CONSUMER CATCH-UP: FDA warns company selling chlorine dioxide 'miracle' coronavirus treatment, Geico gives customers a discount due to shelter-in-place, and Amazon expands window for returned items

BySimone Chavoor KGO logo
Thursday, April 9, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- FDA warns company marketing chlorine dioxide as "miracle" coronavirus treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to a company selling chlorine dioxide as a treatment for coronavirus.

The FDA issued a joint warning letter with the Federal Trade Commission to the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing for selling a product called "Miracle Mineral Solution," which was marketed as a preventative and treatment for COVID-19. The FDA stressed that chlorine dioxide had no scientific evidence as being safe or effective, and in fact the products "pose significant risks to patient health."

"Despite previous warnings, the FDA is concerned that we are still seeing chlorine dioxide products being sold with misleading claims that they are safe and effective for the treatment of diseases, now including COVID-19. The sale of these products can jeopardize a person's health and delay proper medical treatment," said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D.

Geico gives customers discount on premiums due to shelter-in-place

Geico, the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., is giving its customers a break on auto insurance.

Following in the footsteps of Allstate and American Family Insurance, Geico acknowledged that shelter-in-place orders have caused a significant drop in drivers on the road, and therefore fewer accidents. Geico is offering a 15% credit to its auto and motorcycle insurance customers for policies that come up for renewal between April 8 and October 7, 2020. The company estimates that each of their 18 million auto insurance customers will get a $150 credit, and their one million motorcycle customers a $30 credit. All told, Geico is giving its customers back about $2.5 billion.

Geico customers do not need to do anything to receive the credit on their premiums; it will be taken automatically when the policy renews.

The insurance company has also committed to not canceling any coverage due to non-payment through at least April 30.

Amazon expands window for returned items

Amazon is temporarily expanding the window for returns, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The online mega-retailer stated that customers in the U.S. and Canada who order items between March 1 and April 30, 2020, now have until May 31 to return them.

Other retailers have also changed their return policies. Target is suspending in-store returns until April 15, but allowing any returns that expire in that period an additional three weeks after the suspension is lifted. Best Buy is extending the return window for items purchased between March 1 and April 15 to April 29. Still other retailers, such as Walmart, have not revised their return policies.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.