Posts Tagged ‘Jesse Willms’

Acai Berries!!! The FTC Closes in on Jesse Willms

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

The life-is-good smile of Jesse Willms (Photo: jessewillms.com)

The FTC has filed a lawsuit [pdf] targeting a Canadian online marketer, 24-year-old Jesse Willms, who has apparently made a fortune selling that acai berry weight-loss stuff. And as you no doubt know, acai berries have been a staple blog ad. Willms himself is a big believer in blogging for dollars. You can read his thoughts in his post Blogging To Grow Your Business.

But to the extent you’re reading that, also consider reading what the FTC is writing:

The Federal Trade Commission has brought a law enforcement action against an online operation that allegedly raked in more than $450 million from consumers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand by luring them into “free” or “risk-free” offers, and then charging them for products and services they did not want or agree to purchase. As part of its ongoing efforts to stamp out online fraud, the FTC seeks to stop the operation’s illegal practices and make the defendants repay injured consumers.

The Toronto Star reports that Willms said in a statement, “We believe our business practices are compliant with the law and are working to resolve this disagreement with the appropriate government agencies.” Big surprise there.

The Star also notes that Jesse Willms says on his blog, “I consider myself to be a hard worker, I understand there are no shortcuts in life, and I believe that fundamentally every successful business must focus on product value and customer satisfaction.”

Another whopping surprise.

The lawsuit looks to be making use of the recently enacted Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act [pdf], which requires online retailers to “clearly and conspicuously” disclose all material terms in a proposed transaction before obtaining the consumer’s billing information. The act also requires the retailer to give consumers an easy way to put a stop recurring charges on a debit or credit card.