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Razer forced to pay over $1 million in refunds over Zephyr facemask


In 2021, Razer, the video game peripherals company, launched the Razer Zephyr, a supposedly N95-grade facemask that would supposedly protect against COVID-19. A new ruling by the FTC will see them repaying over $1.1 million in full refunds after it was found that they were falsely advertising benefits the mask did not provide.

According to a press release from the FTC, they will also be subjected to a civil penalty of $100,000 and have been barred from “making COVID-related misrepresentations or unsubstantiated health claims about protective health equipment.”

When initially launched, Razer advertised the Zephyr as N95-grade masks – this means they supposedly filtered out 95% of particles between 0.1 and 0.3 micrometers in size, making them a useful element of a COVID-protection strategy.

However, the FTC revealed that Razer never submitted the masks for testing and grading at the FDA or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and thus they were never certified as N95 or otherwise.

Razer continued to advertise the masks as N95-graded and as health and safety items until they garnered a significant amount of negative press, alleges the FTC.

@Razer has contacted me and told me they plan to remove N95 marketing from the Zephyr website.
Sorry but no- it’s past that.
Media outlets have labeled it an N95 mask, immune-compromised individuals and healthcare workers all over social media are calling it an N95 mask.

— Naomi Wu 机械妖姬 (@RealSexyCyborg) January 10, 2022

“These businesses falsely claimed, in the midst of a global pandemic, that their face mask was the equivalent of an N95 certified respirator,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “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.”

The FTC complaint alleges that Razer’s marketing was deceptive and that they fraudulently advertised the Zephyr as an N95-equivalent, suitable for COVID-19 protection.

The FTC ruling requires Razer to pay $1,071,254.33 plus the $100,000 penalty to the United States, with the expectation that the $1.1 million will be used to refund defrauded customers. It is currently unclear how the FTC will ensure all customers get the refunds they are entitled to.

Featured image credit: Razer

The post Razer forced to pay over $1 million in refunds over Zephyr facemask appeared first on ReadWrite.


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