D.C. consumers who ordered Miracle Roach Killer from American Research Labs are entitled to complete refunds of their $6.95 payments, according to D.C. Consumer Protection Director Herbert Simmons Jr.
The consumer protection office, in conjunction with the D.C. Department of Environmental Services' Environmental Health Administration, has obtained a consent decree from American Research Labs requiring refunds for more than 200 District consumers who ordered the product but have not received it. The company advertised a product which allegedly would solve roach infestation problems for a period of three years.
Local advertisements indicated the firm was non-profit, affiliated with a university and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, Simmons said, but none of those claims could be substantiated. The product was not legally registered for sale as a pesticide by either the EPA or the Bureau of Consumer Health Services of the Environmental Health Administration, Simmons said.
"Our investigation showed that it would be months before consumers could recieve this merchandise, if ever," he added.
Refunds are to be automatically sent by the end of January to persons who ordered the product from D.C. addresses. Consumers who would like to check whether their names appear on the refund list, or those who don't receive refunds by the end of January, may call the D.C. Office of Consumer Protection at 727-1158.
Along with the refunds, the company will pay the D.C. Treasurer $500 as a penalty to cover the cost of the investigation. American Research Labs also has agreed not to offer any pesticide product for sale in the future until it has obtained proper approval from environmental protection authorities. The consent decree also requires the firm to provide the Office of Consumer Protection with copies of all advertisements of any product it intends to market for a year.