When Rihanna started her lingerie collection in 2018, she collaborated with the rookie behind the Fabletics streak for Kate Hudson.
But Fabletics and emerging, TechStyle Fashion Group, have faced complaints about deceptive billing tactics, and now the Rihanna line, Savage x Fenty, which has been praised for using models of different types of races and ethnicities in its commercialization, now faces some of the same thing criticism.
On Tuesday, Truth Advertising, a non-profit organization, He said Savage x Fenty “limits consumers to unwanted monthly fees,” through a membership plan that was difficult to unsubscribe from. She said she had alerted the Federal Trade Commission to the line’s business practices, which she believed violated agency rules and the online shoppers’ trust law.
When consumers purchase items such as bras and lingerie from the Savage x Fenty website, the brand claims consumers register for $ 50 monthly subscriptions “without disclosing all the physical terms and conditions of the offer,” said Truth in Advertising. Prices that appear when adding an item to an online shopping cart for shoppers – for example, $ 19.50 for a leggings pair – require membership. For non-members, the price of the panty can be more than double. Truth in Advertising added that the brand also used “flexing and switching tactics” when consumers tried to cancel membership.
The group also said that ads for the line from social media Influencers It can be tricky.
Savage x Viti denied claims. “These accusations are wrong and based on misconceptions about our business,” said Emma Tolle, the line representative, in an email.
“At Savage x Fenty, we strongly believe in transparency, which is why we provide multiple disclosure requirements for membership throughout the shopping experience, through advertisements, and through our ambassador’s compliance policies,” she said.
Complaining about the truth in the advertisement involves the spread of the so-called Negative billing option Online, which refers to the practice of companies charging consumers for the service unless specifically rejected.
Bonnie Patten, CEO of Truth in Advertising, said in an interview: “Many consumers love the fact that this brand advocates female empowerment and inclusion, and therefore they are very much interested in purchasing products from this site.” “What they don’t understand is that the prices they see on social media are prices for membership, and because of the way the withdrawal process works, they are inadvertently placed in a subscription form.”
When customers add items from the site to a shopping cart, “Savage x Monthly Membership” is added automatically. To verify, customers must proactively remove it, which may cause items to rise sharply.
TechStyle has raised more than $ 500 million in financing and is valued at nearly $ 1 billion, according to Pitchbook, the data provider. Getting Started, based in the Los Angeles area formerly known as JustFab, and its founders Specialized in these types of subscriptions For years.
In 2014, Adam Goldenberg, co-founder of the company, was named in a complaint against Sensa, the company he led and which sold counterfeit powder to lose weight. The FC Sensa fined nearly $ 50 million, one of the largest it ever gave to scam ads.
TechStyle paid $ 1.88 million in the same year To settle a consumer protection suit That it claimed its brands, including Fabletics, failed to “clearly and clearly” clarify that their discounts required automatic monthly subscription fees.
Still, TechStyle was seen as Silicon Valley success The initial public offering is expected to eventually take place.
Consumers may be aware of the Savage x Fenty business model, but Mrs. Patten said the truth in the ad tracked hundreds of complaints about the company’s billing and cancellation practices.
Eren Griffiths contributed to the reporting.