Complaints about Fusion Pro single component grout

Class Action Investigation

There are many complaints about Fusion Pro single component grout on the internet. If you used this product and found it was not worth the steep price tag because it did not live up to the “Unsurpassed Performance” or “Easy to Spread and Clean” claims, you are welcome to contact this office regarding a potential false advertising class action.

Does Fusion Pro single component grout live up to product claims?

If you are like me, saving time and achieving good results is important when doing home improvement projects. And I’m usually willing to try out the latest and greatest products that appear in hardware stores.  Recently, rather than buying a bag of tried-and-true powdered grout, I decided to give pre-mixed grout a chance on a bathroom remodeling project – with regrettable consequences.

Why try pre-mixed grout? I have used ordinary grout over the years. It comes in a large sack that tends to leave dust behind on the back seat of the car. You must pour the powdered grout into a bucket (which creates dust) and mix it with water.  If you mix up too much grout, you have to throw out what you don’t use. If you mix up too little grout for the section of tile you want to work on, you have to go back and mix up more. The process is messy and takes time. If a pre-mixed product allows you to skip a step, and if it works just as well (or better) why not try it?

So, when I saw the pre-mixed grout product called Fusion Pro single component grout on the shelf of my local Home Depot, I was curious. Skeptical (but willing to be convinced) I took a look at the product claims on the Fusion Pro single component grout packaging and considered each one carefully.

The specific claims on the manufacturer’s website and the product packaging are:

  • Ready-To-Use
  • Never Needs Sealing
  • Unsurpassed Performance
  • Easy to Spread and Clean

“Ready to use” was a big part of the appeal. All I would have to do was pry off the lid and get straight to spreading grout with my trusty grout float. “Never needs sealing” sounded like another great way to save time (and money because buying grout sealer wouldn’t be necessary).   The last two claims overcame my biggest worry – that a potential shortcut would instead require having to spend more time redoing a job because of an inferior outcome.  I was willing to believe that the product’s “unsurpassed performance” and “easy to spread and clean” claims are truthful.

High cost of Fusion Pro Single component grout

Finally, there was the price tag to consider. $50.00 for a one-gallon tub of Fusion Pro single component grout (half of what I would need for the whole bathroom floor) versus $15.00 for a twenty-five-pound bag (more than enough for the whole job) is a big price difference. Believing the “unsurpassed performance” claim, I decided to pay the steep price for this new all-in one grout product.

Messy and time-consuming clean up process

First, I always read every word on the label, and read the instructions at least twice. After getting all the right supplies ready, I went to work. After about five minutes, I knew buying Fusion Pro grout was a mistake. As the instructions directed, I grouted a small area of about one foot by two feet. Of the countless tiling projects over the years, I have never had more trouble with the cleanup portion of the grout application process than with Fusion Pro grout! Imagine cleaning up excess grout that seems to contain a large amount of white latex paint mixed into the product. The “artic white” Fusion Pro grout rapidly dried and stuck on to the surface of the tiles. In order to clean off the tiles, I had to work fast and apply extra pressure with a damp sponge. This scrubbing effect caused grout from in between the tiles to come up, leaving behind an overall shallower layer of grout. And more grout coming up meant more mess. It took five grout sponges, two microfiber cloths, and two buckets of fresh water to clean up the white pigment that came out of the grout from only a small section.  The most irritating part of the cleanup process was having to literally scrub the paint-like grout residue off the tiles within only minutes of application.  “Easy to spread and clean?”  It was easy to spread, but a disaster to clean.  Annoyed that the required cleanup work took far longer than it would have with traditional grout, I was at least expecting an excellent result after the grout dried.

Pinholes in dried grout

However, after waiting a day for the test section to dry, I noticed pinhole openings between the tiles where they met at four corners. Using Fusion Pro single component grout resulted in a completely unsatisfactory outcome. Grout that shrinks when it dries and leaves even small openings in a bathroom floor is a disaster waiting to happen. Any space that allows water to get in will eventually result in subfloor rot, total project failure, and thousands of dollars in damage.

