Hubble Contact Lens Manufacturer Pays $3.5 Million in FTC Payment
Vision Path, maker of Hubble contact lenses, will pay $3.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that the company failed to receive customer prescriptions or correctly verify prescription information. prescription and they replaced the Hubble lenses for those actually prescribed to consumers.
The company’s activities violated the F.TC. the rules around selling contact lenses, The committee said in a statement on Friday. The FTC also said that, in another breach of its rules, numerous online reviews of Hubble were written by people who were compensated, including in at least one case where one of its executives was involved. its own action.
The settlement comes later an investigation by The New York Times in 2019 Detailed criticism of Hubble by optometrists and ophthalmologists. They say the brand’s direct-to-consumer model bypasses eye care professionals, that it doesn’t check prescriptions properly and takes advantage of federal regulations to sell customers brand-name contact lenses. its own circle. Industry experts told The Times that Hubble has been shifting people away from their designated lens brands and into using Hubble’s lenses, which could harm customers.
Vision Path and Hubble have managed to disrupt the contact lens industry by offering a line of cheap everyday lenses through a $39 monthly subscription. The company, which has raised more than $70 million in funding from venture firms and companies like Colgate-Palmolive, marketed aggressively through social media and sought to mimic the success of other companies. direct to other consumers such as Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club.
But contact lenses are often fitted, prescribed, and sold by optometrists, who often specify brands from major manufacturers like Acuvue Oasys or Biofinity Toric in their prescriptions. Before selling lenses, companies must obtain a copy of a consumer’s prescription or verify their information with a prescriber.
The FTC said that until the investigation began, Hubble did not ask consumers to provide copies of their contact lens prescriptions and would generally not allow customers to provide their prescriptions on its website. This, according to the FTC, “ensures that Hubble cannot take prescriptions from customers and therefore can act as if they were unaware that these consumers have a prescription for a non-Hubble lens.” The company sometimes fails to make the necessary efforts to verify customer-provided prescribing information, or makes it difficult or impossible for prescribers to verify prescriptions, according to the FTC.
“Hubble’s business model has boosted profits but created undue risk to customers’ eye health,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in the statement.
Vision Path said in a statement on Friday that it disagrees with many of the FTC’s claims but believes a settlement is the best way for Hubble to move forward.
Steven Druckman, chief executive officer of Vision Path, said: “The FTC allegations regarding the start-up stage of the company and all claims in the order were long ago resolved through improvements. to our internal systems and processes.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/31/business/hubble-contact-lenses-ftc.html Hubble Contact Lens Manufacturer Pays $3.5 Million in FTC Payment