If you've browsed the Savage X Fenty website, you've probably been tempted to purchase the subscription plan. However, you might realize soon after that you couldn't possibly need that much underwear. For some unlucky consumers, they found themselves unknowingly enrolled in the costly subscription plan, and now Rihanna has to open up her wallet.
In a lawsuit filed by Santa Clara County and four other California local governments, they allege that the lingerie company defrauded customers by automatically enrolling them in the brand's VIP plan. California recently tightened up their automatic-renewal law, which Savage X Fenty violated.
The Xtra VIP model costs $49.95 a month and allows for customers to get significant discounts, exclusive sales and styles and more. If customers don't click the normal price button on items, which is located lower on the page than the colorful and more enticing VIP price button, they will purchase the item with the Xtra VIP discount, therefore enrolling them automatically in the monthly plan. They can skip each month or cancel the membership outright.
The membership model has drawn criticism from many people. One Reddit user, /r/yojodavies, canceled their membership and the $50 in monthly credits was not refunded to them. Several other consumers reported to the Better Business Bureau that they also felt like they were enrolled in the program deceptively, and the process to get their memberships canceled was complicated
These complaints are nothing new. The criticism started in 2020, leading to consumer watchdog group Truth In Advertising (TINA) filing a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Savage X Fenty and its parent company, TechStyle. TechStyle, the parent company of online retailers such as JustFab, Shoedazzle and Fabletics, all of which also have monthly subscription models.
"Consumers have a right to know up front what they are paying for and how often," Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Deng said in a statement. "Businesses have a duty to be transparent about their automatic renewal charges." According to the statement, Savage X Fenty has since "cooperated with the investigation and has made changes to its website, automatic renewal notices, and its store credit and advertising practices."
Photo courtesy of Matteo Prandoni/BFA
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