Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty accused of misleading promotions, enrolling customers in pricey membership

Rihanna, Savage x Fenty, NYFW
Brooklyn, NY: Rihanna walks the runway of the Savage X Fenty Fall/Winter 2018 fashion show during New York Fashion Week at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, September 11, 2018.
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images
Lingerie brand, Savage x Fenty by Rihanna is coming under fire for misleading and deceptive product marketing. Truth In Advertising (TInA) filed complaints with both the Federal Trade Commission and the California District Attorney’s Office claiming that in addition to violating FTC laws, the brand has also infringed on the Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act.

Complaints to TInA allege that when checking out at the brand’s website, customers are given the choice of paying full price, or joining a membership, which drops item prices considerably. However, the site never discloses thr terms and conditions of the program. The $49.99 membership fee is not disclosed. Once enrolled, customers found it difficult to stop the automatic charges. There were also complaints of misleading promotions and pricing.

According to TInA spokesperson, Shana Mueller, an advertisement for a discounted lingerie set on the Savage x Fenty website didn’t divulge that the bargain was for VIP members only and that completing the purchase would include a membership charge.

Once the set had been added to a customer’s cart, “a tiny extra item in your shopping cart that says ‘Membership'” would appear, but “there’s no price next to it. It’s just a little x.” Customers were oblivious that they had been signed up for a monthly subscription until they were charged $49.95 a month.

Savage x Fenty spokeswoman, Emma Tully said, ”These accusations are false and based on misconceptions of our business.

We are proud of our flexible membership program because it allows us to offer unparalleled quality and value to our customers…We believe strongly in transparency, which is why we provide multiple disclosures of membership terms throughout the shopping experience, within advertisements, and through our ambassador engagement policies.”

There have also been a host of influencers, including Draya Michelle, promoting the brand while failing to disclose that they are material brand ambassadors.

Savage x Fenty is a partnership between Rihanna and TechStyle Fashion Group. According to the NY Times, TechStyle Fashion Group has been accused in the past of deceptive billing practices.

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