When I went back to grouting, I tried spreading the grout in even smaller sections at a time, working the grout back and forth with the grout float with heavy downward pressure until the grout “bounced back” and raised up above the tile afterward. Then, I went through the arduous cleanup process, careful to use as little water in the sponges as possible. Each time I grouted a different section with Fusion Pro single component grout, no matter how careful, thorough, or how hard I pushed down to force in as much grout as possible, the pinhole problem showed up after the grout dried. To rule out the possibility that the first batch was defective or had been ruined by improper storage before I purchased it, I finished the job with an additional gallon of Fusion Pro single component grout.   So, it took two gallons of pre-mixed grout (with a total cost of $100.00) and about ten hours of application and cleanup time to grout a small bathroom floor. Unfortunately, the entire job still needed to be fixed/done over due to the countless pinholes that appeared between tiles and ruined the overall outcome.

Difficult cleanup + pinholes = false advertising?

This is where the “unsurpassed performance” claim proved demonstrably false. I knew that the only way to fix the product’s failure would be to either go back and fill in each pinhole with more grout one by one – or apply a second layer of grout to the entire bathroom floor. I tried both approaches and ultimately went with the latter. The powdered grout was easy to mix, went on better, faster, and took about one third of the time to clean up, and gave a better overall result.  The best part about using traditional grout was that about twenty minutes after application, it firmed up and I could simply clean up the excess with a sponge. The terrible paint-like mess that made the Fusion Pro single component product such a disaster to work with was avoided, and the pinholes did not come back.

Another irritating and costly part of using Fusion Pro single component grout is that it ruined the clothes I was wearing. I figured that since it was just grout, the targe white marks from the grout’s colorant (almost exactly like paint) would come out in the wash. Instead, my favorite shorts and a pair of jeans are ruined.

Complaints on Homedepot.com about Fusion Pro single component grout

“Soupy Garbage !
The worst grout I’ve ever used! I’ve had chicken soups that were less watery. This stuff is horrible to use, messy, watery, sets too quickly and really useless for doing walls. Should be removed off the shelves because it’s that bad!”

“Complete Trash
My contractor used this grout for the first time on our shower project. The cost was less than a grout with sealant sold separately so it seemed like a value. It isn’t. It erodes, cracks, and doesn’t get the job done for our shower. Now we’re going to have to end up tearing out the shower floor and seeing how much water has gotten underneath from the grout failing. And all the grout in the other areas is cracking too and needs to be replaced. So far all Custom has done is given my contractor the runaround and refused to cover anything. Guess who gets to pay the bill? ME.”

“”Hate” isnt too strong a word
As a DIYer who has tiled for years. I do not recommend this product. maybe Pros like it but for twice the money, it’s twice the work, at least. It recommends you buy a grout release to put on your tile before using. It says to wipe immediately, do not ket the haze dry. it says use three sponges and a microfiber towel to wipe it.i had to use the three sponges and 3 kitchen towels inbetween, then 2 microfiber towels, which keant double the clean up. in doing so, the grout is uneven and I have had to come back the next day to fill in. Today, I tried to fill in as i went, which meant more vlean up. i bought the pewter but in my light grat tiles, it looks lite gray. so, twice the money, twice the work, at least. in the photo, it’s uneven and half as dark as it should be. excuse the spelling errors, please, zi cannot see or edit this review on my phone.”

Information about the Manufacturer

Custom Building Products
7711 Center Ave., Suite 500
Huntington Beach, California 92647
https://www.custombuildingproducts.com

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Dear “Super Lawyers”

Would you please remove me from your list?  While it is factually correct that I am a lawyer, the word “super,” as applied to me – is a stretch.  Other than passing the Massachusetts bar exam (on my first try) and holding some corporations accountable here and there, I am pretty ordinary.

If I develop any of the abilities listed below, let’s reconsider:

  • Super Strength
  • Super Speed
  • Enhanced Leaping

Sincerely,

Preston W. Leonard

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Celebrity Endorsements and Their Potential for False Advertising

American companies have long relied up on celebrity endorsements to sell consumer goods. An example is the 1942 Kool-Aid advertisement below:

Advertising Hollywood Screen Star Patricia Morison Says:

‘Kool-Aid is such a convenient beverage, so easy to make.  Everyone enjoys its delightful flavor!’

While this statement by a movie star to help sell a product was not “false advertising” in a legal sense, it is an interesting example of a celebrity endorsement.

