Undated -- The government makes it their job to make sure businesses make good on their products claims. But as Consumer Reports found out, the government allows certain words and images to be used that could confuse you.
Subway has long promoted its foot-long sandwiches. So when customers caught the company serving up shorter sandwiches, they took their complaints to facebook, grabbing media attention and even outraging Stephen Colbert, who said, "We have been five-dollar footwronged!"
Consumer Reports' Tod Marks said that's not the only product that's disappointing consumers. The Allergy Luxe premium bed bug mattress protector says it provides "luxurious fabric protection against bed bugs, dust mites & allergens." But Marks said, "If you turn the package over and read the fine print at the bottom, it says 'the manufacturer makes no claim that this product will prevent or inhibit human exposure to insects, allergens, mold or other microbial matter.'"
The packaging for the cuddly Sherpa Throw shows cute lambs. But look closer! The label says the throw is made from "100% polyester."
Marks said if you're looking for products "Made in America" things can be confusing as well. "Just because you see a symbol like an American flag doesn't mean it was American-made at all."
The American Glove company says "We glove the USA." but below it says 'made in Vietnam'! You'd think dish towels made by American Mills were also manufactured in the US. Wrong! They're made in China.
Unfortunately, confusing words and images aren't necessarily forbidden by the Federal Trade Commission, which is responsible for monitoring deceptive product claims. That means reading labels closely is a good habit to get into.
Consumer Reports says if you believe you've been mislead about a product, complain to the manufacturer directly.
And file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
As for Subway, the company has issued a statement saying, "we have redoubled our efforts to ensure consistency and correct length in every sandwich we serve."
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website.
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