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FTC settles pain relief device case for $4 million

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If you live with chronic and severe pain, over-the-counter devices that promise powerful, drug-free relief can be tempting, even if they’re costly. But, before you invest in products that promise life-changing results, read about the FTC’s $4 million settlement with the marketers of a device known as Quell.
Quell is a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device. TENS devices use electrodes to deliver low-voltage electrical currents through the skin and may relieve minor pain at the site where they’re applied.
According to the FTC, Quell’s ads claimed it could do much more. The ads said that Quell — when worn as directed, on the upper calf, just below the knee — caused the release of “natural pain blockers,” resulting in pain relief throughout the body from serious conditions like osteoarthritis, nerve damage, sciatica, shingles, and fibromyalgia.
The problem, according to the FTC: NeuroMetrix, Inc., the company behind Quell, and company founder and CEO Shai Gozani, didn’t have scientific evidence to back up their pain relief claims. The FTC says the defendants added to the deception by claiming that Quell was “clinically proven” to deliver widespread chronic pain relief and “cleared” by the FDA for that purpose. Those claims, the FTC says, were flat-out false.
The result, according to the FTC: people shelled out up to $299 for Quell devices, plus $30 for a one-month supply of replacement electrodes.
Under the settlement, the defendants must pay the Commission $4 million, which will be returned to Quell customers. The settlement also bars the defendants from claiming that Quell or any other device can relieve chronic or severe pain throughout the body — or has any other health benefit – unless they have scientific proof.
Before you try an expensive health product that promises miraculous results, talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional.
Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness


The company selling phony pain relief had to refund 4 million dollars, great! But how many units did they sell at 299 dollars and is anyone going to jail?

The light color of the print on your cite is difficult for seniors like me to read. My request is that you use black instead of the gray on this web page. Please help us to read the information without difficult or eye strain. You offer valuable information and it should also be easy to read. Thanks

I agree. No gray text.

How do I find out if I'm eligible for refund if I've previously purchased the Quell device.

I wonder the same thing as above.

I purchased one and it did not work. I still have it but no paperwork.

My life was changed when I started using Quell, because I arranged my day around wearing the device according to guidelines issued. I used it for several months and, according to guidelines, was patient as I was told relief might take “several weeks” to come. Relief never came and I was (am) hugely disappointed after spending the money requested, and of course I purchased extra electrodes. I thought it was just a fluke that I was not helped and that most people are. And another huge point, this device was talked up in AARP magazine. THAT alone is a big disappointment. If I can’t trust information in AARP? It was an article, NOT an ad.

I also wanted to know who to contact.

How do I find out if I can submit a claim. I purchased the unit and the refill pac.

I purchased this and the electrode patches caused severe skin burins due to the adhesives not being for sensitive skin. The company’s response was for me to place the electrodes above the knee. I asked why would I wasn’t another severe skin button there too as both legs had them below the knee (delayed reaction)? They said they may develop electrode strips for sensitive skin. So wasted $ and for the extra patches I got. I do not see s contact person either.

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