The ad’s representation that “Kool-Aid is flavorful and satisfying,” is also not false advertising.

However, the statement “Kool-Aid’s manufacturing facilities are contributing to the nutritional requirements of the armed-forces,” may have been misleading or literally false. 

The 1960 Camel cigarette advertisement below capitalizes on a football star’s fame and popularity to sell a carcinogenic product that interferes with lung function.

“For rich flavor, my choice is Camels.”

Dick Nolan DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD STAR OF THE N.Y. GIANTS

Some advertisements simply associate a product with the name and face of a famous person, which is in itself a form of product endorsement. For example, this 2021 Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes advertisement (on the product itself) has a large photograph of basketball player Shaquille O’Neal.  The cereal box says “SHAQ HAS JOINED TONY’S TEAM TO HELP SAVE SCHOOL SPORTS.  Enter for a chance to win a trip to the Celebrity Crunch Classic and you could see them both in action!”

Shaquille O’Neal’s status in the sports world means his product endorsements carry extra weight. Shaq is not just a famous basketball player – he is one of the greatest NBA players of all time, and “probably the most dominant physical force in league history.” I don’t expect any false advertising class actions about this advertisement involving Shaquille O’Neil – or Tony the Tiger for that matter (although the latter has been involved in decades of litigation over trademark controversies).

Coming Soon:

Football’s “Golden Boy” Tom Brady is “arguably the best quarterback to ever play in the NFL.”

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False Advertising and “Puffing”

 
False advertising exists on product packaging, and any other form of advertising where the seller makes claims that “do not simply magnify in opinion the advantages the product has but invents advantages and falsely asserts their existence.” It is at that point that the seller “transcends the limits of ‘puffing’ and engages in false representations and pretenses.” United States v. New South Farm, 241 U.S. 64, 74 (1916).  The 1942 Camel cigarette advertisement below is an example of an ad that does not employ false advertising.  Every statement in the ad is either factually accurate, or mere “puffing.”
 
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The Lucky Strike cigarette advertisement below is an example of a celebrity endorsement:

“Years ago, as an ambitious young actor, I was impressed how well my throat liked Luckies and how well they suited my idea of a perfect cigarette. That impression still stands. In my recent tour of ‘Hamlet’, with its many performances each week and the attendant tax on my throat, I have been convinced anew that this light smoke is both delightful to my taste and the ‘top’ cigarette for an actor’s throat.”

– Leslie Howard
Lucky Strike

This 1937 American Tobacco Company ad goes on with a persuasive argument for choosing Lucky Strikes: “Notice how many professional men and women- lawyers, doctors, statesmen, etc., smoke Luckies. See how many leading artists of radio, stage, screen, and opera, prefer them. Naturally the voices of these artists are all-important to them. That’s why they want a light smoke. You can have this throat protection too. The protection of a light smoke free of certain harsh irritants expelled by the exclusive “Toasting” process.”

False or misleading statements/phrases in this ad:

  • “throat protection”
  • “smoke free of certain harsh irritants expelled,” by a “Toasting”[sic] process.”

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Cellulite Skin Cream and False Advertising

“‘Cellulite’ is a word first coined in France sometime around 1920 to describe the dimpled, uneven appearance of skin caused by the distribution of subcutaneous fat, particularly around the hips, thighs, and posterior of women. Primed by unrelenting pressure to appear youthful and attractive, women have been presented with “anti-cellulite” products in recent years.

Marketers of anti-cellulite products promote the false idea that the normal human imperfection of cellulite can be fixed by applying consumer goods.

For example, one in-store display claims, “You’re only 2 weeks from a firmer, smoother body.”Body Slim Ad

Is the premise that there are slimming or cellulite-banishing effects available through the application of any cream, ointment, supported by credible scientific evidence?

There is a long line of peer-reviewed scholarly articles, and credible medical opinions revealing the ineffective and useless nature of anti-cellulite creams.

