Kim Allyn said she's tried virtually everything to stop snoring: pills, nasal strips, throat sprays — nothing worked.
So, when she saw an online ad for a new anti-snoring mouthpiece made by SnoreQuiet, promising guaranteed results and an "over 90% success rate," Allyn didn't think twice, paying $45 for two.
Within the first five minutes of trying it, she said it was a major fail.
"All I do is whistle and drool. How am I supposed to sleep like this? I'll drown," she said.
So, Allyn went back to SnoreQuiet's website, where she bought the product, and clicked on its refund policy. That's where it was all spelled out: "All returns are subject to a $25 environmental waste disposal fee per device."
And consumers must pay international shipping charges "to our return center located in Germany."
Fifty dollars for waste disposal for two devices, plus shipping to Germany on a package that arrived from Florida. It’s a return policy Allyn said did not add up:
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"So, what cost me $45 to get, It's going to end up costing me $65 to get rid of, to return, so there is no refund coming back," Allyn explained.
Allyn is not the only one complaining. NBC 5 Responds found consumers lashing out online about SnoreQuiet's return policy:
"...Much to my dismay, they are going to charge me a $25 environmental fee for disposing of the device," Allyn said. "This is simply an excuse to not give a refund."
The Better Business Bureau agrees but has not taken any action against the company. "This is not typical. This is something way off the top," the BBB in Chicago said.
It’s a questionable business model, the BBB said, that banks on consumers not reading the refund policy until it's too late.
For now, the Allyn said rather than returning, she's going to re-purpose the devices themselves.
In its return policy, the makers of SnoreQuiet claim customers can't just return the product because illnesses such as measles, tuberculosis or malaria could be transmitted in the box. An infectious disease specialist told our partners at NBC Chicago that they found the policy ridiculous.
The maker of SnoreQuiet has not responded to our requests for comment.