In the Matter of UrthBox, Inc.

$184,000 in fines


UrthBox engaged in offering a supposedly "free" trial without adequately disclosing hidden subscription charges and misrepresenting consumer reviews as independent.

Our analysis

Between October 2016 and November 2017, the UrthBox offered a seemingly "free" trial of its snack boxes online for a nominal shipping fee, failing to adequately disclose key terms on its desktop and mobile websites.
-Unbeknownst to consumers, UrthBox would charge them the total amount for six months of shipments if they failed to cancel in time.
-Furthermore, UrthBox engaged in deceptive practices by misrepresenting positive consumer reviews on platforms like the Better Business Bureau and third-party websites as independent experiences or impartial opinions, even though the reviewers were compensated with free snack boxes in exchange for posting favorable reviews.
These deceptive actions not only violated the FTC Act but also employed deceptive design elements, such as fake social proof and hidden subscription terms, to mislead consumers.


UrthBox is prohibited from engaging in similar conduct and is obliged to pay $100,000 to the FTC. Furthermore, in December 2019, the FTC refunded over $84,000 to compensate consumers who were charged after signing up for the trial offer.


Federal Trade Commission and UrthBox, Inc.

Case number

Docket No. C-4676

Related deceptive patterns

Related laws

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