Molly Wanner, MD, MBA, and Mathew Avram, MD, JD, both of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, after carefully studying cellulite, its causes, and attempts at stopping it, have published their conclusion that cellulite is a normal condition affecting virtually all women, for which there is no effective remedy to be found on the shelves of a drug store:

“Cellulite is the characteristic, nonpathologic appearance of dimpled, ‘cottage cheese-like’ skin surface change typically seen in women on the thighs and buttocks. It is commonly seen on the abdomen, breasts, and arms. Given that the occurrence of cellulite is nearly universal in post-pubertal females, it is thought of as a female secondary sex characteristic. Nevertheless, it can be a distressing condition and patients spend billions of dollars on treatments that are largely ineffective.”[1]

The Scientific Community’s Rejection of Anti-Cellulite Claims

According to the first scholarly paper written on the topic of cellulite, “[I]t is an important obligation of physicians to teach the fact that so-called cellulite is not a disease, but is the result of the sex-typical structure of the skin of women and a natural consequence of aging,” and “there is up to now no other cosmetic or medical (short of surgical) treatment to improve so-called cellulite, certainly none at all to cause complete disappearance of it.” Nürnberger, F. and Müller, G. “So-Called Cellulite: An Invented Disease.”   The Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology (1978) 4:3 221-9.

Medical practitioners still soundly reject the notion that any topical product can effectively treat the condition of cellulite:

  • “At this point, there is no outstanding treatment for cellulite.” (Dr. Molly Wanner, dermatology instructor at Harvard Medical School. See St. Louis, Catherine. “Treating Cellulite? It’s Still There.”[2] The New York Times (June 24, 2009).   See also Wanner, Molly. “An evidence-based review of existing cellulite-reduction treatments.” Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. (2008) April 7(4):341-5.
  • “It’s a Madison Avenue term. It’s a normal variant of fat that shows as dimples. There’s no way a cream or pounding will change that fat.” (Dr. Samuel J. Stegman, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California at San Francisco). See Wells, Linda. “Beauty; Battle of the Bulge.”[3] The New York Times, July 3, 1988.
  • “It’s not a happy situation for women who want to get rid of it because we don’t know how to treat it.” (Dr. Arthur Shipp, clinical professor of plastic surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York who conducted an extensive cellulite study. See Carr, Amy. “Erasing Cellulite.”[4] Daily Herald (Arlington Heights) June 7, 1998.
  • “[A]ccording to 27 years of medical literature recently reviewed in The Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, scientific proof that creams make a real, lasting difference does not exist. ‘There is no evidence to show that any topical medications improve cellulite.’” (Dr. Mathew Avram, Harvard Medical School). See Siegel, Jessica. “Fat Chance.”[5] The New York Times, August 15, 2005.
  • “According to [UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine Dr. Jenny] Kim, no studies have convincingly shown that cellulite creams do any good on actual bodies.” Woolston, Chris. “Little proof of cellulite cream success.”[6] Los Angeles Times, November 3, 2008.
  • “I don’t think the evidence is there to recommend spending money on a cellulite cream,” says Dr. Molly Wanner, a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Id.

In January 2014, The Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement enjoining a cosmetics company from making deceptive cellulite cream claims.   See “FTC Approves Final Consent Settling Charges that L’Occitane, Inc. Misled Consumers to Believe that Creams Could Slim Their Bodies.[7] In that case, the FTC alleged that L’Occitane violated the Federal Trade Commission Act because it advertised a cream that “helps to visibly reduce the appearance of cellulite,” and “reduces cellulite.” See Complaint, In re L’Occitane, Inc. a corporation, FTC file No. 122 3115[8].

[1] Wanner M, Avram M. “An evidence-based assessment of treatments for cellulite.” J Drugs Dermatol. 2008 Apr;7(4):341-5.

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/fashion/25skinintro.html?_r=0, last accessed November 19, 2015.

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/03/magazine/beauty-battle-of-the-bulge.html, last accessed November 19, 2015.

[4] https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-68783688.html, last accessed November 19, 2015.

[5] http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/15/opinion/fat-chance.html, last accessed 11/19/15.

[6] http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-skeptic3-2008nov03-story.html, last accessed November 19, 2015.

[7] https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/04/ftc-approves-final-consent-settling-charges-loccitane-inc-misled, last accessed November 19, 2015

[8] https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/140408loccitanecmpt.pdf, last accessed November 19, 2015

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Typographical Erra

Quincy District Court  (Basement)

Year: 2012

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