Savage X Fenty came out with a bang, and since then customers around the world have spent a heap of money on the bold lingerie, but the company is paying money back to customers.
Singer and entrepreneur Rihanna is pulling out of her pocket to settle a $1.2 million lawsuit that alleged she misled Savage X Fenty customers, violating California’s updated automatic-renewal law.
According to Paper, the lawsuit filed by Santa Clara County and four other California local governments claimed that RiRi’s lingerie company defrauded customers by automatically enrolling them into the Savage X Fenty Xtra VIP plan.
The $49.95 monthly plan allows members to take advantage of major discounts and other perks that include exclusive sales and styles. However, when customers make purchases, if they fail to click the normal price for their desired items, a button that is reportedly placed lower on the page as opposed to the vibrant VIP price button, their purchase will allegedly be completed under the VIP discount, automatically enrolling them in the VIP plan.
“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.”
The Better Business Bureau reported complaints from customers who found the membership model to be deceptive.
“After buying two items in the summer, I was continually charged $49.95 monthly for a membership I in no way intended to sign up for,” one initial complaint stated.
“By the time, I noticed the charge, several months of payment had been extracted. This is clearly a sadly deceptive and predatory membership scheme.”
Several other consumers who attempted to cancel the memberships added complaints that claimed the process was complicated. “It’s so sad that this shady business practice is happening in Rihanna’s name. This is such a well documented fraudulent practice that is taking advantage of so many people,” the 2022 complaint added.
Savage X Fenty started receiving complaints back in 2020, including from consumer watchdog group, Truth In Advertising (TINA), which filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against the lingerie brand and its parent company, TechStyle, the parent company of other popular online retailers such as Shoedazzle and Fabletics.