Razer fined $1.1M by FTC over glowing ‘N95’ mask COVID claims

Razer fined $1.1M by FTC over glowing ‘N95’ mask COVID claims

The Federal Trade Commission hit Razer with a $1.1 million fine on Tuesday. The order alleges that gaming accessory makers misled consumers by claiming that flashy Zephyr masks were certified as N95 grade.

“These businesses are falsely claiming, in the midst of a global pandemic, that their face masks are equivalent to N95-certified respirators,” FTC Consumer Bureau Project Director Samuel Levine said in a statement. “The FTC will continue to hold accountable businesses that use false and unsubstantiated claims to target consumers who are making decisions about their health and safety.”

Razer has predictably rejected the commission’s claims.

“We disagree with the FTC’s allegations and do not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement,” a representative from the company said in a statement to TechCrunch. “It was never our intention to mislead anyone, and we chose to settle this matter to avoid the distraction and disruption of litigation and continue our focus on creating great products for players. Razer cares deeply about our community and is always looking to deliver technology in new and relevant ways.”

The company went on to suggest that the complaint had been upheld, adding that it was working hard to refund customers and end sales of the Zephyr.

“Razer Zephyr was created to offer a different and innovative face covering option for the community,” he said. “The FTC’s claim against Razer involves a limited portion of certain statements related to Zephyr. Over two years ago, Razer proactively told customers that the Zephyr was not an N95 mask, stopped sales and refunded customers.

The FTC also officially bars the sale of masks and “making COVID-related health misrepresentations or unsubstantiated health claims about protective health equipment.” It goes further, “prohibiting defendants from representing the health benefits, performance, effectiveness, safety, or side effects of protective goods and services (as defined in the proposed order), unless they have competent and reliable scientific evidence to support the claim. which is made.”

The filing suggests that Razer intentionally misled consumers into believing that the $100 mask would protect against COVID. Of course the virus was a major concern when the product first dropped in October 2021.

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