People who bought bras and underwear from Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty label were allegedly enrolled in a recurring monthly fee program without their knowledge, according to a lawsuit from the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office.
Pop star Rihanna is still on a musical hiatus (she’s teased on Instagram that a new album has been completed, though that was a couple years ago). Yet she’s had plenty of other pursuits: she had a baby in May, she had a fashion label called Fenty that lasted a couple years, still has a cosmetics brand called Fenty Beauty, and a lingerie brand called Savage X Fenty.
But there may be some unmentionables and dirty laundry now associated with the lingerie brand. The Bay Area News Group reports that the Santa County District Attorney’s office has joined a fraud lawsuit against Savage X Fenty, alleging that customers were signed up for a monthly VIP membership surcharge without their knowledge, and were charged the monthly fee over and over without knowing it.
The lawsuit stems from practices on Savage X Fenty’s website. So while Santa Clara County did have a pop-up Savage X Fenty store in the Westfield Valley Fair shopping mall back in 2019, this lawsuit appears unrelated to that temporary retail storefront. The lawsuit argues that online shoppers were shown a “VIP” price, and if they took that deal, they signed up for a recurring monthly fee without realizing this.
According to the lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court, “When consumers purchased [Savage X Fenty’s] products on its website, [the company] automatically added an auto-recurring paid VIP membership to consumers’ shopping bags, resulting in consumers’ credit cards being repeatedly charged.”
The lawsuit itself is not new, and was originally filed in 2020. As CNBC reported at the time, it was started by a consumer watchdog group. “CNBC reviewed the [Savage Fenty X] site and found that prices for items defaulted to ‘VIP’ pricing, without giving the option to purchase for a ‘regular’ price," that network reported. "When navigating to the shopping bag, if an item had been added, a ‘Savage X Monthly Membership’ was also added automatically, without changing the pricing. The only way of knowing that membership would result in more charges is by clicking a small ‘Learn More’ button that explains it would incur a $49.95 monthly charge, or by reading a description to the right of the checkout options.”
There are five California counties named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and Santa Cruz County is another one of them. The lawsuit comes after more stringent regulations regarding the practice of automatic subscription charges in e-commerce took effect in California in July. Savage Fenty X is being asked to return any membership overcharges, and could be forced to pay $2,500 for each individual violation of the California Business and Professions Code.
Image: @rihanna via Twitter