If you’ve ever stayed up too late making bad television choices…or have lain on the sofa during the day feeling too sick to do anything else but watch daytime television (which doesn’t give much choice in the way of quality programming), then you’ve probably seen a commercial hawking a Snuggie, a unisex fleece body-length blanket with sleeves.
In case you haven’t followed the cultural phenomenon spawned by what’s basically a cheap bathrobe worn backwards, the product has became famous thanks to its ubiquitous direct response commercials; free PR from the Today show (where the entire cast and crew donned Snuggie blankets for a segment which was described as looking like a gospel choir); and a series of Snuggie pub crawls that takes place annually in dozens of cities.
Well now the self-proclaimed “blanket with sleeves” might have to raise its prices in order to pay $8 million to settle charges that it deceived customers. The Federal Trade Commission announced last week that the parent company, the Allstar Marketing Group, had promised customers a buy-one, get-one-free promotion but ended up charging higher fees.
The agency said customers were led to believe they would be getting two $19.95 Snuggies for less than $10 each, but actually paid $35.85. Some customers were also sold more products than they intended to buy.
In the complaint, the New York attorney general said one outraged customer had tried to buy two “Perfect Brownie Pans” for $19.95 (that Snuggie sure does belong to a strong stable of brands), but was actually charged $105 for six pans after being confused by an automated phone call. Hmmmm.
Call me old fashioned, but I’ve always preferred a blanket without sleeves.