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"Tested Green" was doling out environmental certifications without conducting any testing.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC; Washington, DC) has reached a settlement with Tested Green, a company which the watchdog claims deceived over 100 customers into buying false environmental certifications.
Tested Green and its owner Jeremy Ryan Claeys advertised, marketed, and sold environmental certifications through www.testedgreen.com and mass e-mails, said the FTC. The company reportedly claimed to be the “nation’s leading certification program with over 45,000 certifications in the United States.”
FTC alleges that Tested Green never tested its customers and would provide certification to whoever paid the appropriate fees for “Rapid” or “Pro” certifications. FTC also stated that the company used misleading endorsements from the National Green Business Association and the National Association of Government Contractors-groups which were actually owned and operated by Claeys.
“It’s really tough for most people to know whether green or environmental claims are credible,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Legitimate seals and certifications are useful tools that can help consumers choose where to place their trust and how to spend their money. The FTC will continue to weed out deceptive seals and certifications like the one in this case.”
Tested Green and Clays have been barred from making future misrepresentations or helping others do so in regard to the manners outlined in the settlement. The FTC order will be open for public comment until February 11, 20111.