with your personal information, to be delivered to the company you're complaining about. You may decline if you wish, this is up to you (it's a required field but you're only required to select Yes or No).

II. FTC:
https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?Lang=en

There are some preliminary questions, with our proposed answers as follows:

Is it regarding ID theft? No
Is your complaint most closely related to: Dissatisfaction with other business practices
You will then be asked for the category of business. The most pertinent ones for this complaint would be Health Care / Health related products, and then the subgroup, "Other products and Supplies"
You then move onto the 5 steps of submitting the complaint:

Step 1: Other
Did you order an item and have yet to receive it? No.
Do you have concerns regarding the privacy of your information with the company? No.
Do you know the name of the company/individual involved in your complaint, or do you have any other information about them? Yes

Step 2: Enter the company's address, phone number, and website.
Skip Step 3 (unless you want to fill in the cost of the product, $30)
In Step 4 you will have to give them personal information about yourself. The form accepts an email address.
In Step 5 you can describe the product using the same text you wrote previously.

That's it. You can fill out both forms in less than 5 minutes once you've compiled your statement.

___________________________________________ Please take the time to make your feelings known about this product and its misleading ads.Thank youIndependent Investigations Group, Los Angeles

 

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