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FTC Approves Final Order against LCA-Vision, Halting Alleged Bait-and-Switch Advertising for LASIK Laser Eye Surgery

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has finalized a final consent order against Ohio-based LCA-Vision, doing business as LasikPlus and Joffe MediCenter, related to allegedly deceptive ads for LASIK laser eye surgery.

According to the FTC’s January 2023 complaint, LCA’s ads allegedly tricked consumers into believing they could have their vision corrected for less than $300. In reality only 6.5 percent of consumers lured in for consultations were eligible for the advertised promotional price for both eyes. In some ads, LCA also neglected to tell consumers up-front that the promotional price was per-eye only. Despite the ad’s claims, LCA typically quoted patients a price between $1,800 and $2,295 per eye for anyone  with worse than near-normal vision (20/40 eyesight, good enough to drive without glasses).

The final order approved by the Commission settles the complaint and requires the defendants to pay $1.25 million for using the deceptive bait-and-switch advertising. It also bars LCA from the deceptive conduct alleged in the complaint and requires them to make certain clear and conspicuous disclosures when advertising LASIK at a price or discount for which most consumers would not qualify.

The Commission vote approving the final consent order was 3-1, with Commissioner Christine S. Wilson dissenting. The staff attorneys on this matter are Paul Spelman and Rafael Reyneri of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.