Rihanna‘s Savage X Fenty lingerie line has found itself in hot water yet again after it was fined USD$1.2 million (AUD$1.8 million) for sneakily enrolling customers into a subscription model they didn’t want to sign up to.
Five Californian local governments alleged in a lawsuit that Savage X Fenty defrauded customers after it automatically enrolled them in its VIP plan.
The Xtra VIP plan is essentially a USD$49.95 (AUD$73.19) monthly subscription which gives customers access to online exclusive sales, discounts and products. If you don’t want to outright cancel the subscription, you can just skip some months while you pay for others.
However, when someone who isn’t a member purchases an item from the site, there are actually two “add to cart” buttons — a colourful VIP price button and, lower down on the site, a normal price button. If someone clicks on the first button when buying the product, they’ll be purchasing the VIP subscription and become automatically enrolled in the monthly plan.
Reddit user /r/yojodavies took to the internet to complain about the difficulties they faced with the brand’s membership model. They created a membership to get two bras on a deal and then forgot to cancel it afterwards. Fair enough.
When they eventually tried to cancel the subscription, they were told they couldn’t do this online by themselves and had to actually call up Savage X Fenty customer service to sort it out for them.
When their subscription was finally cancelled, the $50 monthly credit that comes with the membership was also revoked — even though the Redditor had already paid for it when they signed up.
Comments on the Reddit thread confirmed others had similar difficulties and also lost credits they paid for once they cancelled their subscriptions.
The original poster said they made complaints to the Better Business Bureau because not only did they feel like they were signed up to the membership sneakily, getting their memberships cancelled or refunds was inconvenient in a way that felt deceptive.
According to California’s recently tightened automatic-renewal laws, companies have to disclose fees to customers directly and clearly. They must also make cancelling a subscription quick and accessible.
According to the lawsuit, Savage X Fenty broke these laws because it allegedly defrauded customers by enrolling them into its VIP membership, cancellation wasn’t super easy, and the brand told customers that store credit they accumulate in their VIP subscription could be used at any time when that wasn’t the case for some customers.
It really isn’t a good time to be a Savage X Fenty fan, because just a month ago the brand was put on blast after it introduced its first ever male star to feature: Johnny Depp, of all people.
An inside source claimed Rihanna was directly behind the decision to include Depp, despite the horrific abuse allegations against him.
So hey, now’s a good time for this reminder: there’s no such thing as a good billionaire.